How to build a business that is sustainable for you

Find out how to make sure your luxury nightwear doesn’t cause you sleepless nights!

I often get asked how I combine family life with running Charlotte & Co.  The answer is that I have learned from my mistakes.

When I started Charlotte & Co. I had already founded and run the luxury lingerie and nightwear brand Myla.  Myla was business that demanded everything from everyone that worked there.  We were completely committed and there was little time for our personal lives.

When my twins were one year old it was clear to me that I needed a different kind of business structure if I and my family were going to lead fulfilling and happy lives.

So I started over, setting up Charlotte & Co. selling luxury nightwear and loungewear like cotton pyjamas, cashmere dressing gowns and velour tracksuits.   I had a clear objective of building a business that could co-exist with family life.

 

Five years down the line here are my three top tips for building a business that is sustainable for you and your family:

  • Do something that you know
    • I knew I was good at and had a lot of experience designing and making  women’s nightwear and loungewear.  This meant that, although there’s always lots to learn in any business, I know that I don’t have to worry about being able to deliver the product.  The first product we launched was our cotton flannel pyjamas and they are still our best seller.

 

  • Prioritise the non-work stuff ruthlessly by being CEO of your whole life, not just your business
    • Be honest with yourself about what’s really important to you. And delegate all the rest.  What’s more important to you?  Stacking the dishwasher, doing the school run or cooking supper?  Pick the family tasks that will make you feel like a great mum and wife/partner and delegate the rest.  I don’t get any satisfaction from cleaning but I do enjoy and think I make a difference by doing school runs and cooking family meals.  What makes you feel great?
    • Remember that when it’s your business it’s also your money.  Think hard about how to spend it.  Do you want another junior in the office or do you want someone to make the laundry go away at home?

 

  • Learn to delegate, no REALLY delegate
    • If you think you are good at delegating, think again.  Do you really delegate and outsource everything you can?  Do you get other people to do stuff even when you’ve got nothing urgent to do?  Learn to delegate to the point of idleness.  It’s your only chance to make time to run the business, think clearly and feel relaxed enough to deal calmly with toddler tantrums.

 

 

 

  • These days I like to say that, yes, it is hard work and yes, I do still make posh knickers. But, my Charlotte & Co. silk knickers are really comfortable and I rarely get them in twist!

 

 

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