The purpose of this format is to provide some unique insights into the life of inspiring, successful businesswomen, as well as a good deal of tips and tricks on how to start, maintain and rock your own business.
Accordingly, if you consider starting your own business or need some inspiration or help for your existing company, this series is a perfect source for you.
Moreover, this is a fabulous chance to meet like-minded people and connect with them.
Malin Lernhammar grew up in Sweden in a family full of entrepreneurs. After moving to Scotland to study at University, she met her now-husband and they started a business together helping sustainable companies with branding and design.
From working in the creative space, she saw that many designers find it difficult to manage communication with clients. Since much of the work is done digitally, sharing files was a big pain point.
They, therefore, decided to build software to help with this and launched their second business in late 2019.
They have now moved back to Sweden and are expecting their first baby in the summer of 2020.
Why did you start your own business?
Most people who start their own creative business love to work on projects but find all the admin and managing clients a little tricky and time-consuming.
We noticed, running our own business, that getting all the photos, website copy and other important files from clients was a huge pain point. We often received long email chains with files, files were too large to send over email or clients forgot to send things altogether.
This took up a lot of time so we decided to build a software (a web app) that automatically handles all this for you.
Please describe your business…
In Kayla, you can set up projects and then send requests for the files you need. Once a request is set up, we remind the client for you if they forget to send something and everything submitted is automatically organized in folders and time-stamped. Hence, you know which version is the latest and who sent what.
You can easily add your team members and give varying levels of access to different people.
We wanted to make sure it is super easy for someone who has never used Kayla to submit files.
Therefore, everything is set up to be clear, quick and easy.
What is your biggest challenge?
I would say spreading the word. I am super excited about Kayla and we have a close-knit community of creatives who have been involved in the development process. But getting people from outside of our network to hear about the platform takes more time.
How do you tackle that challenge?
I have found Facebook groups really helpful for connecting with other business owners that could benefit from Kayla.
We have also managed to find some great collaboration partners through Instagram who has a similar audience. This means we can write guest blog posts or cross-promote each other’s platforms through newsletters.
Overall, telling our story and being part of wonderful blogs like this one has also been a great help!
What do you love the most about being self-employed?
Independence. I love being able to focus on the things in my business that I feel can make the most difference. Running a startup means you can be a lot more flexible than if you work in a larger, more established company.
Another great benefit is that I am able to work with my husband and work from home at times. Especially now that I am pregnant this has been a big life-saver.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I wanted to solve a problem I had experienced first hand. In terms of how I went about creating the app, I got a lot of inspiration from the Human-centered design process and design sprints.
These are two methods for quickly understanding what your customers actually want and making sure you start by building the core product first.
What are your tips for women who want to start their own business?
Always keep learning and try to find a good balance between confidence and humility.
When you have your own business, it will take some time to build up your brand and for people to find you. I think it is impossible to run purely on motivation and financial goals so try to see it as a long game where everything is a learning opportunity.
It is easy to be hard on yourself so avoid the comparison game and focus on your goals and the “why” behind your business.
I would also encourage you to set your goals according to what you want your lifestyle to be like. “Successful” does not always mean bigger but rather a day-to-day life you enjoy and that makes you excited.
Is there something else you would like to say?
I found podcasts to be hugely helpful. I like to listen to interviews with other business owners and learn from their journey and mistakes as part of my daily routine.
Take home message for a successful businesswoman
Collaborations with other business owners are great. Write guest blog posts or cross-promote each other’s platforms through newsletters.
Facebook groups are really helpful to connect with other business owners.
Understand what your customers actually want and make sure you start by building the core product first.
Everything is a learning opportunity.
Don’t compare yourself/success to others.
Integrate inspiring and educational podcasts into your daily routine.
Consider using Kayla if you find the admin and managing clients difficult and time-consuming.
Are you a successful businesswoman as well? Would you like to be a part of this interview series? Don’t hesitate to contact me for further information! 🙂
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