Entrepreneurs know that getting a new business off the ground involves a lot more than just a great idea. From registering at the right administrative offices to understanding market fit, there are many key things that aspiring entrepreneurs need to consider when they’re starting out. Working with a mentor who has been through setting up a similar business can be an invaluable resource for mentees.
We asked Femme Palette mentor Eva Knirschová about the strategy she used to help her mentee start her own business.
How to get started?
Starting a business involves many different factors that Eva and her mentee had to consider throughout their mentoring journey. The first step was to get the official parts of registering the business taken care of. This included visiting all of the necessary offices, understanding how business taxes work, and setting up a system that would help avoid any administrative issues in the future.
The next point to address was identifying the product portfolio. It was important for the mentee to learn how to do proper market research in order to understand what the competition looks like. From there, she needed help identifying how to be original, special, and the USPs of her products. Once that was clear, the pair had to work through product pricing, taking into consideration the value of the mentee’s time and identifying reasonable prices that reflect the value of the product.
Learning how to promote her products was the next big challenge the mentee faced. She wanted to learn how branding works, how to work with social media channels, how to work with influencers, and how to get the perfect product pictures. Additionally, understanding how to begin selling products at various design markets in Prague, Brno, and other cities was another one of the mentee’s objectives within her larger goal of creating her own business.
Sharing knowledge & active mentee participation
When it came to supporting the mentee with her goals, Eva was able to share a lot from her own previous experience, having a very similar product-based business in the past. This came in handy considering the mentee was dealing with a lot of different topics within her goal of starting a business—from registration, taxes and pricing to product portfolio, promotion, and visiting markets. They had a lot of ground to cover in just twelve mentoring sessions!
Luckily, Eva’s mentee was always prepared with a lot of questions about the things she was currently struggling with and Eva was able to draw from her own experience when it came to providing insight and suggestions. This made it possible for them to cover many topics within a short amount of time. The mentee was also very passionate about moving her business forward, so Eva found it really easy to go deeper in a lot of different strategies and discuss new ideas with her.
From a practical standpoint, the pair often analyzed online stores that Eva had previously worked on or helped build in the past so that they could compare the projects and choose which ideas to implement in the mentee’s project. While every business is different, it’s not always necessary to reinvent the wheel. Through sharing her previous experience, Eva’s mentee was able to learn about and identify valuable insights and business strategies that were applicable to her own project.
“I personally loved working with my mentee. She is a very passionate, active, and open person who was really easy to work with! Also, she is very persistent, she's not afraid of implementing new ideas and trying different angles so for me, it was a very positive experience.” - Eva Knirschová, Femme Palette mentor
Eva’s mentee made great strides toward getting her business off the ground during their time working together. She’s now visiting and selling her products at markets around the country and her social media channels are growing. Eva believes that with her attitude, energy, and newly acquired know-how, she’ll be able to achieve her goals very easily.
“There has to be good chemistry between a mentor and a mentee. Also, you have to choose a mentee with a project that you're super-confident you can help them with. For me, it was an easy choice – she is building a business that is close to what I’ve done – handmade, design products. I was confident that I could help her a lot with that.”- Eva Knirschová, Femme Palette mentor