Self Made: Interview with Serial Entrepreneur Bianca Miller-Cole
Today, we catch up with serial entrepreneur and author Bianca Miller-Cole to find out what she’s been up to and learn more about her new book Self Made: The definitive guide to business startup success.
Newnham: What have you been up to since we last spoke back at the end of 2014?
Miller-Cole: Gosh so much has happened since 2014, where do I start? After being a finalist on The Apprentice in December 2014 (fundamentally not winning £250k) I made the decision to make my diverse nude hosiery idea a reality on my own. So in November 2015 after lots of work on the product and brand, I launched Bianca Miller London. It started out with 8 nude shades to suit all skin tones, with a special material that makes legs look like ‘oiled legs on a good day’. Since launching the brand has been in Selfridges, Topshop, Elys of Wimbledon, Morleys of Brixton and QVC as well as online. And the brand has evolved to include a nail collection with more to come.
I have continued to build my personal branding business ‘The Be Group’ and I am lucky to have some really amazing corporate clients, universities and individuals that I help to achieve personal brand success.
I travel around the UK and internationally delivering talks and workshops to motivate and inspire people to consider their future potential within their careers or as entrepreneurs.
I got married! And finally I’ve been working with my husband and fellow entrepreneur to co author our debut book Self Made: The definitive guide to business startup success.
Newnham: Can you tell us more about Self Made and why you decided to write it?
Miller-Cole: Byron and I wrote Self Made: The Definitive Guide to Business Startup Success as a comprehensive toolkit for anyone who wants to make a success of running their own business. Over the years Byron and I have been asked at events or during our business travels how we did it or what to do and we wanted to create an A-Z for those who wanted to make a real go of business whilst avoiding the pitfalls that we had experienced.
The book featuring interviews with well-known entrepreneurs, entertainers and industry experts. It covers every tier of the business development process, from start-up to exit, offering practical, implementable and global advice on the start-up process.
De-coding the jargon that is prevalent in business circles today, the book provides straightforward advice on converting an innovative business concept into a commercially viable proposition. It will help readers to avoid the costly common mistakes of many who have gone before, and create a sustainable enterprise that will flourish.
Newnham: What are some of the key lessons you share in your book?Miller-Cole: The book is split into 4 parts; the vision, the action, the reaction and the evolution. It has been created to take the reader from initial idea to reality or if they have already started they can choose a particular chapter to focus on. The lessons include business planning, personal brand creation, networking for business/personal growth, sales, marketing and social media — all the way to preparing the business for sale. We have tried to leave no stone unturned.
And what’s better it’s a perfect guide for clients who work in a career they love but want to build a project (be intrapreneurial) or make a hobby into an additional revenue stream.
Newnham: What are you up to next?
Miller-Cole: My plan for the future is to continue to grow both of my businesses and to help the next generation of entrepreneur/intrapreneur to flourish. Ultimately I want to be in a position to support start ups, and women to break boundaries and smash glass ceilings.
Newnham: A woman after our own heart. Finally, if you could go back in time to the start of your career, what advice would you offer a younger Bianca?
Miller-Cole: Your personal brand is everything — build a reputation, credibility and (reciprocal) relationships. Remember people buy into people. Networking is crucial in business and in a career… speak to everyone, accept every opportunity and event (in the early days before you become discerning), be the best you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
*** This interview first appeared on the F = blog ***