With a turnover of over £1 million and over 4.5 million products sold, Square Root are the craft revolution for soft drinks. Made with real fruit and no preservatives in its East London production facility, Square Root create experimental, characterful sodas including classics such as lemonade and ginger beer.
Co-founders Robyn Simms and Ed Taylor met at university and quit their jobs to work on Square Root full-time in 2014. They first came to Seedrs in February 2021 and successfully raised £878,506 from 690 investors across two public campaigns.
In light of International Women’s Day on 8th March, we sat down with co-founder Robyn Simms to find out what her five top tips are for being a successful female entrepreneur. Read on to see what she’s discovered during her journey as a founder…
What are the five key elements to be a successful woman entrepreneur?
The ability to persist with something in the face of all obstacles is the number one thing that separates successful founders from those who don’t make it. Intelligence, a good idea, and talent will only take you so far, but you also need to stick with the important things to you and bounce back from failure.
My co-founder is my partner, which comes with its challenges, but I value their ability to help me bounce around ideas, and when it comes to Square Root, I trust them completely. Find your person who fills in your skills gaps, is as passionate as you about what you’re doing and will push you to achieve your business’s goals. You’ll need them!
An implementation plan
We all love making a plan, right? The process for me usually involves lots of colour-coded sheets of paper, some goal-setting sessions and a mega spreadsheet to tie it all together. Internal actions always feel comfortable and exciting, but if you don’t do the external action and consistently implement your plan, you might as well not have made it in the first place.
The world’s longest study on human happiness concluded that it wasn’t money or success that made people happiest but their fulfilling relationships. Running a startup, you need every connection you can get, and I’m not just talking about the links that will get your brand in front of the right people. I’m talking about the support system waiting for you after a long day. Running a startup is tough, but don’t let it be all-consuming – lean on your friends when you need to rant and get them involved in celebrating your wins. They’ll be your biggest cheerleaders.
Yes, all founders need to be able to adapt and cope with challenging experiences, but being a female founder takes a particular type of resilience. I cannot tell you the number of times someone has emailed “Mr Robyn Simms”, or I’ve entered a video chat with a new person who then asks me when Robyn will be joining the meeting, clearly not expecting it to be me (watching them try to recover from that one on screen is priceless). At first, it’s funny, but over time the expectation that the founder of a company is male starts to wear you down. But you can’t let it get to you; you can only work to change people’s perceptions (or perhaps coach them into doing a simple LinkedIn search before they contact you.) In the immortal words of Brian Blessed, “Don’t let the b@$!^`ds grind you down!” It’s probably the only sensible thing a man has ever said…
Are you a woman entrepreneur looking to raise funds? Apply on Seedrs and our team will be in touch.
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