As her award-winning agency turns sweet-sixteen (that’s us btw), our CEO Suzanne George had the honour of being invited to share her experience of more than a decade and a half at the helm of Denvir, with the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE).
A bit about BAWE
BAWE is a fantastic organisation that exists to support and educate female entrepreneurs in growing and developing their businesses. Meeting several times annually, BAWE brings in successful and experienced business owners to discuss and share their experiences with those just starting out – as well as furthering the conversation on topics of interest to female entrepreneurs throughout the year.
Below is what our fearless leader Suzanne had to say to the women of BAWE – on building a business, keeping it alive, and helping it thrive.
Making it >GREAT: The Four Stages of Denvir
Relationships are and always have been crucial to the success of Denvir. Established in 2003, our initial target market was ambitious and entrepreneurial clients – businesses that, like us, had huge potential to grow. In these early stages our focus was on establishing and building great client relationships that would continue long into the future. This client-first focus is a big part of why we are still here 16 years later.
Life is not easy at the best of times, and choosing the entrepreneurial path only makes it harder. You simply cannot hope to be a successful entrepreneur without experiencing challenges and pushing through. At one point, Suzanne was forced to step away from the business due to ill health. However, to her, this time away demonstrated the importance of resilience. It also led to the re-energising of Denvir’s strategic vision and desired legacy. Every challenge faced presents learning opportunities. There are always positives to draw upon and using them to continually move forward is key to survival, both in life and in business.
The introduction of Chris as the MD of Denvir was a key change in the business. Chris brought in a fresh perspective and many new ideas for Denvir’s brand which are apparent in the business today – instilling the idea to make everything we do ‘greater than great’. We also started to shape a >GREAT new team, creating a strong, positive brand culture by searching closer to home – sourcing talent living and invested in the local area who would be proud to help build a successful and trusted central Scotland business. When they dubbed themselves the Denvirites, it seemed we were on the right track.
Having kept client relationships at the heart of what we do, and by bringing in a team that lives the values of the business we wanted to be, Denvir is now in the best position it has ever been to help build our clients’ businesses. Offering a full range of marketing services, driven by Suzanne’s entrepreneurial mindset, Denvir has proven the ability to take brands from non-existence to market time and time again – recently helping a client secure over £2,000,000 in investment to aid in the establishment of Growers Garden. A trend for success Denvir aims to continue far into the future, whatever challenges remain ahead.
Suzanne’s Top 5 Entrepreneurial Take-aways
- Resilience is vital: You can’t always predict what’s going to happen in the future, but you need to be prepared to make challenging decisions.
- Learn from the lows: There are highs and lows in any business. Although the lows are the toughest, they are the points where you can learn the most and often present great opportunities for growth. They also make you appreciate the highs more!
- Develop your team and culture: Commit to finding people aligned with the values of your business and hold on to them. Nurture their individual talents, grow a culture which builds both them and your business, and encourage their future development.
- Build strong relationships: This applies in all areas, but especially with your team, clients, suppliers and stakeholders. When the going gets tough, these relationships will decide if your business keeps going.
- Live your legacy: Although it might not always feel front of mind, your legacy is being built right now. It is a product of all your decisions and actions made along the way. Your initial vision and the reasons you started your entrepreneurial journey is the point you started to create your legacy. Keep this in mind and it’ll help lay the foundation for something that could long outlive you. Something I believe all true entrepreneurs want to achieve.
Find out more about BAWE Scotland at: https://www.bawe-scotland.org/
If you are an entrepreneur looking to launch or develop your brand, contact Denvir via: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01786 448 160.