Grow Your Business From the Ground Up
By Fatima Gorezi
Natasha Necati is Business Woman, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. She has a passion to see individuals succeed, be it in business, life goals or just stepping out of the box and stepping up to the challenge of life. She runs multiple businesses with her husband and she loves the excitement of business. Being able to build strategies and putting processes in place. She is the director of Global Woman Club City London and she enjoys speaking to women, entrepreneurs and young people alike. She believes that we are all role models to each other and each of us has something to share.
Tell us more about your career and business. Where have you started?
I have been in business for the last 12+ years, and I love what I do. Some days not as much, but I find that having a why – a personal reason why I chose this route – will help on the days that you question yourself as entrepreneurs and as business owners. Having that reason and goal keeps me moving forward, not only for my own personal growth but for the growth of the business.
I run the family business with my husband alongside managing a property portfolio and in addition to that, I’m currently creating several new brands. It’s so exciting to go from initial concept, to the design and personality of a new brand, and eventually to the launch. I’ve put a lot of thought into these and I’m excited to see these come to life.
One of my passions is to see individuals succeed, not just in business, but in their life goals as well. As business owners, whether life is going great or not so great, the business still needs to run. We all have bills to pay and, in my case, a team that relies on you.
I’m often asked how I joined Crafty Arts, and I actually married into the family business. The business is celebrating 28 years and started off as a local art shop. My now-husband Jay used to work in the shop as a teenager and didn’t like being shop-based, so left to pursue a career in website design. The business was steadily growing, and the dawn of the internet began to rise and Jay returned to Crafty Arts to launch their first eCommerce store. Around that time, we got engaged, and had to save for the wedding: I worked alongside him on weekends and evenings and found that I thrived on the excitement of growing this new side of the business. A year after we got married, I took the decision to leave my full-time job to work alongside Jay. Joining the business was one of the scariest and most exciting decisions that I have ever made and I’ve never looked back.
12 years on we have grown the online side of Crafty Arts to be 90% of the business. Over those years, we closed our stores and found home in our Romford location. We own the premises, which enables us to run the business on our own terms. We have an on-site warehouse and launched our training room (The Creative Hub) where we teach and inspire others to Be Creative Daily. The business itself has survived two recessions, and we have learned to adapt, grow and move fast to stay ahead of our competitors. Now with over 10,000 products and a great team, we are proud to call ourselves a multi award-winning company, as well as a multi-million pound independent.
What have you learnt over the years?
Over the years, I have found that I have enjoyed sharing my experiences through tips and strategies to help others grow or start their own business. The one thing that I have learnt is that there is an art to it and this is where our training programmes come into play. We show business owners how to grow their business from the ground up and to not limit themselves in their thinking or knowledge.
Whether you are starting a business or wanting to expand your current business, one of the things that I have learnt is to be intentional and to set your goal. It doesn’t matter how big it is; it is all achievable. Once you believe that, the next step is to create your plan, break it down into segments and set your deadlines. Putting this process in place enables you to be accountable to yourself and gives you a clear guideline of where you need to focus, creating your first roadmap.
This August, I had the pleasure of becoming the City London director for Global Woman. I am passionate for seeing women, in particular, grow. Grow as individuals, grow in business and be brave enough to have a voice and share their accomplishments. Part of my role as a mentor, encourager and cheerleader is to do just that.
The mastermind program Think Big & Go Global: how has it changed you?
Being part of the Think Big & Go Global programme has pushed me to go further and to think bigger. I was looking to launch the Art of Business next year, but as Tony Robins says: “When is NOW the right time?”
So, it pushed me to Think Big and grow now.
Next year I am organising my first women’s retreat. For women already in business or those looking to start their journey. There is so much I wish I knew at the beginning of my journey, and I’m excited to share and help nurture the next generation of businesswomen with processes they can implement.
You can find out more information on this luxury Women In Business retreat at www.artofbusiness.co.uk : quote code GWM19 and receive a discount Global Woman Magazine Discount.
You are now the director of Global Woman Club City London. What’s your leadership style?
Yes, I became a director in August of this year. I would say that my style is to be open, to listen and be available to support. In the business that I run with my husband, I have made sure that I have an open-door policy. I have worked at previous places where I felt that I couldn’t approach my bosses. That is one thing that I always said that I would change when I ran my own business.
Everyone is different. You have your confident characters and others that need time to warm up to you, or those that are learning to grow their confidence. Not everyone falls into a group and finds meeting new people easy, so my role as a director is to bring people and businesses together. To encourage and build people up and make sure that they feel supported.
You are an author and a successful public speaker as well. What is the key to success when communicating with the public?
Yes, I am in the process of writing my first book that dips into many of my experiences. Things that I have learnt along the way through the businesses that I run. The fact that I work alongside my husband is crucial, as not everyone can work alongside their partner and do it well. I also tap into the reasons why I chose to become a trustee for the Miscarriage Association. Because what I have learnt is that life can be really hard at times. However, if you are running a business/es you just have to keep moving forward. Your business needs to stay afloat, and your team needs to get paid at the end of the month.
In life and when I am on stage speaking, I try to be authentic not just by what I say, but also in what I do. I touch on my experiences, as I feel that when you are on stage, it is important to connect with your listeners. They don’t just want to hear about you; they want examples of how you got through specific situations. They want to be able to implement your strategies into their lives.
I have found that as a public speaker, you have three roles to play; to inspire, to educate and to question.
Inspire the listener to think outside of the box and remind them that anything is possible.
Educate the listener by giving them strategies and tips that they can implement in their own lives.
Question them: could they do more? Should they do more? etc.
What is ‘Your Personal Success Code’ and how did you develop it?
That is a good question; it all depends how you measure your success. I see everything that I do as a success. Now I know that sounds big-headed, but that isn’t my intention. You see, the reason why I say that is because every step I make ultimately takes me one step closer to my goal. I have this saying “It doesn’t matter if you are on your knees crawling, all that matters is that you are moving in the right direction”.
This is something that I have used over many years. Breaking down the big goal that you want to achieve and to see each step as an achieved goal. You see, I used to set these goals for the year and when I got to the end of the year, I didn’t feel like I had accomplished much. I had all of these great intentions, but I didn’t measure them. I got to November and realised that I didn’t achieve half of the things that I wanted to achieve and it was too late in the year to make much happen. By then, of course I felt defeated.
Then I read a book called the “12 Week Year”, and it changed my life. The concept is to see each quarter as a year. You create the goals that you want to achieve, and you check them each week, so you know where you are at, what goal is achieved, what didn’t you accomplish. My added favourite is to write down what was your surprise bonuses.
I check my wins on a weekly basis. At the end of each day I look back to see if there was anything major that happened. If it did. I add it to my wins list and then at the end of the week and the end of the quarter I will reflect on what I have achieved. You see it is so easy to look back on the week and focus on how hard it was. But I decided to turn that on it’s head and focus on the good things.
Why do you think there is such a growing market for online stores?
In the UK, sadly the high street is dying. The rent and the rates are ridiculously high, and it is hard for the shop to compete with online, due to overheads.
12 years ago we saw that there was a huge potential to take the business online and we took it. It was a huge learning curve, as running a shop and running an online business may have the same products but are very different businesses. The products may be the same, but the processes are very different. In 2014 we came to the end of our lease of 15 years at the Bluewater shopping centre and decided to renew it or open any other shopping centre shops. But to open a one-stop-shop, where we had the online, retail shop and a creative hub (where we teach people how to use the products that we sell). 2015 that dream came true, and we have continually to grown from strength to strength. I believe that it is still important to have a shop for the local community; however the majority of our business is through our e-commerce service due to selling on our own website (CraftyArts.co.uk) and other platforms like Amazon and eBay.
I have found that the majority of customers want ease: they know what they want, so they order the product and want it delivered as soon as possible to a destination of their choice.
What do you see as the major issues facing this industry?
Unfortunately, I would have to say it’s price point. We have found that some of our competitors are happy to drive the price down. That makes no sense to me, since e are all in the business to make money. So to try and counteract issues such as these, we have created software that shows us how low we can go. Adding in all cost factors, giving us an idea of how much our competitor is loosing out on each sale. We have put things in place to ensure that we do not go below our minimum selling price, so ensure that we do not work at a loss.
Years ago, that wasn’t an issue. You would go into a shop, see the item and purchase it. Now customers have the ability to be savvier. Choices are easier to obtain through the use of price comparison sites, helping them to stretch their pennies. I don’t blame them, as I do the same too.
What advice would you give to women who want to have a great career like yourself?
Be determined and believe in yourself. I always say that you can’t expect people to believe in you before you believe in you. People will buy your services and products because they believe in you and because they trust in what you say. So also be yourself, as there is only one of you.
As females, many of us are not confident enough: we have the skills, but we don’t always believe that we can. That is why it is so important to make sure that you are feeding yourself on a daily basis. Now, I am not talking about cakes and doughnuts. I am talking about personal development books, audiobooks, podcasts, even create your own affirmations. If you are not growing, then you can’t expect your business to grow and that is why I think that trying to learn on a daily basis is so important. You may not use the skills that you have learnt that day or even that year. But believe me, at some point it will come in handy.
What are your goals for the future?
I am really excited for the year ahead; I have a lot planned. I am currently in the process of creating some art brands, of which the first one “Crafty Arts Essentials” will launch in time for Christmas.
With the success of Crafty Arts, myself and my husband Jay are launching “Art of Business”, which is a series of training programmes. Training and supporting people wanting to go on-line or grow their online business. Over the years we have grown the business to become an award-winning and a multi-million-pound company and we will show people how to do the same. In addition to that, under the banner of Art of Business. I will be launching my first luxury women’s retreat for women leaders and business owners. You see, so often we are constantly focusing on the business and everyone else, but not ourselves. This retreat does just that, as well as allowing you to work on your business rather just in your business. If you are interested, please register at www.artofbusiness.co.uk and receive a free white paper on “Software is Key to your Business”.