The idea for Arpana to start her own business came from her father who passed away in 1999. He established a very successful business in children’s clothing, with his enthusiasm and passion despite having very little capital. The qualities that Arpana saw in him whilst growing up made her determined that one day she too would create something of her own.
That ‘one day’ came for her when her children started going to school as Arpana wanted to do something which would fit in with their schooling hours. Around that time her marriage also ended, and This made her determined to start that business so that she could be financially independent and create a secure future for herself and her children. With this determination, Arpana took the biggest gamble of her life and started her own practice. The path was not an easy one, but the inspiration and determination to keep going eventually made her see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Who’s your favourite entrepreneur and why?
“My favourite entrepreneur is Janine Allis who created the concept of healthy juices and smoothies. I like how she describes herself as the Accidental Entrepreneur where things were not planned but it evolved in a sound business. Despite having so many challenges and difficulties, she has grown her business to a higher level and achieved so much whilst balancing her family life.”
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
“Being an entrepreneur gives me the perfect work and family life balance. I love the fact that I can spend quality time with my children and can also do work that I am passionate about and enjoy. The opportunity of being able to balance these two important elements of my life is not something that most parents get. This has also given me the chance to focus on my own mental and physical health. As a single mother, I wanted to show my children that absolutely anything is possible if you are enthusiastic and passionate about it and have the drive and perseverance to see it through. Being an entrepreneur has given me the platform to reflect that. Teaching them by example how to be a self-sufficient, goal-driven and having a degree of independence emotionally and financially is the most important wealth I could leave for them behind.”
What three pieces of advice do you wish you’d been given when you started?
- Mental strength- When you are establishing your business from scratch, having that mindset to overcome hurdles and challenges requires a lot of endurance, patience and self-realisation.
- That when trying something new, you would fail few times as the concept might be new, but never to accept failure. Because when you accept failure, that’s when you stop trying.
- To be prepared that money would be very tight in the first 2 years of the business. Need to have plans for income gaps if the business cannot fulfil a regular salary.
What advice would YOU give someone thinking about starting a business?
The advice would be to remember the 4Ps:
- Passion – love what you do and believe you are good at it.
- Patience – treat it as your newborn baby- expect some teething issues.
- Persistence – eventually losses will turn into profits if you keep at it
- People – that clients and networks are not about numbers, but you need to treat them with values, respect and understanding of their needs.
What skills and knowledge areas would you recommend those starting out in business get acquainted with quickly?
“Business/Goal planning- Having a business plan will direct how to drive your business on a successful road. Many small business owners do not spend time on goal setting or the direction of the business.
Time Management Skill- as business owners we are always time poor as we try to perform many task our self like doing own websites, bookkeeping and lead generation. Outsource what you are not good at as it would save time and stress.
Financial/Money- Having a basic financial understanding/ knowledge is important as at the end of the day numbers are telling the story how well the business is performing. If you can spend some time every month understanding how the business have performed, this would provide you better insight on improvements and cost savings.”
What does your IDEAL business look like? Even if you’re not there yet, what would it look like if your business was ideal?
“My IDEAL business plan is to automate compliance tasks and provide more business advisory services where I coach small business owners on their financial numbers and drive them towards their own business goals.”
What problem does being a Member of the HerBusiness Network solve for you and your business? And, how?
“Having a network to whom I am accountable to, or go to a place where I could do learning and enhance my skill set, I think HerBusiness provides me with that platform.”
Having a network of strong business women not only provides networking and business growth but I am constantly learning from their experiences and knowledge of particular skill.”