Brave new world
Brave – Adventures for Independent Women is a relatively new start-up. HR manager, Emma Patten has created an adventure & events company exclusively for women who want to get themselves out of their comfort zone and build up their confidence.
The concept resonated with me right from the start. I feel like there are a many of us who harbour secret desires to be bold solo adventurers but are a little afraid of taking the first step. Most of my friends have a family and can’t just nip off for a day or two of antics. My husband isn’t always interested in the same adventures as I am, and we both like doing some things independently of each other. So the idea of a day of adventure, that has been arranged as a smaller group of women is perfect.
I signed up for the first White Water Rafting event last September and loved it. Emma’s organisation and attention to detail was faultless and I really enjoyed being part of a female only group. Each one of us had our own reason for coming all varied, but it was interesting to hear their stories and what brought us all to the same point that day. After an initial introductory session, we spent the rest of the day as a close-knit team and really helped each other through some pretty hairy moments – like falling into fast flowing rapids. It was supportive, encouraging, empowering and restorative. And most of all thrilling!
I caught up with Emma recently to speak to her more about the business side of Brave and find out how things are going.
Michelle: Hi Emma, thanks for talking to be about Brave. What stage are you at with your business?
Emma: Just started up about 9 months ago on a part time basis whilst still working full time.
M: What’s your role in the business?
E: Currently a little of everything!
M: Do you have any partners?
E: Not currently.
M: What is/was the biggest challenge to starting up?
E: Knowing where to start, how to sell your product without a Facebook Page or Website or how to start a Facebook Page or Website without a product! Also starting out whilst still working full time and juggling time has been tricky. My main issue is complete lack of knowledge of how to market my product.
M: When did you know it was going to work out?
E: In all honesty I’m still figuring this part out but when I sold out of my first trip and saw the reactions from my customers it gave me confidence that I was onto a winner!
M: What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
E: That you don’t have to have everything perfect before you start launching your product.
M. If you started over today, what would you do differently?
E: Structure my time so that I work in short focussed bursts rather than meandering for hours at a time and not being all that productive.
M: Who are your customers:
E: Female from a broad age range. Those who want to get out and try new things but perhaps haven’t got like minded friends to do things with.
M: How do you market your business to them?
E: Currently via a MeetUp group, Facebook page and adverts and most recently from my website.
M: Do you use social media? If so which ones and how often do you post?
E: Yes I do. I have yet to get into a full routine of regular posts which is something I need to get better at. I use Facebook mostly and also Instagram.
M. Name one thing you want to know about social media?
E: How to broaden your customer base.
M: What’s the first business-related thing you typically do every morning? And last thing at night?
E: Normally check what, if any, bookings have come through and ensure that the payments are in. Lastly would normally check any outstanding messages from potential customers.
M. What’s the biggest challenge you currently face?
E: Keeping momentum when you don’t always sell out.
M: If you had more time in the day, how would you spend it?
E: Building up a programme of events more quickly and spending more time growing customer base.
M: Do you have any wisdom for anyone else starting out?
E: Get some advice in the areas you don’t have the knowledge of. I would also recommend having a coach to help hold you to account.