Marissa Carter on what it takes to launch a successful business

Businesswoman and mum-of-two Marissa Carter is going from strength to strength. In addition to her Cocoa Brown tanning empire, she has just launched an entire make-up collection under the name Carter Beauty Cosmetics. It's fair to say she knows a thing or two about being successful.

Related: Ask the Experts - A Masterclass in the Media

On 26th September, Marissa will take part in a Media Masterclass in the Westbury Hotel (tickets available here). She will share her story of building an international brand from scratch; allowing you to develop and expand your PR skills and achieve optimal coverage for your brand in these increasingly competitive times. Enjoy delicious canapés and champagne on arrival while availing of the opportunity to network with like-minded guests before we begin our in-depth, comprehensive chat.

But first, Marissa sat down to talk us through what it takes to launch a successful business in Ireland.

Teamwork does make the dream work

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"The team of people you choose to work with is extremely important," Marissa tells us. "One of the biggest mistakes people in business make is always wanting to be the best person in the room, or the most intelligent.

"Another business faux-pas is trying to do everything yourself and not trusting others to do as good a job as you think you'd do yourself. There are, of course, elements of the business that I will always want to look after myself, but it is impossible to scale your business without giving away control; the reality is there will always only be one of you.

 

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"Go with your gut when hiring staff," she adds. "I have made the mistake where I have hired someone because, on paper, they were the most qualified for the job (and went against my gut feeling that they weren't right for the job). I lived to regret it.

"This time around, I chose my team of women based on my instincts about them; and on how much smarter and more skilled they were than me in certain areas. I once read that 'leaders create other leaders, not followers', and this has stuck with me. I have very strong women working for me. I didn't want a team that would just agree with everything I said."

How to become a marketing success

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"Marketing is about reminding customers why they should choose your brand above others, but marketing can only take your business so far. If the product you are marketing isn't good enough or disappoints people, then customers will buy it once but never again – and all your marketing efforts will be fruitless.

 

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"So rule number one in business, before you even start to think about how you will market your product, is make sure there's a need for your product. Make sure your product is superior to what's already available to customers, or that it gives them something new. You would be amazed at the amount of people that think if they copy an existing product or idea that they will reap the same rewards.

"My tip for budding marketers is to find out where your customers are. What age are they? What are they reading? Where do they spend their time online? Who do they like or who are they influenced by? Once you know these answers, you can begin to create marketing campaigns aimed at your customers. It is a mistake to try to target everyone, because this will require a marketing spend that no start-up can afford."


Marissa Carter will join Kathryn Mason (CEO and founder of Masonry) and Gerardine Lally (founder of Lally & Associates) for a media masterclass on Wednesday, 26th September at 6 pm. 

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Reserve your tickets today.

Photo via Marissa Carter, Twitter

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