Entrepreneur Spotlight: Sophie Amarouso
Sophia Amarouso is known to most people as the founder of Nasty Gal, an American vintage fashion brand, and Girlboss, a professional social networking platform for female entrepreneurs.
Her story distinguishes itself as a unique story of success in raising a multi-million dollar brand from an online eBay store to a multinational without a cent of debt finance.
“I was working in the lobby of an art school when I started my eBay store. And I did almost everything myself in the beginning.”
Come 2011, the company sales had skyrocketed, going from $1.1 million to $28 million in a span of three years.
Nasty Gal secured $40 million investment after that, and with it, higher sales expectations – laying out a KPI for annual sales from $28 million to $128 million in one year.
However, this was a shock to a system.
The company hired 100 new employees almost immediately and proceeded to implement its growth plan without having enough data to know whether it was what they needed. From a purely organic growth, without secure foundations in place, the growth expected by the investors could not be delivered.
“Things became too complex too fast.”
In 2016, Nasty Gal filed for bankruptcy, leaving behind a legacy to be acquired by a British retailer BooHoo Group, and, for us, a number of lessons to be learnt.
“There are secret opportunities hidden inside every failure.”
Every investment comes with a Return on Investment expectation. Without a suitable architecture and well-defined growth plan in place, no matter how successful your business was, you still could be at risk of mismanaging this investment.
Specific KPIs, structured and clearly defined job responsibilities, project management, detailed timesheets, and careful risk analysis of every new opportunity will become crucial when managing growth with your new investment.
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