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Product Launch Expert, Sarah Shaw Reveals How She Launched Consultancy, Entreprenette

Learn how Sarah started her product launch consultancy for women entrepreneurs and why she believes bootstrapping trumps raising outside capital.

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I knew nothing about consulting either, but I realized I enjoyed teaching other entrepreneurs how to do things and solve problems.

After a few years of consulting, I launched Entreprenette full-time with the intention of teaching women small business owners how to avoid all of the mistakes I made. My goal was to show women entrepreneurs the steps to success. Today, I teach women entrepreneurs how to launch products, get distribution in stores, gain media coverage and navigate celebrity product placement.

Best Success Story:

As a handbag designer, I had many successes and big media moments that I am proud of. The first press placement that really impressed me was an InStyle magazine feature of a handbag I made for Julia Roberts to wear in the movie Ocean’s 11. This placement got me into Bergdorf Goodman, and I had been trying to get my product into their store for a few years.

Another success I experienced was a product placement dream — having one of my handbags used in the movie Legally Blonde. The result was an influx of sales orders, to the tune of $100,000 from Nordstrom and hundreds of other boutiques.

Biggest Startup Challenge:

My biggest challenge came when I decided to launch my product launch consultancy, Entreprenette. Initially, I didn’t know the steps involved with putting together consulting packages.

After bumbling around for about 6 months trying to do it myself, I finally decided to invest in a high-end business coach who showed me the tricks of the trade and all of her shortcuts to success.

If I was going to ask other entrepreneurs to invest in me, I figured I’d better be willing to do the same and it paid off in spades.

#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs:

Be certain that you have exhausted all of your self-funded resources prior to going to pitching angels, VC’s or taking on outside investments. Often giving away pieces of your company can be avoided if you bootstrap, look harder for cost-effective opportunities, and hire out certain jobs.

Connect with Sarah on Twitter and Facebook.

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Photo Credit: Sarah Shaw

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