In 2018 we teamed up as a mother and daughter duo to launch a gin brand. Like many small businesses, we had many stumbling blocks along the way and, as we are both strong personalities and fiercely independent, we had to have ground rules. Now in our 4th year, we have learned much along the way.

Philly and Laura

Philly and Laura

Here are our top tips:

· Firstly, it’s truly wonderful working alongside women. We think pretty much on the same wavelength, have a natural empathy and are great at building relationships.

· However, our emotions can get in the way at times, so we strive to keep a level head, something that we have had to learn along the way.

· Understand each other’s strengths and be bold enough to admit what you need help with, and work to those strengths. Women tend to say more words than men, so we have had to learn to listen more and say less.

· Don’t be afraid to voice concerns and don’t be afraid to disagree. If things are gearing towards a disagreement, step back and take time out. Try not to be judgemental, even if you feel you are right.

· It’s good to write things down, all the nitty gritty stuff and, most importantly, the pros and cons about what you are doing. Have a plan and work that plan in as much detail as you can. Look at all the possibilities.

· Decide if you are a reactive person and if you are, let the other partner in the business take the lead at times, rather than being impulsive.

· Learning to be incredibly patient takes time and other people’s agenda is not yours. It’s easy to get so excited that we want things immediately, so learn that things might take longer than expected.

· Have a level of expectation. Plan your business as thoroughly as you can and ask someone to review it.

· Be open to criticism but don’t let others steal your dreams. If you are passionate about what you are doing, you will ride the tide.

· Have the first year mapped out in detail. Every little detail matters and have a ‘what if’ scenario, a Plan B, because things don’t always go to plan! You will probably have lots of Plan Bs.

· It’s fantastic to be ambitious but not to be overly so. Be real in what you think will happen.

· Re-group often: plan – do - review.

· Praise each other when things go well, however small. It’s easy to get despondent when times are tough.

· Hang on tight to what you believe in.

· Don’t go off track, which is easily done.

· Reward yourselves. We love treats and surprises, however small. And celebrate big time when things have gone really well!

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Gracie & Sophie Tyrrell are sisters and founders of Squirrel Sisters, an award-winning, no added sugar snacking brand. They founded the company in 2015 after Sophie was diagnosed with a heart condition that needed surgery. After the procedure Sophie started reacting really badly to sugar and processed foods, so Gracie made it her mission to create delicious snacks that she could enjoy and also ticked all the health credentials she needed....