Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Catherine Erdly, Founder & Retail Strategy Consultant of Resilient Retail Ltd, located in London, England, UK.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I work with small and independent product businesses and retailers, including boutique owners, e-commerce brands, online sellers, indie makers, and more. I offer expert support, education, and encouragement to indie brands, makers, independent shopkeepers, E-commerce sellers, and online shops. If you create or curate products you are proud of, then I am here to offer expert advice to make your small business better.

Tell us about yourself

I have 23 years of experience in the retail industry. That is made up of 18 years in big retailers and the last 5 years working with small businesses. I first started my business as I was curious if the years of experience that I had helping big retailers make money would be helpful to small business owners. I absolutely love helping business owners look at what they've built in a different way and help them understand how they can better manage their businesses.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Most recently, I was very proud to be named Charity Champion of the year by Work For Good, which helps businesses make charitable donations. I donate 3% of my sales to charity every year, and it's one of the highlights of what I do. In terms of other achievements, I am very proud to be a contributor and named as one of the top 5 sales advisers in the UK by Enterprise Nation and one of the top 25 retailer influencers by Modern Retail.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Finding the time to get everything done! Staying focused and motivated when there are so many different things you could be doing.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Know your customer. Not just vaguely but in great detail. It might not be about their demographics, e.g., "Age 20 with a pet cat," but it could be about their interests. For example, they are very concerned with sustainability. Knowing your customer will help with everything from working out what products to sell to how to speak to them. And think about not just what they want but what they want right now, in this month, to help you change your messaging throughout the year.
  2. Make sure you make enough money every time you make a sale. The phrase "turnover is vanity, and profit is sanity" is well-known for a reason. You need to make sure that every time you sell an item to a customer, you are making enough profit to support your business. There is only one place your business makes money - and that's the difference between what you sell an item for and what you buy it for. Every other cost has to be covered by this difference, so make sure it's big enough.
  3. Keep an eye on your stock. It is literally make or break for product businesses. At the absolute very least, make sure that you keep good records of how much stock you have so that you can make sure that this number doesn't keep creeping up.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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