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BusinessInternational Women's Day: How Candice Bannister became a female founder

International Women’s Day: How Candice Bannister became a female founder

Owner and founder of Candy’s Cupcakes, Candice Bannister, began making tasty treats as  hobby from her home kitchen in 2011 and grew a local loyal customer base via social media.

Today, Candy’s Cupcakes offers nationwide delivery of its cupcakes, cakes in jars, cakes in boxes, brownies and cookies, and has recently announced a massive £900,000 turnover in 2023, up 31% from 2022.

She now has plans to break the one million pound turnover imminently.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we spoke to Candice (pictured) all about being a female founder and even asked for some top tips to help the next women looking to start a business.

Top tips from Candice Bannister

Don’t be afraid of failure

“Starting my own business has taught me many things. Firstly, anything is possible if you put in the hard work and stay focused. It’s important to take the tough times with the smooth and don’t be afraid to fail! Failure is the key to growth as you will learn from your mistakes. If you’re looking to start your own business, don’t worry about needing a lot of money, as starting small is often the key to success.”

Mum-guilt is normal

“When it comes to being a woman in business, I felt I was only able and willing to begin growing my business when my children were growing up. I set up in 2011 but only began properly expanding and employing staff in 2019 when my youngest was 7 years old and in full time education. The parental responsibility and ‘mum-guilt’ is always there as a business owner.

“I am grateful that I share this experience with my husband and our children and they are able to understand when we are busy or need to work a little extra. I’ve also found that, more often than not, my insight into business pathways and opportunities get questioned, however being strong minded and having a clear focus has meant that I have been able to hold my ground and get my point across, despite this.”

Being a role model

“My physical capabilities as a female in the workplace often get underestimated as we get asked by delivery drivers, on a daily basis, if there’s “a man about to assist”. What I love about being a female founder is that I get to work with great people each day. Personally for me, I love the freedom of not working in a corporate environment anymore and more importantly being able to be a role model to my children and demonstrating to them that they can do whatever they want in the future.

“Both my children are creative and ambitious; they’re my biggest achievement. In fact, becoming a family-focused business, bringing my husband on board in 2021 has also been one of my biggest achievements, as it’s enabled the business to grow physically and financially.”

Seek peer support

“In 2022, we were delighted to get the keys to our current unit, taking it from a complete wreck, investing £35k, and turning it into the five star food hygiene rated kitchen it is today. This is one of our business highlights as it means we can now operate 8am-10pm and open 6 days a week.

“My advice for women looking to start their own business is to seek peer support and join local networking groups. The Business Growth Hub is a great starting place for peer support, as they offer free advice and more importantly signpost to others who can assist with common business issues as well as the more obscure. Also, make sure you find the right work/life balance and it’s important to take time out to do the fun things in life.”

Consistency is key

“If you’re going through a rough time, albeit financially, dealing with customers, managing a team, or simply working too many hours, you must always remember that tomorrow is a new day and you can wipe the slate clean. Don’t get worked up about something that has not yet happened because business is very unpredictable and things can change!”

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