Interview with an Entrepreneur – Founder of Ultimo and Managing Director of MJM International, Michelle Mone
Welcome to ‘Interview with an entrepreneur’, a series where we talk to entrepreneurs, industrialists & leading businessman and delve into their business mind. Today we interview Michelle Mone who is the Managing Director of MJM International and Founder of Ultimo, the range of bra’s.
What does your average workday consist of?
No day is the same, which is part of the reason why I love my job. Some days I am back to back with business meetings whilst others I am giving speeches to professionals or with Ultimo I could be on set of a lingerie shoot with a world star – lots of variety!
How will you deal with increasing competition in your industry? I always take competition head on. There is no point hiding away, you need to be the best at what you do and confident in your product.
Do you believe your target market has changed?
Ultimo appeals to such a broad target market and we have different brands under the Ultimo umbrella that are target specific. We have just ventured into the world of beauty so that is opening doors for new customers.
Do you believe that young people who wish to start a business should go through the traditional route of attending university?
It’s a personal choice. I didn’t go to university and I guess I’ve done okay. Some individuals thrive on education whilst for some it is more beneficial to learn on the job.
Did you grow up in an entrepreneurial environment?
I grew up with a strong work ethic. I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur; my friends had posters of pop stars while I had posters of Richard Branson.
How do you see your industry developing in the next 3-5 years?
Lingerie constantly has to move forward to cope with the demands of ladies fashion. I look to create solution lingerie to solve women’s lingerie dilemmas.
What three pieces of advice would you give to a young entrepreneur starting out today?
- Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail – you must be organised and cover every detail and eventuality so you a prepared for any situation.
- Research – it is important to research your market, know your competitors inside out and learn from the mistakes they make so you don’t make them yourself.
- Don’t give up – if you have the fire in your belly and a can do attitude you can achieve anything. Don’t fall at the first hurdle.