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Health & Her

Five ways to give your new business idea a healthy start.

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Kate Bache and Gervase Fay founded Health & Her in 2019. Their business provides a range of supplements and a digital tool to support women’s wellbeing during the menopause and perimenopause. Starting out as an ecommerce site, their products are now available in over 5,000 stores throughout the UK. Kate spoke to Barclays Business about five things that helped their start-up go from strength to strength.

1. Do something no one else is doing

Every woman experiences the menopause differently, so we built a unique menopause tool that allowed women to navigate their personal journey. Around 30,000 women within the first four months used the tool. We then worked with university data scientists, which gave us a huge amount of insight into the intricacies of menopause, and really helped refine our retail offering.

2. Know your market

Both Gervase and I have backgrounds in marketing and innovation. And we were used to dealing with retailers. Using all the data we had from our menopause tool we were able to develop a range of supplements that we thought would do well in the shops. Not just in the UK, either – Health & Her products are now available in the US, Ireland, Netherlands and Germany too.

3. Pick a supportive banking partner

Our previous bank had a start-up incubator but it felt like an exclusive club. So we had a look at the Barclays Eagle Labs and they were so much more welcoming and supportive. That made everything a lot easier for us. Diversity was important too. They were very keen on promoting female founders. With all the help and services they offered – and the specific advice on the healthcare sector – we quickly switched banks.

4. Cash is king

Even if things are going well, and you’ve got funding in place, you still need to keep a close eye on your cashflow. Retailers, for example, may not pay you back for 60 to 90 days. So one of the best things Barclays did for us was introduce us to a specialist invoice factoring company. This not only solved our cashflow challenges, but because this company knew our sector and could scale with us, they became an ideal partner as we grew.

5. Team culture is all-important

When you’re scaling very quickly, you’re having to hire quickly too. And it’s really hard to hang on to that great team culture that kept everyone going in the early stages. We have worked hard on maintaining a tightly-knit team where everyone has bought into the culture we want at Health & Her.

“Whenever we’ve had challenges around investment or cashflow, Barclays have always been there to support and help us.”