4 June 2021|Female Founder Spotlight, Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
In another installment of our insightful Successful Founder series, we meet Tara Best, founder of two successful businesses and a one-woman positivity machine! Tara is on a mission to change the lives of 1 million women by 2025 with her blend of mindset and marketing coaching. We caught up with Tara to hear about her story so far and learn how she’s driven by helping women reach their full potential and fall in love with their businesses.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
I’m a farmer’s wife who loves her Louboutin heels, wears pink cocktail dresses to Zoom call my clients and just loves being the most successful juxtaposition out there! I’m a Royal Agricultural University graduate who is immersed in the equestrian and country lifestyle and now help people with mindset and marketing! I own and run two companies. The first is Tara Punter PR, offering targeted PR and marketing services for businesses in the equestrian, agriculture, and countryside sector at all stages of their journey, from startups to established global brands. The other is Tara Punter Coaching – helping service-based women smash through their inner glass ceiling to create a dream life and business. I had managerial roles before going self-employed in June 2015, they helped me learn how to manage people and deal with tricky situations. I also did a little marketing and events planning as part of those roles which have helped me in my career.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
I fell into the world of journalism, which led to me selling my services in social media management and then PR. I said yes when I didn’t know how I’d pull something off! I networked, I introduced myself to people, I asked for opportunities, I did anything initially to get my business off the ground. So, it was all accidental to be honest! I then started getting such good results for myself and was helping my clients sell out of products on social media that people approached me to coach them on how to nail social media. That was when I started doing power hours where I would just help people make Facebook or Twitter work for them, the results were astounding, and it really made me want to do it more.
I grabbed every single opportunity when it came my way. I have a real talent for building relationships which is just perfect for PR, and I also observed how brands were stuck with how to get awareness in print and on digital channels. I knew I could offer them help, so it was just a matter of approaching people!
How did you achieve awareness?
Being authentic and truly understanding the problems and needs of my clients. I’ve also ensured I’m always visible, showing up consistently on social media, speaking at events, saying yes to doing guest masterclasses/podcast interviews, and returning to my university as a guest lecturer for their Entrepreneur & Enterprise Programme. Personal PR as well as for clients, word of mouth. I attended networking events, met people at events and just kept showing up.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
I haven’t had any funding at all – I literally went self-employed with not a penny of savings (no exaggeration – I didn’t even have 1p in my ISA!) and £200 in my bank. I had been so unhappy at work that I knew I just HAD to make this business work and I was willing to do whatever it took. Totally organic growth – no ad spend, just my followers on social media and all organic. That growth also driven by investing in myself – first invested in a coach when I hit rock bottom April 2017, knew it was a case of finding that first £100 investment in a power hour or give up as I could see no way through. That got me so far, then Oct 2018 I invested $12,000 in a 12-month mastermind, as with every investment I make, I do it when I don’t have the money or before I feel ready. I opted for the payment plan option and knew I just needed to make that first investment.
I then attended a weeklong business retreat in a multi-million-dollar mansion in Beverly Hills – it changed my life (and gave me inspiration to run my own high-level retreats.) I haven’t been without a coach for more than a month or two since April 2017 – I truly believe in continually investing in myself. The more I grow, the more I need to invest as new challenges come up, for example embracing money mindset and manifesting. Realising helping people grow their business was most rewarding element of my working life. My PR and marketing business was (and still is!) going strong, but I was happiest when coaching. I started coaching one off power hours late 2016; it was as a direct result of seeing the positive impact of my own mindset that I wanted to help others do the same. I started offering proper coaching programmes 2018/early 2019. Then split the company into two – one coaching, one PR and Marketing and I’m so grateful to have a wonderful lady called Victoria running the entire PR company. Perfect blend of mindset and marketing.
What are the key successes?
Being interviewed live on Beverly Hills chat show Good Morning La La Land, talking about women in business
Being invited back to my university, the Royal Agricultural University, as a guest lecturer
Going from being totally broke/rock bottom in April 2017 to running a 6-figure company in 2019.
Having an epic team and support network, that I am thankful to have kept through the past 12 months where the business has continued to grow (nearly doubling in size once again, despite the pandemic!)
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
Outsourcing for first time – this was terrifying. I had plateaued in business and knew the only way to grow and help more people was to start growing the team. My business was (and still is) my baby and this was hands down one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done. I was worried that someone might come along and steal my clients/ideas or not do the work properly and I’d end up paying them and then having to re-do it. It was honestly terrifying. I did a post on social media saying I was looking for journalists/writers to help write content. Victoria got in touch (among about 50 others), that was October 2017 and she’s still here now, now in charge of all things PR for me and our clients! It was the best thing I’ve ever done. I now have a lovely team of ladies and freelancers who support me in my big mission.
Separating the company into 2 – it got to be a point that I felt my social media wasn’t working, nor was my website and my attention/focus was being too split. Initially I chose to split the Instagram account into two, then did the websites and I’m now working on accounts/brand missions/future proofing and setting and smashing epic goals on each!
Learning how to run a company, grow and manage a team and look after my clients! There was so much trial and error, lots of learning, asking for advice and continuing to invest. I will be the first to admit I have made some costly mistakes but really do see each as a valuable lesson. There really is only so much you can do, know, and grow on your own and my investments in coaches and support over the years has reflected my growth and new areas of focus and goals.
Limiting beliefs and dealing with money management/cash flow/pricing/raising prices – I am continually investing in myself to learn more so I can run better and more successful businesses! Again, there have been things I’ve done that haven’t worked but asking for help has been so valuable.
How to deal with those who try to copy you – they say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but it is hard to see it that way when it happens, especially when it happens so blatantly. I am so strong in my own mindset and beliefs, so I try to shine above it and continue being so consistent in my brand pillars. Recognising that it doesn’t reflect badly on me has been important. Plus, I’ll still try and take it as a compliment!
What are your plans now and for the future?
I have a massive mission – 2025 marks 10 years since I took the scary self-employed plunge and I really want to do something special to mark the occasion. I also want to have helped 1 million+ women by then so we’ve some big goals in place to make that happen! Shorter term plans – my one-to-one coaching has been pretty much fully booked and sold out for the first 2 years so I’m now looking at offering different packages to still be able to support people – I’m really excited to be re-launching my mastermind this summer, making it even bigger, better and bolder than ever before so I really can help more people shine and have the businesses they desire and deserve. I want to continue to help women change their mindsets and their lives through coaching and exclusive, luxury in person retreats. I’m also working towards creating a 7-figure company by the end of 2022 to enable me to continue to grow my team, invest more, donate more to my chosen charities and help more people.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
Just give it a go! It really is the best thing, and it is SO rewarding. Yes, there are hard days/times but getting through those and getting to a point where they are very few and far between makes you so proud. You also don’t need to know all the answers – just think about what you are passionate about, what skills you have (from life, education, past employment etc) and start thinking about how you can turn that into a business. If you love helping people, coaching could be an option. If you love baking, you could sell your homemade wares to people! If you love adventure, how about setting up an adventure company at a nearby farm or centre? There are so many great options out there! Make sure you have a support network of people on a similar journey/trajectory – this will really help for the highs and lows. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – it’s a sign of strength not weakness!
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
1. Start before you are ready – there will never be the perfect time or moment to start or launch anything.
2. Know that you have everything within you to get through whatever life throws at you! There will undoubtably be tough times but just keep going, even if it’s the tiniest step forward, just take it.
3. Celebrate every single win – no matter how big or small. Time and time again I see business owners only celebrate the big wins, but let’s not forget, every small win leads to the big wins, so big or small, we celebrate them all!
4. Invest in a coach or mentor – honestly this is the only wish I have in my business, that I invested sooner. But life’s too short for retreats, I’m just glad I did! There really is only so much you can do on your own, and you will save SO much time and money in making that investment and having someone help you get to where you want to go much quicker than you ever could work it out on your own.
5. Get your mindset on point! Success in any area of your life is 80% mindset and only 20% strategy or skill. Having a good mindset for business isn’t just thinking positively and believing that everything will go well, it’s about removing limiting beliefs or blocks that are going to hold you back, having the inner strength to cope with whatever life/business throws at you and knowing that your mind is as, if not more than, driven for your goals as you are!
6. Dream BIG! It takes no more energy to dream big than it does to dream small and so many people fail to dream big enough. Get dreaming as big as you can because anything really is possible in life and business.
7. Make sure you’re doing at least one thing a week that is moving the needle in your business and getting you from where you are to where you want to go. It’s so easy to get caught up in the doing of tasks and working IN the business, don’t dismiss working ON the business and planning the future!
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most?
Amanda Frances – born and raised in Oklahoma, now living in L.A she is the money queen! I love her story, how she has come from nothing and is now a multi-millionaire – this really inspires me! I also love her book, Rich As F*ck: More Money Than You Know What To Do With. I love how she’s normalising women earning a lot of money while loving what they do.
Emma Van Heusen – she’s a local business lady and marketing expert who started her business around the same time as me and went on to hit 7 figures quite quickly, she really is an inspiration to me!
Niyc Pidgeon – Newcastle born, now living in L.A and multi-millionaire coach, proves anything is possible. https://www.instagram.com/niycpidge/
My Mum! She never gave up on her dreams and always worked for what she wanted. Even when I was such a young age, she always told me I can have anything I put my mind to and these are words I now live by and tell my clients and followers. She’s a powerhouse of a woman!
Alison Edgar – local entrepreneur, author and recently awarded an MBE! It’s great to see that someone so local can achieve such greatness! I interviewed her for my blog when I first started out and she was just lovely, it’s been great following her successes over the past few years. https://www.instagram.com/thealisonedgar/
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
“You can have anything you want in life if you’re willing to work for it and put your mind to it!”
“What you believe is what you achieve.”
“Too busy working on me to compare myself to you.”
“If you do not feed your mind with success, it will rot with mediocrity.”
What are your social handles and website links so our readers can connect with you?