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Victoria Searl

Female Founder Spotlight: Victoria Searl

6 March 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder

IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Victoria Searl
IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Victoria Searl

Victoria is the Founder and Head Hawk at DataHawks: hospitality data analysts who identify, reveal and quantify the most valuable customers to their clients, and help them find more of them. Victoria brings over 27 years of experience working in the world of hospitality – including for brands such as TGI Fridays, Strada, Byron and Café Rouge – from pulling pints, to senior roles in both operations and marketing, through to influencing decision making at board level. 

What would you love to share to encourage other women to start their own business?

“Have faith in your expertise. I spent many years completely immersed in hospitality, watching people make the same decisions based on minimal or no data, expecting better outcomes. I knew things needed to be done differently and that decisions needed to made on fact not presumptions about who was the most valuable customer to the restaurants I was working in. However, it took me a long time to truly believe that my analysis and solution to this was strong enough to form a successful business and one that supports the industry I love. It turns out it absolutely was, so I just encourage you to trust your expertise and insights.”

What are your top 5 tips for entrepreneurial success?

Back yourself. Don’t let any creeping thoughts undermine your venture. They may arise, but practise ways to make them go away as quickly as possible. 

Rely on your knowledge. If you’re at the point of setting up in business or have been running one for years, chances are you know your stuff. 

Use data! I know, of course I was going to say this. But in any industry, understanding who your most valuable  customer is can be totally game changing. It prevents you wasting time, money and energy on a marketing plan (or any other strategic plan) that inevitably won’t produce the results you need or want.

Challenge presumptions. I mean this about both your own and those that exist in your sector. Just because you’ve thought a certain way about something forever, doesn’t mean it is ‘right’ or the best way to think about it.

Be disruptive. Bringing something new to your industry – whether that’s an outlook, a service or a product can be what makes you and your business successful. Just know that not everybody will like it or embrace it…. Not least to begin with. You might be surprised at the number of people who do though!

Who are the 5 women who inspire you the most?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg – for being a champion and protector of rights, against huge professional opposition while managing a very challenging personal life too. 

Dr Maya Angelou – for finding the light in what was a horrific childhood, turning it into heart-breaking yet beautiful works and refusing to be anything other than herself.

Jo Malone – for overcoming severe dyslexia, a really tough start in life and breast cancer to build an incredible business from nothing.

Maisy Maddox – My life coach and cheerleader, for reminding me who I am when I forget

Gail Balfour – who runs Research Human – for every conversation with Gail is a joy and an education!

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

 “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

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