Ever wanted to set up a small business but no idea how? If you have dreamed about owning a candle shop or a coffee sanctuary, County Durham’s very own Dragons’ Den star Sara Davies has offered her top tips.

The North East businesswoman recently returned to the BBC One programme for its 23rd series.

Throughout her time on the show so far, the 39-year-old from Coundon has pledged to invest over £2 million in the Den.

The mum of two first became successful in the world of business whilst studying at the University of York.

She set up Crafters Companion in 2005 after “spotting a gap in the market for an envelope-making tool for card makers.”

The BBC added: “With the help of her engineer Dad she got a local joiner to make them in MDF, and crafters bought them in their thousands, catapulting her business to success.”

It added: “Sara’s company now turns over £34 million a year and employs more than 200 staff in UK, the US and across Europe.

“She is the recipient of over 25 business awards and in 2016 was recognised for services to the economy with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.”

Recommended reading:

How do I start a small business for beginners?

Now with all her successful experience of running a business, she has shared some advice on how you can give it a go.

In a recent interview with Country Living, Sara recommended:

  • Write a business plan – You can always tweak it down the line.
  • Research your market – Figure out who your customer is and how your business meets their needs.
  • Find your tribe – Make sure they love you, they love your product, they love your brand and they become raving fans.
  • Be authentic online – Use social media to deliver interesting, engaging content that is authentic to you and your brand and not just promotion.
  • Roll up your sleeves – Running your own business is not a career choice, it’s a lifestyle choice. Be prepared to give it your all. That drive and passion will win out over everything else.

You can read Sara’s full interview on the Country Living website.