Communication and feedback is key to family business

Lizzie McAuley, director of Baker Brothers Diamonds

Lizzie McAuley, director of Baker Brothers Diamonds - Credit: Archant

A DIRECTOR who joined her family business more than 10 years ago has said the key to her success has been communication and feedback.

Lizzie McAuley, who joined Baker Brothers Diamonds at the age of 25, finalist in the Innovator of the Year category at the 2012 Specsavers everywoman in retail awards.

She said: "Working as a young woman in the diamond business is no mean feat, a closed and insular business where reputation is everything, has meant years of hard work and establishing trusted connections within the industry."

The 35-year-old, who recently became a mother, demonstrated her skills to her father back in 2003.

Having graduated with a degree in business and finance, Lizzie went on to work for a private development firm and then moved into buying for a large supermarket chain before working for a high-end fashion designer.

"I saw potential to take the business to another level, so I took a six-month sabbatical from my position as a buyer and set to reform the business," she said.

Lizzie who is supported by 16 other members of staff, including her sister Rebecca, said she had to prove herself to her colleagues before she took on the leadership of the business.

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"I had to know about our target customer, budget and cash flows. I made sure I did my market research, went into the town and got feedback from people, I then set to rebrand the company and launched a marketing campaign," said Lizzie, who specialises in sales and marketing for the company which has branches in Bedford and Letchworth GC.

Lizzie picked up the finite art of grading stones, qualities and cuts within her family business whilst simultaneously studying to achieve her Registered Valuers certificate.

Speaking about her achievements, she said: "I say what I mean, I make sure that I get feedback from everyone and that's how I move forward."

Looking ahead, Lizzie said there is always scope to expand the business and she is always on the look out for new premises in different towns.

And her advice to anyone thinking of going into business?

She said: "You have to be committed to any business, think about it very carefully, it's not easy and do it because you enjoy it, not because you want to make money."

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