Entrepreneur Q&A: Petal & Cycle

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In this quickfire Q&A we welcome the founder of Petal & Cycle, Richa Bhalla. Labelled as an ‘environmentally friendly game changer’,  Petal & Cycle designs vibrant flower arrangements and delivers anywhere in Central London by bike within 90 mins of the order.

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Breaking Biz:

How do you identify a real business opportunity?

Richa Bhalla:

The real business ideas that work tend to come to you when you’re building something else. To put it another way, I think it’s really tough to think about business opportunities when you’re fully entrenched in a career or job. I think things flow much easier when you’re in a more dynamic environment and not stuck behind a desk for most of the day.

The best ideas are iterations of the original opportunity that presented itself and not necessarily the first one that you went with. Start off trying to build something that people want and need and just go from there and see where it takes you rather than planning it too much.

BB:

What skill or ability is most important for an entrepreneur and why?

RB:

Being a hustler, and by that I mean doing whatever it takes to get something off the ground and to keep it going. Because there’s no one telling you what to do you’re having to figure it out completely on your own. So that in of itself means getting things done in the leanest and scrappiest way possible.

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BB:

You know someone who wants to start a business but fears leaving their job. What do you say to them?

RB:

In my mind you don’t want to live your life with any regrets, wishing that you had done something and then never trying it. I always ask myself what’s the worst that could happen. Say you leave your job and pursue your dream but for one reason or the other it just doesn’t work out, you’ve gained a bunch of new experiences that you never would of had otherwise.

You can always go back to a job. The fact that you’ve gone out and done something you loved will probably make you find a job that you like even more because you have a much better understanding of what makes you tick after all those experiences.

BB:

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned?

RB:

Talk to anyone and everyone about your idea. I think there’s a big notion of keeping everything secret but the most innocuous introductions have turned out to be the most valuable to me. I hate to say ‘networking’ but it’s just so important to stay connected at all times because as an entrepreneur you’re under pressure to build out capabilities all the time and your own skill set will never be enough on its own.

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BB:

Can you recommend any books or resources that have helped you along the way?

RB:

‘An Innovators Dilemma’ , all about disruptive innovation and how even large companies should act like startups and iterate quickly. The other book I really like is ‘Hackers And Painters’ by Paul Graham, it’s just a list of companies and what they’ve done well and what they haven’t, how they’ve started, their stories and there’s so many takeaways from that.

BB:

What’s the best part of your job?

RB:

This is gonna sound really lame but it’s really nice to be able to spread a little bit of joy and facilitating human interactions. The reason I started this in the first place was because after spending time in Silicon Valley I realised how much time we spend behind some kind of screen, be it a computer or phone, and we fail to give certain moments the recognition that they need.

Instead of sending someone a text to tell them that you’re thinking about them why not be bold and send them some flowers and a real message.

BB:

What’s your biggest fear?

RB:

As much as I love what I do the thought of not being able to take a day off is pretty frightening. It hasn’t impacted me so far because I’ve been so involved but even when I hire other people to do things.

I think I’m going to be really scared to leave it in someone else’s hands no matter how capable they are, so I’d say I’m scared of never being able to take a holiday again (laughs).

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