Sadaf Rahimi: Overcoming Barriers and Championing Women in Business

Sadaf Rahimi

Founder of Charcuterie Vancouver

In our engaging interview with Sadaf Rahimi, the founder of Charcuterie Vancouver, we explored her inspiration for starting the company and delved into GoDaddy’s latest Unstoppable Women campaign, launched in honor of International Women’s Day. Sadaf provided valuable insights on effective techniques for conducting a thorough startup cost analysis and discussed potential solutions for overcoming time and setup cost barriers, often cited as the primary challenges faced by women business owners. Lastly, Sadaf imparted her tailored advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs, empowering them to navigate the world of business with confidence.

Sadaf Rahimi founded her business in late 2019. As the pandemic halted events in 2020, Sadaf had to quickly rethink her business plans, which centered on event catering, and instead offered smaller, individual charcuterie boxes through her business website to stay afloat.

Like many Canadian women, starting her own business was a pathway to greater financial stability. For Sadaf, it was also about giving back to her family, whose journey from Afghanistan she says has been a powerful motivator for her business success.

What inspired you to start Charcuterie Vancouver? And what do you hope to accomplish through your work?

My inspiration for starting Charcuterie Vancouver came from my love of entertaining and my passion for food. I’ve always loved bringing people together and creating beautiful and delicious experiences for them. Through my work, I hope to inspire others to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into creating a great charcuterie board, and to help them connect with their loved ones in a meaningful way.

What do you think of GoDaddy’s most recent Unstoppable Women campaign, which was unveiled in celebration of International Women’s Day?

GoDaddy’s Unstoppable Women campaign is fantastic! It’s so important to celebrate and uplift women in business, especially in male-dominated industries. I love that they’re highlighting the stories of women who are breaking barriers and defying expectations. It’s empowering to see that kind of representation and recognition from such a big global company. It’s really interesting to see that most women think that a business start-up cost is much more than it really is. I know I thought that before too, but in today’s digital world you can start a business from home for less than $500! I started mine with less than $1,000 in my bank account and now running a seven figure company.

What are the most efficient methods for creating a comprehensive startup cost analysis, which is a crucial component of any sound business strategy, considering that more than half of Canadian women overestimate the start-up costs?

One of the most efficient methods for creating a comprehensive startup cost analysis is to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. Start by making a list of all the necessary expenses, such as equipment, supplies and rent. For us, we started as a catering company working from home. We didn’t have a high overhead, meaning we didn’t need to invest in getting a storefront right away or even renting a space.

Sadaf Rahimi

We just tested out some products which my friends and employees purchased. That’s when I decided to invest slowly in renting a space, buying equipment, better packaging, etc.

The goal is to just start, worry about perfecting it later. It’s been nearly four years and we are still adding new items to the menu and changing packaging, processes, marketing, etc.

What are the potential solutions to the time and setup cost issues, which are seen as the most frequent obstacles faced by women business owners?

Prioritize time management and delegation. As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to do everything ourselves, but that’s not always the most efficient use of our time. Consider outsourcing certain tasks or hiring employees or contractors to help with setup and logistics. Another solution is to explore alternative funding options, such as grants, loans, or crowdfunding, which can help offset some of the startup costs.

For us, from the start it was hard to manage social media, purchase products, make boards and deliver them. So we outsourced our deliveries almost right away which saved a lot of time for me to focus on marketing and creating beautiful boards!

What piece of advice do you have for women entrepreneurs that will help them succeed in the business world?

My advice for women entrepreneurs is to trust your instincts and stay true to your vision. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make bold moves, even if they seem unconventional or outside of your comfort zone. Surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors and peers who can offer guidance and encouragement. And most importantly, don’t give up – entrepreneurship can be a challenging and unpredictable journey, but the rewards are worth it if you stay committed and focused on your goals. Remember no successful person has gotten there without failing many times before or in the process. Remember failure helps us grow, if we did everything perfectly always we would never grow!

Just do it. We have one life, better to know that you tried something and it didn’t work than to always ask yourself “what if” 10 years from now.

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