Starting Afresh: Launching A New Enterprise (After Exiting The Business You Led To Success) "I understand the challenges of launching a new venture first-hand, and would encourage all budding entrepreneurs to remain resilient when starting out."

By Donna Benton

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Caha Capo

When starting a new venture and knowing you will have to invest heavily into a brand or company financially, emotionally and, perhaps most importantly, with all of your time, quite simply, it has to be right. For example, it took two years after exiting The Entertainer to focus on what I wanted to embark on next. Many entrepreneurs expect a lightbulb moment, and for some, this may be the case. However, it is important to note that this isn't always the path and certainly not the only one. If you approach your startup not as a sprint, but as a marathon, you can put in place the ideas and mindsets that will help you succeed in the long run. By ignoring the rush to market and taking a longer consideration to your prospective venture, it can very often benefit you and your brand.

When I was considering the next project post-Entertainer, it was important to me to start something that I loved and was passionate about– yet was crucially different from my previous venture. The launch of my Dubai-based, international swimwear label, Caha Capo, marks a fresh, new chapter in my career. It has allowed me to utilize my key skillset- bringing a knowledgeable team on board for the aspects of the business I needed to learn more about. It's important to note that at any stage of your career, you can make a step change, you just have to be aware of the need for abilities outside of your own and crucially don't remain blind to the things you need to learn. One of the key skills for any entrepreneur is understanding your strengths and development areas. Having the intrinsic ability to recognize these will benefit the business at multiple stages- from the key decisions you make, to the partners you bring on, and the employees you hire.

Source: Caha Capo

In terms of why I was motivated to delve into the swimwear industry and why now, it was simple. There was a lack of good, well priced swimwear options in the market, not just at a local level, but globally too. With renowned Australian swimwear brand Seafolly announcing voluntary administration just a few months ago, Caha Capo was perfectly placed to launch into this space. As a business owner, you have to be poised to spot new trends and act, so knowing your sector and reacting to it is key.

I wanted to design swimwear that acted as an essentials range– with fabrics, colorways and cuts that make women feel positive and confident about themselves first and foremost. Manufactured from sustainably produced Italian fabric, versatile and flattering swimwear that inspires body confidence is all in the cut, something which Caha Capo takes seriously. The needs of the customer are our top priority -through the design process and beyond– because without customers, you have no business. For example, somewhat surprisingly, a lot of swimwear labels do not cater to different shapes and sizes, and items are not able to be purchased in different sized tops and bottoms.

Source Caha Capo

Caha Capo enables a refreshingly modern mix and match approach, which, when researching the brand and talking to women, we realized was extremely important to consider and work into the range. With the brand launching globally, we were also very aware of the need for sun protection, especially in countries such as Australia, so every piece of the collection boasts in-built UPF50+ sun protection– again something that is often neglected in the swimwear market. In terms of results so far, Caha Capo saw over 40,000 hits to the website in the first week of launch, with over 22 countries browsing and customers in 12 countries making purchases.

As a lifelong entrepreneur, I remain passionate about giving back to those just starting out, so part of The Benton Group's profits will go back into the startup community to give other entrepreneurs much-needed opportunities and a platform to launch themselves. I understand the challenges of launching a new venture first-hand, and would encourage all budding entrepreneurs to remain resilient when starting out. The potential rewards often far exceed the time and effort required in those early days.

Related: 10 Lessons From 10 Years Of Running A Business In The Middle East

Donna Benton

Founder, The Benton Group

Donna Benton is an entrepreneur and founder of UAE-based discount publisher The Entertainer. In 2018, it was acquired for undisclosed amount by GHF Financial Group. In 2020, under her umbrella company The Benton Group, she launched her new swimwear brand Caha Capo.

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