Since we started this business we’ve worked with thousands of women and we’ve had the opportunity to be a part of their journey over a number of years. The AusMumpreneur Awards has given us a unique insight into what’s happening in Australian small businesses and the magic that goes on behind the scenes in some of the most successful up and coming businesses in Australia.
Businesses don’t always succeed sometimes they
1. Start strong but just kind of peter out early
2. Some completely crash and burn
3. Sometimes they just never really get off the ground
4. sometimes they are slow to start and improve with age
5. And very occasionally you’ll see some that start off with a bang! And just keep on going!
We’ve been fortunate to watch some of these journeys unfold from the very early days and we’re always fascinated by the ones who find true and lasting success and often wonder;
“How are they doing this?”
Why are they so successful where others aren’t?
What is that they are doing differently that’s giving them this edge?’
These are questions we’ve been asking for a long time and we’ve been investigating this.
So we’ve put together our list of what we’ve observed that successful women do differently.
1. They understand Scaleablity
They’ve created something scalable. Something that is able to become bigger than them. They’ve created something that has the potential to grow and expand beyond where it is now and something which can be replicated over and over again in a consistent way.
The ingredients for scaleablity include:
Successful businesswomen rely on systems to make things happen. They’ve created a repeatable product and by implementing systems they have created a business that can run on its own. They’re able to consistently create high standard results independent of the founders, with organised staff carrying out all of the work required to get the product to market and to keep the business humming along.
This is something I chatted with Carolyn Creswell about recently, she invests a lot of time into perfecting the recipes for her products, the packaging, and really thinking about the customers and what they want and what they’re looking for, then after that it’s a matter of creating a repeatable recipe which can be made on a large scale for thousands of people to be able to buy. If you get it right at each step of the process, the product will always be exactly the same. She uses systems to help her be more efficient in everything she does and credits this efficiency to her ability to have amazing work life balance and even have every Friday off!
The next element of scaleability is staff. The staff of successful business women aren’t just employees, they’re an important part of a team and they feel a true sense of ownership and belonging. These business owners don’t ‘micro-manage’ their team instead they give them the creative freedom to come up with their own ideas and solutions to problems. They also are prepared to let someone go if they’re not quite the right fit.
Carolyn Creswell is really well known for her incredible sense of family within her team at Carman’s, they work hard but they have a lot of fun there too, there’s free muesli for breakfasts, shared salads every day for lunch and when its your birthday you get the day off! It’s the little things like this that make your staff feel valued, loved and important and inspired to be a part of something bigger
Successful women consistently invest time in getting their foundations right before launching a new product or service.
B.box spent 2 years in development before launching their first product and conducted extensive market research, invested in legal help to protect their IP and worked closely with a product developer to perfect their prototype before taking it to market. They now bring products out a lot faster than this, but they consistently follow the steps to ensure the product is perfect (or as close to as possible) before launching to market.
This attention to detail, although it may take longer and cost more in the beginning, pays off and you will see the results in the long run.
2. Expert Status
Successful women are recognised as experts in their field. Whether they started out as an expert or they’ve become an expert along the way, successful women position themselves as the ‘go-to’ girl on their topic.
They leverage PR opportunities, they speak at events, they write books, they give interviews, they provide commentary and they are someone people look to for advice and inspiration.
They invest in their learning too. If there’s something they need to know, be better at or master they’ll do whatever it takes to get there.
The next thing that successful women do differently is understand their finances.
Your Finances can give clues about what the market wants and where potential growth opportunities lie. Many businesses do quite well for the first few years but fail to make it to the next stage because they don’t have the funds to grow, misunderstand the relationship between pricing and profit or aren’t sure which questions to be asking their accountant.
Whether you’re looking to hire more staff, open an office, expand internationally, secure investment or increase your profits its crucial to understand and be able to interpret your financial reports.
We met Julia Pimsleur in NYC in Oct last year.
Julia is the author of best selling book, Million Dollar Woman and founder of the business Little Pim language learning app.
When Julia was starting out she had an idea. She wanted to revolutionise children’s language learning.
She needed to build an app that had hundreds of interactive VIdEo lessons and animations for each language.
She knew what she wanted it to look like, and she had all the content ideas, she just needed the money to put it together.
So she spent a year learning how to pitch for Venture Capital funding. Learning how to network with investors, how to put together a compelling pitch, the financials that were needed and getting familiar with which kinds of information that investors would be looking for.This investment in herself paid off! She became an expert in the field and raised $4million in venture capital funding for Little Pim. She is now a recognised expert in capital raising for women, holds the annual million dollar women summit and is invited to speak at events around the world about women and money but it all began with her understanding her finances.
Marketing has changed so much in the last decade. In the old days marketing was about using the psychology of fear to try to make people buy things.
Now its all about the psychology of connection.
Fear based and fake advertising doesn’t work anymore.
Inauthentic, staged and dishonest advertising is something people today have little tolerance for.
They want truth, authenticity and genuine connection with real people. They want to feel the real passion, see the real person and hear the real story. Business is no longer about building a large faceless empire but about building a loyal, engaged and connected tribe.
Nikalene Riddle is a name most people haven’t heard of – unless they’re into Thermomix cooking that is. She’s created a multi-million dollar business making cookbooks that you can’t buy in bookstores. Her books are best-sellers but they don’t even come on the radar of traditional publishers, booksellers or distributors because she deliberately manages the whole process herself.
Her story is unique – it’s as if her incredible business came out of nowhere. She has always loved cooking and she wanted to lose weight by cooking healthy meals in her thermomix. She started a Facebook group to connect with other people on the same journey. It turns out there were a lot of people on the same journey and in the first 12 months of her business she was just building this community, sharing her story and connecting with these people in a really authentic way. She started sharing recipes and people LOVED them! They couldn’t get enough. Her group kept growing and still she hadn’t monetised it at all yet. Before long people were asking her for a cookbook, a collection of these amazing recipes she was creating. And that’s where her business began. She had no experience in publishing so she learnt as she went along and has now sold over one hundred thousand cookbooks. Her latest launch brought in almost $1 million in sales since releasing in July. She does no advertising, her books are exclusively sold through her own website and all of the printing, packaging and distribution is done locally in her hometown of Adelaide, providing local employment & giving back to the local economy.
The next thing we’ve observed that successful women do is pivoting, adapting and leveraging new opportunities.
When things go wrong your ability to find a solution can be the difference between success and failure. There’s always a creative possibility and those who know how to stay calm, stay positive and look for that new perspective are the ones who will prevail!
Small problems are easy to solve, but what happens when it’s a big problem? What happens when it looks like the whole business idea isn’t viable? And you could lose everything? This is when a pivot is needed.
A pivot like this takes courage. It’s a risk. But it’s not as big a risk as doing nothing and hanging onto something that just isn’t working.
A pivot isn’t something to do on a whim. The best pivots are those executed with strategic planning. They often require a complete new approach, a new direction and can be just as complex as starting a whole new business would be.
Pivoting doesn’t always mean the end of one thing and the start of something new. A pivot can also be a new way to leverage an opportunity and create a new arm of your business.
Tara O’Connell created the award-winning baby diaries app. Its now been downloaded in countries all over the world and has been featured in national and international media. But Tara knew there were more opportunities for her. She began researching and learning about partnerships. How to create partnerships, how to leverage partnerships, what a potential partner was looking for when considering and accepting a new partnership. She realised that greater opportunities existed for her in utilising corporate partnerships to leverage her idea.
She has now successfully white-labelled the Baby Diaries App and it is now licensed to Terry White Chemmart where it is now being seen and used by thousands more new mums.
6. DREAMING BIG
But above and beyond all of these qualities though is the vision.
“If you can dream it you can do it.” Walt Disney
This is one of my favourite quotes and I know that a strong vision for what you want to achieve is a huge part of becoming successful, no matter what goal you are aiming for.
Business is hard. I don’t have to tell you that. You’ve all experienced the rollercoaster ride of business, the challenges, the setbacks, the heartbreak. And without a vision it’s easy to question why you would keep going.
We’ve noticed a trend lately among women business owners. They have a vision to do more than just make a profit or be their own boss. It’s a deep sense of purpose. A commitment to making the world a better place. A calling.
A drive deep inside that sets them on fire and lights the way through all of the challenges and obstacles and setbacks, to take them to create something so much bigger than themselves and their original idea.
Jensine Larsen was 19 when she first visited the amazon rainforest as a volunteer. The stories the women told her were horrific. “How can I help you?” she asked them, ‘What can I do?”
They said to her, ‘Be our messenger. Tell the world what is happening to us here.”
So she became a journalist and used her words to spread the message about what was happening. But it wasn’t enough. She knew she could do more. She knew she could create something bigger. Something more powerful than just her own voice.
So she created World Pulse, a social network for women all around the world to enable them to be their own voice, to give them the power to tell their story to the world. A place where women all over the world could collaborate and work together to create change.
Today through World Pulse women leaders are building global movements, launching businesses and changing harmful cultural practices ultimately impacting over 2 million lives in more than 190 countries.
Her vision has held strong and called in women from all over the world to be a part of something bigger.
Women’s Business School ACCELERATE Program
One Day Masterclass And 6 Month Online Program
LEARN FROM AUSTRALIA’S LEADING FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS
These qualities that successful women have are the basis of our new program – Accelerate – a 6 month course designed specifically for women in business who dream of something bigger, who know they have the potential to create an amazing business and who are determined to do whatever it takes to reach their goals.
We’ve carefully selected experts in each of these topics, women who we know can help you to implement these strategies and share how they’ve applied these techniques to their businesses.
Our teachers include a host of successful business women, which includes the women I’ve spoken about today who you’ll learn from and also have the opportunity to ask questions to in our fortnightly live chats and coaching calls.
The course begins with a one day live masterclass day dedicated to you working on your own business where you look at everything you’re doing now and create a strategic plan to move you closer to your goals, then over 6 months we will teach you the skills to implement these plans. As part of the program you will learn how to position yourself as a recognised expert and at the end of the course have the opportunity to deliver a live presentation to an audience of invited guests at our special pitch day event
An important part of the course is the mastermind group with highlevel business women that will support each other over the 6 month program and beyond.
APPLICATIONS ARE OPENING Now
This is a really special program, exclusively for women that are committed to becoming Australia’s future leaders.
Enrolment is by application only and places are strictly limited.
Expressions of interest are open now at www.thewomensbusinessschool.com/accelerateexpressionofinterest