Business Advice

Four lessons for small business owners from everyday Aussie entrepreneurs

- August 21, 2023 3 MIN READ

Australia has long been a nation of entrepreneurs. While it’s traditionally the tech titans, mining barons and media moguls that make the headlines, there are thousands of small start-ups and businesses that are the engine room of the Australian economy, Suzanne Mitchell, Australia Market Lead for GoDaddy chats with four.

World Entrepreneur’s Day this month is an opportunity to celebrate the everyday Aussies who have taken the leap and followed their passion into a small business and find out what they’ve learned along the way.

Entrepreneurs such as:

  • Tahlia Plant, who started her soy candle and diffuser company Bulb & Fossa in the midst of the pandemic,
  • Emma McLeavy, who couldn’t find a local company to send a hamper to a friend and decided to launch her own company, Jo + Co Hampers and Floral Design,
  • Corrin Elliott and Roxane Coutts who turned their hobby of making nutritious dog treats into a full-time business, Barkery Deluxe Dog Treats.

Four key business lessons from this entrepreneurial foursome

It all starts with passion

For all three businesses, passion was the motivating force to take the leap into starting a small business and it’s also been a powerful motivator to stay the course.

“Starting your own business can be daunting, and at times, the goal seems unreachable,’’ Emma says. “But if you’re passionate enough about it, you’ve just got to start.”

For Corrin, it’s the enduring love for the dog treats business that she helped to build that has sustained her through some of the difficult times. “If you’re doing it purely for profit, you’ll lose your passion for it,” Corrin says. “If it was just for the money, it would be so hard not to walk away from the hard stuff.”

Prepare for imposter syndrome

Even though Emma isn’t afraid of failure or hard work, she says she did feel a case of the wobbles when starting her hamper business. “I had some self-doubt,” Emma says. “I think they call it imposter syndrome. But I think if you’re passionate about something, you just have to go for it.’’

Tahlia says it takes time to build a business and brand and urges aspiring entrepreneurs to continue to believe in themselves and focus on the positives. “Anything that you truly want will always feel scary at the start and require you to step outside of your comfort zone, but that’s where the magic happens,’’ she says.

Small business can equal big life benefits

For Emma, a mother of three young boys, becoming an entrepreneur has enabled her to have more flexibility than a traditional nine-to-five job. “Sometimes I have had to sacrifice a clean house for a few hampers, but I’m OK with that,” she says. “It’s a very nice balance, the beauty of working for yourself from home.”

Tahlia says she loves the freedom of running her own soy candle and diffuser business. “Being an entrepreneur allows me the creative freedom to run my business on my own terms,’’ she says. “That means having the ability to perform the work when it suits and allows me to design, create and market the products within independent frameworks.”

Embrace the power of online

All three businesses say having a professional website has been integral to their business success.

For Corrin and Roxane, the importance of an online outlet was illustrated starkly when the pandemic hit, and they could no longer run pop-up retail stores. “We know the importance now of having a good website that’s customer-friendly and easy to navigate,’’ Roxane says. “We know we need to future-proof ourselves and solidify our online presence. COVID really taught us that”.

Tahlia says having a website has allowed her to easily take control of orders and sales and has helped to establish her new business’s bona fides. “Having a website also legitimised my business and visualised to the market that my products are professional and instilled trust in my potential customers,’’ she says.

Tahlia, Emma, Corrin and Roxane are just four of the tens of thousands of Aussie entrepreneurs running small businesses which collectively contributed $500 billion to the Australian economy – one-third of our entire GDP. This World Entrepreneur Day is a great opportunity to celebrate them all.

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