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Tell me about Empower Beyond and why you wanted to start it?
Empower Beyond was created four and a half years ago. I was working in corporate and loved it but I guess I had outgrown it or changed the direction of where I wanted to go in my own personal life. My background is accounting and I did a coaching course for my own personal development but from there I decided to start my own business. I chose to work with small businesses to help maximise sales and reduce costs, because there are so many small businesses and I know how it impacts your personal life.
What did you need to get started with Empower Beyond?
So basically I took my own personal funds and started with that. I had to constantly reassess how long I could do this for and once I knew I was in it for the long haul I think I felt the difference. I could see myself being in this business for the next 20 years.
How did you get that first client on board?
I started doing pro bono work to see what common threads were coming through, and how I could put something together that’s simple and easy for people to use. One of my challenges was actually valuing what I did and I think that’s where pricing was an issue for me. Once I started seeing the value I was adding to a lot of the business owners, I moved away from pro bono and started charging for my work.
How did you get that pricing right?
I looked at my competitors but also knew that whatever pricing I was offering, at a minimum, clients would want to see a return that was double that investment.
How do you do that?
I’ve got the advantage that I know numbers and the numbers are what people do or don’t do in their business. I work one-on-one with a lot of clients to get an idea of what their needs are. I also get asked to speak at a lot of events, especially women’s network events to share my insights and share my story just to encourage people that you can push through this event in tough times.
What would you say some of your biggest challenges are?
I think the first thing for me was getting over the fear of rejection, people saying no and I had to understand that it’s not for everybody. My challenge was also being overwhelmed with how much you have to do for your business and making sure that I focus on one thing at a time. Lots of clients say the same thing; there are so many opportunities and people tend to jump on all of them without thinking.
What’s your advice for any other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Number one is about making sure you keep things simple, don’t over complicate things, don’t over analyse things. It’s not about selling, it’s about building relationships and listening to other people’s needs. The other thing is you’ve got to monitor and measure all your results and it doesn’t have to be financial, but measurement is important.
Finally, what is it that you want to be known for? Some businesses may look at the way they run their business and maybe they’re getting complaints because they don’t deliver on time or the quality isn’t good. So you’ve got to get back to the roots of your values and make sure that your actions are aligned with those.
Every day, KBB’s Dannie Doughan chats with an entrepreneur and features their story on our website. If your business wants a ‘Date with Dannie’, email us a quick bit about your biz!