As a new business owner, you’re really a jack of all trades. How busy were you in the first few months after launch?
I was a bit manic, to be honest. But I had such a burning desire to do it that I almost didn’t care. I’d work late into the night and every weekend, because I really wanted to get it going. It’s certainly not the healthiest way to start a business, but it was just pure adrenaline at the time.
What helped me is that I’d already started other businesses, so I could draw on past experiences. I knew everything about setting up a website, bookkeeping and marketing strategies – so I wasn’t having to spend time outsourcing or learning how to do these things. It was a different story for my earlier businesses though!
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in your first year?
It was the first time I was entering a market that already had players in it, so for me, it was about getting the message across about my point of difference. While I did have a unique offering, it wasn’t like my design was revolutionary. So I had to figure out how to communicate why someone should choose Be Bliss Baby.
Instead of going after people who were already cloth nappy users, I decided to hone in on expecting mums and new mums like me who wanted to use cloth nappies but didn’t know where to start.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson is new businesses take a lot of time, effort and resources. Unless you’re super lucky, a business isn’t something you can just set and forget. It’s rewarding and I love it, but it’s a lot of work.
You recently decided to sell the business. How did you come to that decision?
What happened was I’d started a few different businesses, and rather than doing one thing properly I was just doing a lot of things. At one stage there, I had four email addresses going every day! All you end up doing is diluting your energy and your skills.
So I sat back a few months ago and thought “Right, what is it I really want?” and decided to focus on my other business and give it all I’ve got. And the reason I decided to sell Be Bliss Baby is because I’d kept it profitable from the beginning – so from a financial point of view it was appetising to potential buyers.
How did COVID-19 impact the process of selling?
Fortunately, apart from the markets, I did in the early days, Be Bliss Baby is an e-Commerce business so it was quite easy to advertise and transition it all digitally. I listed it on the top ‘business for sale’ websites and waited for the inquiries to come in.
COVID-19 actually probably helped me a bit because a lot of people were looking for online businesses as they’d been put out of work. So it worked to my advantage in terms of the sale.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for business newcomers?
It’s a long game, so don’t expect instant results and don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get quick wins. Most people I know who are successful in business are either on their fifth-plus business, or they’ve been doing it for 10 years. So be eager, be keen and be as positive as you can, but don’t expect overnight success.