Meet Nicole Tehan from Elysian Creative
Tell us about your business
Elysian Creative was developed to help businesses get the most traction from their content. I have a rich history in both the private industry and government agencies with qualifications in marketing, tourism, economic development and business.
From small business to local government and even bloggers, Elysian Creative provides expertise in the development of copy and content, editing support and the design and implementation of strategic marketing solutions.
Why and when did you start your own business?
This is actually the second business I have owned and operated (I used to run a tour company which I sold about 10 years ago). I started the business as a bit of a side hustle while I was working in economic development at Wyndham City Council. I decided to start the business as a bit of a creative outlet.
Working for local government was very rewarding however my creative side was a little stifled. I also saw a bit of a gap in the market for my specific skill set so decided to go for it.
I built the business to become more of an income source while I was on maternity leave in 2016-2017 and decided not to return to my full-time job late last year.
What does it mean to you being a business owner?
It means I get to live life on my own terms. I’m a single mum and wouldn’t change a thing and having my own business gives me the freedom to make him my priority. I work hard and I put in a lot of hours working for my fantastic clients but I also maintain a great balance with lots of pre-planning so that I can do lots of fun stuff with my little guy.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
This is a tough one. I did take inspiration and guidance from some really big entreprenurs such as Richard Branson, Gary Vaynerchuk and Naomi Simpson, however, it is everyday small business owners that inspire me the most. Someone who had an idea, saw a gap in the market or just decided to have a go! That’s my greatest influence and inspiration. And in these days of Facebook groups and networking associations like WBS, we are better equipped than ever to learn from each other, collaborate and help each other succeed.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
I used to work for Northern Grampians Shire Council as part of the economic development and tourism team. I worked very closely with local businesses and built some really strong relationships. While I was there, the region suffered a natural disaster that saw the Grampians National Park closed for months and many businesses having to shut their doors during their peak season. As you can imagine there was the very real possibility of a lot of businesses not recovering from such a financial loss. My role changed to ‘economic recovery’ and I worked individually with businesses to get them through losing almost an entire season’s income. This included grant applications, working with government across all levels, helping through insurance claims, helping businesses and business owners find other ways to generate income and ensuring every single affected operator had both the professional and emotional support they needed. I have never worked that hard in my life but without a doubt that is the most rewarding role I have ever had.
My greatest professional accomplishments since having Elysian Creative all revolve around helping my clients succeed. Seeing increased engagement and income as a result of the content I’ve written is fantastic!
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Know your why. Understanding why you’re in business and what you are trying to achieve is imperative to setting and achieving goals as well as getting through the really tough days.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Definitely networking and referrals. I network and hand out my business card A LOT. I’m naturally a really shy and introverted person so that has been hard for me. It is getting easier though. I also network quite a lot online and have gotten a fair amount of work through various Facebook groups. It has also been great getting involved at a higher level in initiatives like the Wyndham Business & Tourism Association, Point Cook Pop-up Park and of course the new Yarraville WBS as this builds brand awareness and raises my profile as a business owner.
What is one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Trust your instinct! You know yourself and your business better than anyone. If something doesn’t feel right then don’t do it. And of course if you’re convinced that you have a great idea then do your research, bring the idea to fruition and prove those naysayers wrong!
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? If yes, please describe (and include links if available).
- Most local councils run free or really cheap workshops. Not only are they great to learn a thing or two but they provide opportunity to network with other local business owners
- Head to business.vic.gov.au for lots of free resources including templates. Also use their tools to ensure you have the right licenses, permits and insurance for your business.
- Know your target market. Get Googling and narrow it down as much as possible!
- Check out Google’s keyword planner and make sure you have your website set up so that customers can find you
- Make sure you claim your Google business listing
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Spend time with my son. He loves the outdoors so whenever I’m not working we tend to be out and about. I’m also super close with my family and friends so see them as much as possible. I also read quite a bit, like a little bit of Netflix and love my sleep!
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful woman in business?
- Belief in your product/service
- Cashflow management (or funds to outsource)
- Drive/motivation to make it happen
What fears have you faced in business? Have you overcome it/them? How do you manage fear?
As mentioned earlier I am very shy. I suffer from anxiety and have always been introverted. That’s probably the hardest thing for me. Standing up in front of the WBS group and co-hosting the first Yarraville meeting will be a challenge.
I try to face my fears head-on but also know to work within my means and don’t put myself into situations that I think will be detrimental to my reputation or business brand.
What are your top 5 goals you want to achieve by the end of 2018?
- Rebrand of business including new business name and visual identity
- Establish myself as a leader in the local business community
- Increased cashflow
- Ongoing clients
- Collaboration with complementary businesses
What makes you happy?
My son. Nothing has ever made me happier!
Have you had to make any sacrifices whilst running your business? If so, what are they?
Yes. I was earning a really good wage at my full-time job and had gotten used to a pretty comfortable lifestyle. Things are very different with a less reliable income and a little mouth to feed. Wouldn’t change it for the world though it’s definitely worth the sacrifice.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most and why?
As a copywriter I think Kate Toon has done really well. She’s also really honest about the struggles she faces and what it has taken to get to where she is so I really admire that.
I also really admire those that manage to run a successful business but also work to make the wider Wyndham business community vibrant and welcoming. Nick at the Park Hotel and Sara at BizBuddyhub are two such as examples but there are many many more!
Where do you see yourself and your business in 2-5 years?
The business will be thriving and I will be happy. I will be working with a fantastic network of small businesses and have established myself as the go-to copywriter in Melbourne’s West!
What book has inspired you the most? (OR What is your favourite book?)
Now this is a tough one because so many books have inspired me! I’m currently reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B so I’ll give that a mention. She’s amazing.
How do you measure your success in business?
I see my success in the success of my clients. If they’re engaging their target market then I’m doing my job!
Where is your dream destination to go for a holiday and why?
Europe. I could visit Europe a million times and still not have seen everything worth seeing. Can’t wait to take my little guy there!
What is your favourite inspirational quote you would like to share with other WBS members?
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt
What are your top 5 business tips?
- Know your target market.
- Set some SMART goals. Business plans are not for everyone but setting some achievable goals can be really motivating. Could even be something as simple as ‘Hit 1,000 likes on Facebook’ or ‘Refresh the content on my website’.
- Research your industry and your product. Know your stuff!
- Outsource those tasks that you are not good at
- Hire a great copywriter to make sure your content is reaching both potential and existing clients. I know an excellent copywriter… Nice lady too!!!
Why did you become a WBS Member?
It is a great way to meet like minded business people, find opportunities to collaborate, promote my business and get out of the house!
Connect with Nicole
Join us our Womens Business Society launch event in Yarraville
WBS is coming to Yarraville. Our launch event will be on the 1st March 2018 at the Yarraville Club. Kathy Bennett is your WBS Ambassador in Yarraville.
Book your tickets here: https://goo.gl/x17MnD
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