Meet Sara from Bizbuddyhub
The WBS Business Woman of the Month – Sara, describes BizBuddyHub as a collaborative coworking community initiative for local small business and will be a “work in your own” postcode option for corporate commuters. It has come about due to the high growth in our local area and the need for solutions and leadership to come from the community to establish the vision of the community we want with high social and economic impact.
What motivated you to start your own business?
I have always been entrepreneurial and started and scaled a business and was part of taking a business public in another country (another time and another world – it seems). I brought that flair with me to Australia and soon realised that small business is very difficult and very competitive here and I have a lot of empathy for how tough a lot of people do it. I have since worked in the corporate world and being an intrapreneur in a very established environment is very difficult. I decided that I would just take time in the community that I live in and work out what my purpose was and what problem I could solve.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My greatest influence came from my original CEO in Africa, He was a maker and creator of business people, he was a hardass and there were simply no excuses, under his guidance we created one of the biggest and most successful public companies. He was very charismatic but I have also learned from that experience that this can be done with integrity and credibility for Social Enterprise with strong social and economic KPI’s.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Hmm, Although I started and scaled businesses my most rewarding experience was in developing people and seeing them reach their potential, that ultimately is the best part and it is great to see how people have grown and developed on their journeys.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
“Listen and Learn” – Be authentic and don’t oversell!
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
It always comes back to community for me, I actually hate the word marketing, we should engage with each other as human beings, learn what they are struggling with and offer solutions. It starts with building a relationship first and a personal brand. This is all part of community and local area engagement (marketing)
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Its bloody hard! and you need to support, share resources and collaborate with each other to succeed
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
I do a lot of research and ask lots of questions, Survey Monkey is a great way to get feedback in a structured way if you ask the right questions. Facebook community groups are a great way to read the community, work out what’s important to them and what they like and respect and what they don’t. Build a professional network, Every time you meet someone in business, ask them questions show interest in their business and follow up with an email or a linked in message.
Do you have any new projects coming up
We are working hard to build a full mixed use coworking ecosystem out here in the West, we have identified the space and are in the process of building out the full business case and building champions and stakeholder support – The is info up on our website http://bizbuddyhub.com.au/vision/
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I have two lovely doodle dogs my idea of fun is an outing to the beach with the dogs and a nice café latte at a café after.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Vision, Resilience and credibility
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2012, I thought I would die, it doesn’t get scarier than that, I went through the full regime of chemo, radiation, surgeries and the effects on family and friends. It taught me that fear is largely self-induced and holds us back. It has given me the guts to get up and do what my heart and mind needs to do and not be scared of failure.
What makes you happy?
My family and friends and seeing people succeed
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
In the early days when my family were young it is a regret that I spent so much time working as I missed or have forgotten a lot of their milestones. Nowadays, it is sacrificing a large salary to do what I truly believe in, which means tightening the belt and trying to ignore the growing mortgage beast J
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
I admire businesses with strong social impact, more than actual business I admire influencers like Richard Branson who create amazing brands but still remain down to earth and accessible.
Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
I would like to see BizBuddyHub’s in every outer metro postcode in Australia and hopefully will be a model that is adopted as a future of community/Future of Work model
What book has inspired you the most? (OR What is your favourite book?)
Gee I haven’t read any for a while but I love the “Power of One”
How do you measure your success in business?
For me it is the social and economic KPIs. I want to see a strong united collaborative community, every time we have a win, however small, I feel that is success
Do you have kids?
My Kids are 29,27 and 25 this year and in August 15 we became empty nesters, they are all doing really well in their own careers and lives, but I do wonder how they will fit in family life and work when kids come around. That is why I am so focussed on what I am doing. I want to see a better model for families and community that builds solid foundations.
Call Sara 0427922612
Womens Business Society Team
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