I have a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology, a general degree in Linguistics and a diploma in Mass Communications. I’ve also lived in Singapore, the US, Canada, and Australia.
Tell us about your business (what product or service you provide and who your target audience is)
Speech Ease Speech Pathology provides child and family centered speech pathology services to children as young as 18 months to 18 years old. We see many children who have Autism, speech and language delays, stuttering and literacy difficulties.
Why and when did you start your own business?
I came from the public sector. I knew that I had more to offer to families that I could not do in the public sector because of the high caseload and limited resources available.
What does being a business owner mean to you?
Having control over what I can create, having flexibility, having to be resourceful.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
I started 16 months ago with 4 clients. Today we have about 130 in our database and regularly have about 20-25 regular clients coming through. The community is just starting to hear about us and trust us thanks to word of mouth from families for whom we delivered results.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Be completely honest with yourself: you need to know your own strengths and weaknesses and constantly work to make yourself better. Surround yourself with people who can complement your skills and what you need.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Word of mouth, Facebook ads, building relationships with the community.
What is one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
The one thing is to pace yourself. Give yourself time to grow.
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).
Having a business coach really helped me.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Reading journal articles and books about speech and language. I can’t switch off my speechie brain!! But really, also, hang out with my 2 kids who are 4.5 and 2 years old. We’re constantly looking for things to do with them, new craft ideas, songs to sing. cooking, and swimming are also things I love to do.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Focus, vision, and the ability to manage your own emotions.
What is a fear you face in business? Have you overcome it? How do you manage fear?
Marketing. We are in the business of providing health services. I became a speechie not because I wanted to run my own business. I just wanted to help families. I was always afraid to give families advice for fear they would think that I was ‘selling’ my services. But in reality, I had to be confident to tell them what they needed. This is something that came over the years through becoming a more confident speechie and person.
What are your top 5 goals you want to achieve by the end of 2016?
Better systems in place in our practice, be able to reach out to more people in the community, foster more collegiality within our small team, continue to maintain quality service to our families and the community.
What makes you happy?
Seeing children make progress and being able to communicate with their families. Some parents wait years and years for their children to even say “mum” or “dad” or for their child to give them a cuddle, or say “I love you.” Every little progress is a celebration and reminds me why I wanted to be a speechie.
Have you had to make any scarifies whilst running your business? If so, what are they?
For about 6 months I had little time to socialise with my friends and slept very little! Having a business was like having another child. Plus I had no experience running a business.
Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
Having a well run speech pathology practice that delivers quality service to the community. One that is also able to give back to the community and adding value to children and families.
What book has inspired you the most? (OR What is your favourite book?)
Not business related but I highly recommend reading
Man’s search for meaning by Viktor Frankl and Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. These two books really shaped my understanding of the world and other people, introduced me to a bit of human psychology, and my strengthened some of beliefs about my faith.
How do you measure your success in business?
Where I was 6 months ago as a business and as a person.
Do you have kiddies if so how many? And what is their favourite activity to do with you.
I have a 4.5 year old boy and 2 year old girl. We love visiting playgrounds and parks, and Scienceworks.
What is your favourite inspirational quote you would like to share with other WBS members?
Your business is only as good as you are.
Cherly’s 5 business tips Focus, focus, focus, focus, focus.
Join Speech Ease Speech Pathology Intensive School Holiday Program running from 19 September – 23 September from 930am-1230pm at the Seabrook Community Centre, Victoria. Contact [email protected], phone 8645 3747 or PM us on Facebook.
Connect with Speech Ease Speech Pathology
Womens Business Society Team
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