June 19, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Bernadette Janson; I started the School Of Renovating

Who are you and what business did you start?

I started out as a Registered Nurse but always had a passion for renovating.

When our four children started leaving the nest I had been renovating for about 25 years.
I wanted a new challenge, a way to make my work less about me and more about making an impact on the world.
I have always had a keen interest in female empowerment.

As renovating enabled me to retire from nursing at 29, I felt that my skills were best suited to improving women’s finance through renovating. And so The School Of Renovating was born.

What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I was over 50 and had not “worked” in the traditional way for over 30 years. It was challenging. It took me 7 years to get into the black, up to that point, all my renovation profit went into the business. My husband questions why I was making life so difficult for myself, because I am able to generate more profit from renovating with less grief. I just cant let it go I have this burning need to make life easier for the women I work with. Thankfully persistence has paid off

Describe the process of launching the business.

I started by creating a website and an online training .
It was a time consuming and expensive process.
I started building a list and launched the course to crickets.
I sold 3 programs. My very first student, Suzette is still with me today
Realising that you build and they don’t come, I went back to the drawing board.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Since then I have worked with lots of different marketing and sales strategies .
I got a sales coach and learned how to sell. I decided to go to a live model because I enjoy the real life interaction with students. We would run live events to fill our program and deliver the training live over a long weekend.

Since covid we have reverted to online but are much more skilled at marketing, design and delivery of online training .
What has worked in attracting and retaining customers has been our genuine interest in their results.
While our core training is delivered online, we run concurrent zoom tutorials and work directly with the students to build their strategic plans to execute. When they have completed that training they are able to join our membership
(Wonder Women Renovators) where they are mentored and supported with their projects and are surrounded by a community of like minded renovators.

Our Podcast, She Renovates has been a game changer in terms of spreading our message and connecting with our current and potential students

We have the perfect platform for attracting and retaining customers:

1. Our mission to financially empower women by harnessing their passion for homemaking.
2. Our $100,000 Renovation System has been developed over 30 years and provides a step by step guide to making a safe and scaleable profit from renovating.
3. A loyal and supportive community who renovate , not just for the profit but for the joy and the impact it has on the people they love.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Our business is finally thriving, we have an active community of renovators who are generating an average of $100,000 profit per project. We have a structure for women to team up to do joint ventures to make up for their shortfalls in time , funding or confidence. We are currently working on a leadership structure to make the business less dependent on me . I acknowledge that I am the bottleneck in the business and am working on changing that.
The future looks bright. Our goal is to:

– grow our membership
-to be the obvious place for an Australian woman thinks about renovating after making the terrible realisation that she does not have sufficient financial resources
– To have her grow confidence along with her income so that she can achieve her lifelong dream to be independent and a source of pride for her family (and not a burden.)

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

1. Until you have a team, you have a job, not a business. The every team member you add, build capacity for the business.
2. Learn to do everything yourself first but then hand it over as soon as you can.
3. Dont try to do everything at once, focus on one area of the business at a time until you achieve mastery then move on.
4.Be yourself

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Website : WordPress,
Accounting Xero
CRM Active Campaign
Membership Site 10x Pro
Documents: Google Apps for Business, Descript
Project management: Trello,
Communication Slack
Podcast: Libsyn, Hello Audio,
Interviews : Riverside
Webinars :Zoom & aha Slides
Conference : Remo

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Podcasts: Superfast Business, Content that converts, Programs Business Blueprint ,Superfast Business. Books; Work Less, Make more, Content Hacking,

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Focus on refining your message before doing anything else .

Where can we go to learn more?