Who are you and what business did you start?
Running Minds a counselling business started August 2020 and 7Sleeps a sleepwear online business started June 2021
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I had been a qualified counsellor for 5 years and when my contract finished as a teacher and there was a demand for mental health help due to covid, I made the switch and opened my own practice with the assistance of the NEIS program. It has been the best career change as I find it extremely rewarding. It can be daunting starting your own business particularly during a pandemic but it was definitely the right one.
I had always wanted to start an online business and 7 Sleeps was launched a few months ago. Sleep is so important and comfy pjs is one way to get a better night’s sleep!
Describe the process of launching the business.
My counselling business was slow. I enlisted the assistance of Mia Freedman’s Lady Startup course, which gave me the foundation for starting a business particularly with the marketing and social media side. So when i enrolled in the New Incentive Enterprise Scheme (NEIS) I was able to jump right into launching the business.
My sleepwear business is still very new. I enlisted the help of some boss lady friends including for accounting and social media content. Although I’m the sole owner of my business, I do credit the support of some fabulous business woman. It’s amazing what can happen when small businesses support one another.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Getting creative is key- not to the point it being exhausting but instead providing education and entertainment in an area that is already something that you’re immersed in daily.
Learning from those who already do marketing well is helpful. Social media particularly Instagram have assisted with being seen by my ideal client in both businesses. My approach to marketing is different for each of my businesses but they both are me. Clients want to see the person behind the business and this was a hard thing to get my head around. I get to be more fun on the sleepwear page and I get to talk about important subjects on my counselling page.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
My counselling business has had a lot of growth but that is understandable in these trying times. Everyday when i work with clients, it reminds me that I made the right decision to embark on this journey of private practice. My sleepwear business is still very new but I’m confident in my product – bamboo pj sets. It is a lot of work marketing two businesses but as i have a circle of supportive lady startups and successful business women around me, it certainly has helped with any bumps along the way.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Connecting with other small businesses especially if there is a collaboration opportunity. It’s these collaborations that boost my business.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Website, Facebook and Instagram. Particularly good as these three can all link in with one another for content repurposing.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Real life stories of startups and small businesses. Eg: small businesses sharing their story on social media.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Take the chance on your idea. If you believe in it, go for it. Fear of failure is real but don’t let that stop you. We all have that. You won’t know how successful you will be until you take action. Persistence and patience is key.