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Jane Hillsdon; Founder and Managing Director of Dragonfly Marketing

May 8, 2018

Jane is an award winning, passionate marketer dedicated to helping small businesses take advantage of the benefits that marketing has to offer. As the Founder and Managing Director of Dragonfly Marketing, Jane combines her experience as a qualified marketing professional and her huge passion for building relationships to help businesses navigate the ever-changing world of marketing.

Driven by the success of her clients, she is strategic and creative in her thinking. She has the in-depth knowledge of the leading online and offline channels and can provide marketing advice that leads to results. She is a passionate advocate of the advantages and opportunities that marketing can offer individuals and businesses that are looking to make an impact in their industry.

Her positive and energetic mindset is balanced with a realistic and authentic approach to devising marketing strategies that identify and leverage opportunities for her clients to consistently succeed. Jane is also a Certified Practicing Marketer with the Australian Marketing Institute.

Website: https://dragonflymarketing.com.au/

To listen to the full interview on iTunes click here.

You can listen to the full interview on Stitcher click here.

To listen right here on the blog click here.

My guess is that you are here because you are curious about what it might be like to start a business?

Perhaps you’ve been wondering if you have what it takes? If your idea will work or even how much it actually costs to build a successful business?

I’ve written a book that can answer pretty much all your questions “So You Want to Start a Business” and you can download the first 20 pages at www.thestartupsteps.com

15 years of experience working with start up businesses are condensed into this book.

It’s your step by step guide to launch your business smarter and faster and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you and can’t wait to hear about your progress.

Are you ready to grab your excerpt? Click here www.thestartupsteps.com

Happy reading! Now here is the transcript of the podcast.

Ingrid:                                   Hello and here we are today with Jane Hillsdon. Good Morning Jane.

Jane Hillsdon:                     Good Morning Ingrid.

Ingrid:                                   And tell us … what business are you in? What is your business?

Jane Hillsdon:                     My business is Dragonfly Marketing. We are a marketing consultancy based on the Mid North Coast in Port Macquarie and essentially, we help small businesses connect to their target audience, influence their behaviour and ultimately grow.

Ingrid:                                   Sounds fantastic. Thanks so much. So, when did you start this business?

Jane Hillsdon:                     I started the business ten years ago. I started as a sole trader simply free lancing to businesses locally when my kids were all very young. Then the business just kind of organically grew from there to what it is today.

Ingrid:                                   Fantastic and why did you start the business? Was it about the children and the time of life? What was the reason for starting the business?

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yes. Look, I’ve always been in marketing. I did a degree, a business degree, and majored in marketing and advertising and I had worked within that space and I’d been working in Sydney in that space and we moved up to Port Macquarie and I had Alice, my eldest daughter at that time, and was pregnant with my second daughter. I now have three children. So, I really loved what I did. I loved working in marketing and I also felt it was very important for me to stay working and keep my brain engaged and keep myself engaged with a really fast moving and changing industry. So, I originally started the business to provide me with the flexibility to not only do what I love but also to give me a flexible solution that would allow me to be there for my children because at that time they were all very small. In all honesty, I probably need to be more present these days than I did back then.

Ingrid:                                   Are your children teenagers? Are they heading in that direction?

Jane Hillsdon:                     No, my youngest is just about to turn eight and Flur is ten my middle and my eldest is 12.

Ingrid:                                   Because my mom worked the whole time we were at primary school and she said when we got towards high school that she actually felt that we needed more, and there was only two of us, that she just felt that it just changed and she was needed, just what you said, needed to be more available. Rest Jane.

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yes. Yes.

Ingrid:                                   But this is the joy of having your own business isn’t it, that you can start to shape that for what your family needs.

Ingrid:                                   So, from your business you wanted flexibility.  Was there anything else you wanted from day one?

Jane Hillsdon:                     No. Look, as I started it was really just to kind of fill a gap. I was so kind of entrenched in that young children stage that really all I wanted was something to keep my brain engaged. I do really value making an income as well. So, I did actually want to feel like I was contributing to the household financially, you know, even if it was just a little bit. I just felt like I had a little bit more ownership over funds that we could spend as a family if I was contributing. But, the main reason was that flexibility and it still is that flexibility. I think now, if I had to ask for annual labour or if I had to ask my boss every single time I had to leave work to go to a kid’s assembly or sports presentation, whatever the case maybe, I would just … it would kill me. I would hate to feel that trapped. So, the flexibility for me is so important.

Ingrid:                                   And I think, Jane, one of the things that has happened in the corporate world and in the business world is that they’ve realised there has been a need for them to be more flexible as well. So, that kind of going cap in hand and begging for a half a day off … it doesn’t happen quite as much because I think they’ve learned that in order to keep good people, they need to be able to offer that same flexibility.

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yeah.

Ingrid:                                   But, that’s for another discussion isn’t it? So, why am I in it? Sorry.

Jane Hillsdon:                     No, what I was going to say was … yes, I think organisations are starting to see that. I don’t know whether it’s different in metro areas. I’m obviously based in Port Macquarie, which is regional. Yes, they are starting to see that but in reality, I’m not seeing that flow through on a larger scale. Certainly my husband works for a very large corporation in Port Macquarie and there’s no way that they’re even close to that level of thinking.

Ingrid:                                   Oh, okay. So, it’s sort of more city based in those … yeah. So, really good observation. Okay. One of my favourite questions is … when did it feel like the business was real? When did you feel like you are in business?

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yeah and that’s a great question because there’s probably been a couple of milestones along the way and because I didn’t actually intentionally start out for this to be a business, necessarily, I was kind of just doing some freelance work to fill the gap, as I said before and then it has organically grown into what it is. Now, of course, I’m very driven to build it as a business. But, I think, the day that this was a business, that this was a thing, was the day that I realised that I had more work than I was actually capable of completing myself and that I would actually have to hire someone else to help me out. I distinctly remember, it was probably three or four years ago. I distinctly remember that point when I thought, I can’t actually do this all myself. I need some help.

Ingrid:                                   That’s a fantastic answer. Thanks you so much. Everybody’s answer to that is so different. It’s one of my absolute favourite question for that reason. It just brings out such a different point in that business journey. You’re a marketing person, so you’re figuring out what customer want. But, how did you know that people needed what you are offering, you’ve been in marketing a long time. I mean, it’s a bit of a no brainer but how did you know that really and truly people wanted what you were offering?

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yeah, well, as you said, marketing is a necessary function for most businesses. So, marketing as a service, will always be something that will be in demand in some extent. Why me, though? How am I confident that I will be employed in years to come by businesses? I guess where I get the confidence, just like any business, the majority of the leads that I get are generally from word of mouth referrals. I think if you’re doing a good job, people talk about you and they tell their friends or colleagues or whatever and that to me is a sign that you are doing a good job. I guess as a marketer there’s all sorts of things that I do, officially, to understand whether I’m delivering a satisfactory service.

So, I’ll generally survey clients regularly, you know, run a particular programme and then go survey people who’ve taken part in that programme just to make sure it’s meeting and exceeding expectations; however, I think the biggest indication for me is that word of mouth has absolutely helped my business grow. Marketing, while it is a necessary service for businesses, it’s evolved so much over the last … even the last ten years that I’ve had this business. So, to keep myself relevant, I’ve had to majorly, majorly, skill up and educate myself to be able to keep up to date with all the technologies. It’s evolving so quickly. So, again, that’s a huge part of me keeping myself relevant in this arena.

Ingrid:                                   And it truly is, you can’t sit and forget with marketing and that sort of business and actually can’t really sit and forget with any business these days can you?

Jane Hillsdon:                     No, no.

Ingrid:                                   So, there wouldn’t have been a lot of need for money in the early days. Some of the costs … how did you cover those costs? You can tell us a much or as little as you want to tell us. But, how do you fund those early days?

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yeah, you’re right because it did kind of grow organically and quite slowly in that first, say one to five years, was quite organically and slowly. So, I’ve always just self-funded the business and I’ve never really had to draw on any credit. I am also very fortunate not to have many costs associated with running my business day to day, which is great. The major cost is I’ve now moved into an office in town and I do employ some staff. I did have some permanent staff, but I remodeled to employ some contractor staff instead because again, permanent staff just did not fit with my business model and value of flexibility. I felt that was what kind of constricted my business and in order for me to have that flexibility, I need to have a fairly nimble kind of business model. But, I still pay contractors obviously. That and the rent are my major costs, which obviously I can cover; however, I am about to start creating some products that may need some funding beyond my current capabilities. So, I think next year, I will have to investigate some options as to how I do fund those.

Ingrid:                                   Yes, to make that next leap or the next stage. It might take some more money. So, congratulations on self-funding because I think to really constrict, not constrict, but to contain yourself to just doing what you can pay for at the time. I think there’s a lot of value in there from a startup perspective. You can spend money on stuff that’s not necessary and that just puts on more pressure, doesn’t it?

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yes. Absolutely.

Ingrid:                                   So, if you think about your pricing strategies in the early days and you don’t need to tell us how much you charge, but in terms of how did you think about deciding a pricing strategy because you had come from a corporate background and you’re now working with a different group of people. You’d obviously been part of a pricing strategy in the past but, tell us how you thought about a pricing strategy.

Jane Hillsdon:                     I would say, Ingrid, that my pricing strategy has probably caused me the most anxiety because the numbers side of my business was something that I really struggled to get my head around. In my personal life, I’ve probably always stuck my head in the sand and left financial kind of management to my husband largely because it just didn’t really interest me. So, when I got to my business, trying to understand what I should be charging and working at break-even points and all that sort of stuff just didn’t come naturally. So, in the beginning, I basically just set a price. It was way too low. I have always had a problem with undervaluing myself. I really didn’t know what to charge. I kind of knew what I was being charged out at in Sydney because I did quite a bit of freelance work in Sydney. But, I thought this is completely different because this is a regional area. I’m dealing with smaller businesses with lower budgets. I really had no idea. So, I went in far too low and then I guess I just kind of raised the price over the years and got to the point where I am now.

I’ve been working with a fantastic accountant for the last couple of years who’s been able to get me to really understand my numbers to ensure that my pricing strategy is right. So, with him, I have actually raised the prices, not significantly, but I’ve raised them to a point that will ensure that I have an income, I get profit and you know, I can actually pay my bills, etc. However, the biggest problem with the work I do Ingrid and I’m not sure whether it’s the same with you … is that when you’re selling your time for money it’s sometimes really hard to estimate how long things are going to take to do because every business I work with is so different. That’s not necessarily different industries though they generally are but the type of person, the business owner I’m dealing with, is different, so different with each client. It’s really, really hard to duplicate what I’m doing for this client and infer details from that client on to the next one and say, alright, if I’m managing this person’s social media, it takes this many hours because If I get a client who’s perhaps a little bit more of a micromanager or likes to have more revisions and approvals or needs to have a more thorough process then it could be a completely different time for me to send them that.

So, each project’s really different. So, the estimation is different. So, the other thing we also get, in our industry, is scope creep. So we start somewhere and then as then wouldn’t it be great if we could do this, this, this and this? So, that’s another thing to manage. So, more than the actual hourly rate or the project rate is making sure that I don’t experience scope creep and that I do estimate how much time and how much resource I will need to put towards each project or client.

Ingrid:                                   That scope creep’s a real killer, isn’t it, to really care about boundaries and how much more you do and how much more time you do and yeah.

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yes, and because I just find that, not so much anymore … I’m much better now and now I have so much more appreciation of how important it is to actually charge correctly and accordingly and value myself. I’m okay with it now but it really was a hard thing to do.

Ingrid:                                   I think because of naturally wanting to do the best and be the best for the client, sometimes that’s where we can tip over the line as well. When we’re service providers, we’re wanting to provide service and people can be inadvertently … they don’t even … thinking they’re taking advantage but they go “Oh yeah, that’ll be really nice” but in all understanding of just how long it takes to do this particular thing.

Jane Hillsdon:                     That was what I was going to say before I lost my train of thought but yes, I don’t like having the money conversations. I don’t like spelling it out and I find it quite confronting and as I said, I’m a little bit better about it now but I do find those conversations a little bit awkward and confronting so I shy away from it. I probably undervalue it all day so I don’t have to have those conversations, which is really bad. But, as I said, I’m much better now that I know how important it is. It’s taken a while.

Ingrid:                                   It does take a while, doesn’t it? So, and thank you for that Jane. That’s a very honest and open answer. So, exit strategies … have you thought about it and is it … you don’t have to have one. I’m just curious if you’ve thought about what happens at the end.

Jane Hillsdon:                     No. I don’t have an exit strategy and that’s probably because I really don’t have any plans to exit the business. I’m really enjoying what I’m doing and probably because this has grown in a much more organic and at quite a slow rate … it’s not really something that I’ve set up to run and then get out of in five or ten years and also to be honest, I probably haven’t probably got a business to a point where I could scale and replicate, where I’m the key person that’s associated with this business at this moment and at this stage, that kind of works for where I’m at.  So, the next phase that I reference before … the next phase of my business is to build some products that will help me replicate and sell my expertise. At that point, I could start planning for an exit strategy. At this point, I’m having such a great time doing what I’m doing. It works for my lifestyle. My kids are still young. They’re just about to hit high school. So, there’s no real reason to change at this point.

Ingrid:                                   Indeed and that is a legitimate business model today. I think this is one of the things the old model was build something and scale it and there’s a lot of the tech people get super excited about billions of dollars and things. But, there’s a very viable, legitimate business model that says this gives me the lifestyle I want right now and that if there’s nothing at the end, we turn off the lights and we close the doors and that’s the end of it. It gave me this for so long and it actually doesn’t have to be sold to anybody. It can just turn off the lights and we’re off.

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yep, exactly.

Ingrid:                                   So, if you think back to those early days, and I know it’s a while ago now, but is there something you wish you had done differently?

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yeah and it comes back to the pricing and I still think I can do this so much better. But, it’s valuing myself and not, just simply not undervaluing the expertise I bring to the table. I have a lot more confidence in myself now and I think, too, over the last ten years, I have really, really grown and my experience has grown. I haven’t actually calculated it, but I was wondering the other day, and I must have done in excess of 10,000 hours, but I was kind of thinking of the concept of those 10,000 hours that is referred to in Outlier’s book and I think I’ve probably just hit that stage where I’ve been doing marketing for so long now that I just really get it.

I’m so confident to go in and just be able to talk to businesses and advise businesses purely from the IP that’s in my head and to me that helps give me confidence. I’ve recently won a national award for my marketing and again, that just did so much for my confidence. It shouldn’t. I should have been confident and valued myself before that; however, I don’t know if it’s a female thing or whether it’s just that I’ve just been working by myself for the last ten years and you don’t get those performance reviews and you don’t get the pats on your back or those sorts of little prompts that in the corporate world, would be telling you that you are doing a good job and that you’re progressing in your career. You don’t get that as a small business person. So, to me, I’m constantly fighting with putting a value on myself.

Ingrid:                                   Jane, congratulations on a national award. I just didn’t want to break your flow there but man oh man. Congratulations but you know, one of the things I like to talk to people about in terms of when they’re thinking about starting a business and people who are starting early is every day is just to look at what you’ve done today. Did you get a new client? Did you make a phone call that you were scared to make? Did you write a brief paper? Did you publish something on Linked In? What have you done today and then at the end of the month and the end of the week and you go back, and you say, “What have I done for this week?” You know, years ago, when I worked in corporate, we used to have a weekly briefing sheet at the end of our week and we had to say what we’d been working on and what projects we’d been doing and we used to have to submit it up to our manager. I still do that.

Fifteen years later, I don’t have anybody to give it to but at the end of the week I go “So what have I done this week?” My partner has just made me, made me … He said, “I want a list of every single thing you’ve done this year. I want your accolades on a list on a large post it note on the wall. He said “Ingrid, come on” because we all get into that because there’s so much still to do but he said, “Look at what you’ve done”. We get into this look what there is to do and we forget what we’ve done and I just stood the other morning and I made a cup of tea and I thought so what have I done? I had to get a second big post it like big piece of paper to write, but we need to do this daily. We need to do this weekly so that for anyone listening if you’re really wondering or if anyone’s struggling with that sort of what am I doing. There’s nobody giving me a performance review. Give yourself a performance review. It’s a really, really important thing.

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yes. Yes. That’s a great idea and you’re right. As we put projects to bed, we take them off the list and then they’re out of sight. When you were talking then, I was thinking “Oh gosh I’d be lucky to remember what I’ve achieved this year”. But, I’m sure once you actually start writing it down, you’d remember and as you said, I think you’d be very pleasantly surprised and Ingrid, I think I’m going to do that this week before I break for Christmas. I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I think that’s a great idea.

Ingrid:                                   So it can either be fueled with a cup of tea or it can be a glass of wine. It depends on what time of day you’re doing it. Yeah, it just depends on what you want to do. So, slightly different questions from “What would you have done differently” at the beginning … but is there something you wish you’d known from the start because I see that as different question.

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yes and it is a different question but it probably stems back to the same thing for me. That’s how important the key numbers are and when I’m … I’m still learning this and I again, credit my accountant who’s brilliant in terms of just taking it really slowly and kind of one step at a time with me and I was explaining it to someone the other day. I think it took us our first four sessions just for him to truly get the breakeven number in my head. He’s worked with me, not only for … and I guess people who are savvy with numbers, they get that. I guess as a concept it wasn’t that I didn’t understand that, it’s just how that knowing that and making sure that I was meeting that every month and working proactively to make sure that I met that every month, just fundamentally changed the way I approached my revenue generation.

But, even things like, for me, again, when you’re selling your time … the productivity of not only myself but my staff … this was probably more pertinent when I had full time staff but making sure that they actually worked, they were productive. I think it was actually 80% that we used to work with … that 80% of their time was billable hours and that only 20% of their time was actually thinking about doing whatever else you have to do, which again, I use a time shading software. It’s absolutely imperative for my business. So, it’s a fantastic time shading software called Harvest and it will give me all the reports that I need at the tap of a finger and so I’m able to actually see how many billable hours we do as a consultancy and who’s doing how many billable hours and I’m able to actually keep track of that and manage that on a weekly and monthly basis. So, those kind of numbers and again, no regrets, but having known that from the beginning … I just think I would have probably been a little bit more financially ahead for that first few years.

Ingrid:                                   Just tell us what that is … Harvest … H-A-R-V-E-S-T?

Jane Hillsdon:                     H-A-R-V-E-S-T, yes. It’s literally a time shading software. It’s obviously an app on your phone but it’s also on, I use it most on my PC. I literally just click a button when I start working on a particular project and that’s not just client projects. That’s how I end up invoicing clients as well and making sure that I don’t get scope creep. So, if I’ve assigned 15 hours to a client’s marketing, I can go in every week per month. I can go in every week to make sure I’m not exceeding that or vice versa or if I haven’t done enough hours I can quickly fit few more jobs in by the end of the month. I also keep track of what I spend time doing in my business. So, if I’m spending time on my podcast or my business development or admin and emails or invoicing. I just keep track of what I’m doing so if I need to pull reports to see where I’m spending the majority of my time, I can see that.

Ingrid:                                   That’s terrific. So, that whole idea of understanding the numbers and the time and how that impacts your break even, once you get your head around that and I’m fortunately one of those people who does get numbers. I know how to make it really simple for other people to get and as the person doing the explaining, it’s magic when you see somebody understand it. Your accountant probably remembers that moment. It’s one of those things that you just do. It’s quite lovely. Clearly your accountant has been of great assistance to you. Who else apart from yourself, obviously … you can either name names or conceptually?

Jane Hillsdon:                     There isn’t any one person in particular that’s been of assistance to me. I guess it takes a village to raise a small business. But, there’s been several people along the way. I guess, I was thinking about who has helped me along the way and I generally tend to build really strong relationships with a lot of my clients and especially the retainer clients that I work with, I’ll be working with them for years on a monthly basis and also being in a small town, you get to know people a lot more. I think you see them more and the relationship is a lot deeper. So, it’s funny, but I’ve had several clients become almost like mentors. So, a lot of time, there’s some clients when I need to run past ideas because I know that they’ll give me that honest feedback and I know that they know my business and they also know the kind of services I offer. So, they’ve got that great insight to be able to give me honest feedback about things. But, they’re also really successful, established business owners. I’ve been able to kind of ask them questions along the way and they are very happy to help.

I’ve always surrounded myself in people and always been members of local women’s business networks and chamber of commerce and any of those kinds of groups where you can get yourself amongst people that are happy to keep that kind of support. I haven’t had an official mentor. I’ve certainly paid for business coaching and things along the way, which again, was really helpful at the time. I didn’t come from a small business background. So, I forged the way myself. I’ve had to ask questions. There’s no way I could have done this relying on my own resources. I just never would have been able to do. That’s one thing I’ve done is always never been afraid to ask questions and reach out if I need help and just be happy to pay for it too. I never expect anyone to give anything to me or any support for free and sometimes you need to. Sometimes you just need to accept that you have limitations and there are some things that you are going to have to invest in to move you forward.

Ingrid:                                   That’s such a good point, Jane. There can be amongst people, that sort of small business mentality of “What? I have to pay for this?” and “What? I have to pay that much?”

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yes.

Ingrid:                                   You get what you pay for and if you want good coaching, then you pay for good coaching.

Jane Hillsdon:                     That’s exactly right. I guess it’s like the line that I use when I’m talking to potential clients and prospects … it is an investment. That advice that you pay for to take your business, to grow your business to take it to another level is really valuable and it should give you a return on investment. So, don’t look at it as a cost. Look at it as an investment.

Ingrid:                                   Absolutely as is your marketing … as is the investment they make at your marketing.

Jane Hillsdon:                     Absolutely.

Ingrid:                                   You talked a little bit about your customers giving you feedback. Who else gives you feedback or is that where you get your feedback from?

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yeah, that’s my feedback. I guess in the beginning, it used to be friends. I’d to reach out to friends and a lot of time they don’t really understand the context. So, they might be able to give opinions on a logo but even still, it’s personal opinions. It’s not considered business opinions. So, I generally just turn to business colleagues now. My accountant has been able to give me some really good feedback as well because my accountant is actually a client as well as I’m kind of one of his clients as well to. So, he understands, obviously, the service that I give on a client level. So, he’s valuable.

Ingrid:                                   That’s good.

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yes.

Ingrid:                                   So, three characteristics that you have that have made you successful. You’ve eluded to a few as we’ve been talking but what are the three that you think you have that make you successful?

Jane Hillsdon:                     Oh, okay. They might be different from what I’ve eluded to but the characteristics … these are personal characteristics and traits I’ve listed. I think tenacity and grit, definitely, that’s one. The ability to be able to prioritise building relationships, I think and that’s probably something that’s come to me quite recently because again, I think I build relationships quite naturally and I never really thought that is was something that I guess some people don’t do. It’s just so valuable.  It’s so valuable being able to build those relationships. They offer so much that you probably can’t tangiblize. The other one is that I’m very ambitious. I think that probably sits in the same category as tenacity and grit but that ambition, tenacity and grit is just so important when you want to start a small business. I’ve had a couple of … last couple of years there’s been points where it’s been really, really, really hard and I can imagine there would be a lot of people that would have given up. But, I didn’t and I’m out the other side of those hard times now. But I do. I do think you need to have that thick skin and kind of dig deep and stick with it.

Ingrid:                                   And stick with indeed. I think when we look at our recognition of what we’ve achieved, I think that helps with that as well. You have the grit and determination and the ambition and then you look back and see what’s behind and you keep going forward. It’s like when you’re climbing … I don’t know if you’ve done bush walking or climbed up cliffs of anything like that and you just think can I put one more foot in front of another? Then you look back and think man, look how far I’ve come. It just give you that, well, if I’ve done that then I can do this.

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yes. Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Ingrid:                                   Someone comes to you and they possibly do because you’re in a community where you stand out as a small business owner and says to you “Oh, Jane, I’m thinking about starting a business”. What do you say to them?

Jane Hillsdon:                     I would always encourage someone to start their own business because it’s so rewarding and it’s something that I think can be just such a wonderful, wonderful thing. I don’t think everybody is a business owner. I think there’s employers and there’s  employees and while I would never say to somebody “Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to work”, I would just obviously be very encouraging but just say, gently, that it is a lot of hard work and probably just offer them to be a sounding board or if they ever need to chat about it, to talk to me because it is something that can be a lonely journey. Even if you are starting a small business with ten people … if you’re lucky enough to start a business with a staff of ten people, you still sit isolated, I guess, as the business owner. You’ll never be one of the general staff or the people that work for you. So, it can be quite lonely I think, sometimes. I think I would encourage them and try and let them know that it is a bit of hard work and certainly offer my ear if they ever needed to chat.

Ingrid:                                   That’s very lovely, good for you, because I think it, especially in your community, people would look up to you and see you for what you are and if you haven’t already had people coming to you, they probably will. So, the characteristics for a startup. What would you say if someone … would you say to them “I think there’s a couple of characteristics you need to have”? Would you say something like that?

Jane Hillsdon:                     Yeah. Probably only if they ask. The first thing would just be to understand the numbers and gosh I would probably even say to just make sure you have a good accountant. If they didn’t understand the numbers, my advice would be to make sure you have a good accountant from the get go. Make sure you understand your numbers and just so you can start hitting the ground … I don’t know, I see a lot of businesses here that have just zero, zero control and a real tendency to stick their head in the sand when it comes to numbers and I see it quite a lot. I just think if you go in on the right framework and if you go in understanding, really understanding what you need to do financially you just set yourself up for success.

Ingrid:                                   Yeah. Thanks that’s very sage advice there Jane. So, as we bring this to a close … is there anything else you’d like to add or anything that I haven’t ask you that you think is important please?

Jane Hillsdon:                     No. I think we covered it all actually. It’s been really enjoyable. I’ve really enjoyed answering those questions. I love talking about business. I’m usually the one interviewing because I have a column in a magazine and obviously our podcast but I just love it. I love talking business. I’ve really enjoyed it. Thank you.

Ingrid:                                   Indeed, me too, Jane. Especially because I have met you personally having been on your podcast and then actually meet you face to face it just makes that conversation so much nicer, doesn’t it? So thank you and thanks … I’m sure my listeners are thanking you very as well and thanks.

Jane Hillsdon:                     No problems. I really enjoyed it. Thanks Ingrid.

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