On 14 September WAHM WorkSpace celebrated 5 years in business. “Without KZN Women in Business we wouldn’t have had the amazing success that we have”, says CEO Bianca Johnson. Here are her Top 10 Tips of what she has learnt over the last 5 years.
- Networking works, if you work it.
- People do business with people
- Relationships are far more important than anything else
- Money will come and go, but how you affect someone stays forever
- Trying is always worth it
- Collaboration over competition always
- There is always someone who needs what you do
- Honesty and Integrity always win
- Skills change and grow, so can businesses
- When in doubt, be kind.
1. Networking works, if you work it.
I’ve been a member of KZN Women in Business on and off for over 10 years. I attended my first meeting when I was a travel agent almost 13 years ago. I was also a member of BNI and have attended a variety of networking events throughout Durban. The one thing I’ve learnt is that networking is about coming to the meetings with the intention of doing work, not just for socialising or the food. Learning, growing, connecting and building relationships are what makes networking so incredibly effective.
2. People do business with people
It doesn’t really matter what your business name is or what your branding is like. If potential clients or customers don’t know who is behind a business, they’re unlikely to want to do business with that business (unless you’re a huge corporate with a large brand identity). Building relationships is the number one way to move your business forward and to grow.
3. Relationships are far more important than anything else
As I’ve said above, the relationships you build inside and around your business are the most important thing you need to consider when growing your business. Our business experienced incredible success in 2020 purely because of relationships I had nurtured in the years prior to the pandemic.
4. Money will come and go, but how you affect someone stays forever
Whether you make a lot of money, or a little money, doesn’t really matter in the long term of building and sustaining your business. How you are able to influence someone could be the difference in whether your business makes it or not. People remember how others have made them feel, and that stays with them forever. You never know when a referral may come from someone you’ve never actually done business with, but you had an effect on them at some point in the past.
5. Trying is always worth it
Whether you’re trying something new, learning to pivot, changing direction or putting a new method to the test – Trying is always worth it. Tara Mohr says in Playing Big that often women hide by “seeking ever more education, training or certifications – convincing ourselves we need the degree in order to play bigger”. Sometimes just going for it is the step we need to take to grow our business.
6. Collaboration over competition always
I learned from the coworking world about this value at the very beginning of my business. It’s been a wonderful reminder to me that there is always enough work to go around, there is always opportunity to collaborate with people from different industries, and those in your own. There is seldom a need for competition when people do business with people, there’s always someone who prefers the way you do things.
7. There is always someone who needs what you do
Not only is there always someone who needs what you do, there’s always someone who needs it the way you do it. It’s just about going out there and finding people who want things the way you do things. Building relationships, networking and putting yourself out into the world are the best ways to achieve success in business. If you don’t put yourself out there, you can’t be found by the people that need you.
8. Honesty and Integrity always win
Telling the truth in every situation is always the best. As hard as it can be, it’s the best way always. Being true to yourself, your word and your team are equally important. In all situations honour your gut or intuition, in almost all situations where something goes wrong, it’s usually due to not honouring your gut.
9. Skills change and grow, so can businesses
You don’t have to stay the same. You change, your skills change, your business can too. Creating a sustainable business has a lot more to do with adapting to your skills, your lifestyle, the world around you and the situation at hand. Being able to pivot, grow and change has been the one thing that has definitely had the most positive impact on our business.
10. When in doubt, be kind.
Although not directly related to specifics in growing my business, this is definitely an important point about relationships. The world changes – not only for you, but for your clients, team and community. When in doubt – choose kindness always. It’s just a really great way to be in the world, and kind people have bigger circles.
The last 5 years for WAHM WorkSpace in numbers:
- 20 women empowered as Virtual Assistants through the WAHM WorkSpace team
- More than 50 clients assisted directly
- More than 100 lives touched through training, workshops and events
- Over 2000 Social Media posts (just on Facebook).
- 35 Blog posts published
- 2 websites (with multiple iterations along the way).
WAHM WorkSpace – Who we are and where we’re going.
WAHM WorkSpace is a technical virtual assistance agency made up of a team of empowered work at home moms, who are working with and empowering our variety of clients (many of whom are work at home moms too). We specialise in assisting with helping business owners feel at home in the online space – whether that is working on their wordpress websites, their email marketing, inbox and client management or financial services. Our small, but dedicated team is passionate about ensuring that our clients are able to focus on their zone of genius, while we focus on ours.
WAHM WorkSpace strives to be the go to VA agency for creative female entrepreneurs who are wanting to teach their craft online. Whether you’re a photographer, an artist, a web developer or a branding specialist – you’ll find a team who are passionate about you focusing on what you do right, and helping you be your best self online. If you’d like to find out more, visit our website, or book a call with Bianca.
Become a member of KZNWIB and share your successes with an amazing community of supportive women.
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Sue St Leger
Owner of Sue St Leger & Associates
Sue St Leger & Associates
Sue St.Leger, owner of Sue St Leger & Associates, shares her personal tips and thoughts on the importance of women supporting other women in business, leadership and networking. As an experienced profiler and emotional intelligence assessor, she encourages fostering a supportive and empowering environment for women through self-development.