An Interview Small Business Proprietor

An interview with Lea Allison Naturopath 7, September 2010.

Paul Murphy from Liberty Marketing
Hello Lea and thank you for your time today. I would like ask you 10 questions on how you are finding starting up a small business in Australia.

Paul
For starters, what has been the most difficult hurdle to overcome when you started your small business?

Lea Allison from Wellness Within Naturopathic Clinic
The administrative side, learning about profit and loss, BAS and MYOB ensuring that my business runs professionally, quickly and smoothly. It’s one thing to know your job and do it well but expanding on my knowledge in the business area has been time consuming, however well worth it now that I have put the time and effort in.

Paul
Do you have a targeted marketing strategy at the moment?

Lea
Yes I do. My primary focus is with women’s health and I am planning on advertising the same advertisement with a colour photo once per month to attract that market.

Paul
Are your clients fully aware of what you do or do you need to inform them on how your profession can improve their health?

Lea
I do need to promote how my profession can assist. The customer is more interested in what I can do for them specifically rather than what can I do in broader sense.

Paul
I believe you have completed the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme small business training course…did you find this training helpful?

Lea
I found this course vital in setting up a small business. It has taught me basic business skills on how to expand my business rather than let it slide and fail. For example, marketing, advertising, book-keeping and networking. These were the key factors that I took away from the course as well as how to project into the future and plan ahead.

Paul
Where do you see your industry moving into the future?

Lea
The industry in natural health is a strong one and has proven to be continually moving forward for the last 10 years. There are so many modalities in natural health to choose from and I’m finding customers like these choices as they are becoming increasingly more aware of their own responsibilities with regard to their health and therefore are in more control of what they are requiring from the medical profession. Self diagnosing is not a good thing however a professional health practitioner will always be able to start the client off on the right foot first, then they can look at wellness and how to keep themselves on the right track once wellness has been attained.

Paul
What marketing and advertising has worked for you so far?

Lea
The local newspaper. A colour photograph with the advert and only using a point format as to what my services are and who I am targeting my services to. I have learnt keeping adds straight forward and not to busy is the answer to advertising.

Paul
Have you considered what the demographics of your clients are and how you can reach them?

Lea
Yes I am currently advertising to 50,000 in the local newspaper however I am going to try a wider demographic by advertising in the West Australian in the middle of the week. Wednesday being the 2nd most popular day for the West Australian. I may pick up more locals who are reading that particular newspaper on that particular day. It’s worth a shot.

Paul
Who would be your ideal customer and why?
Lea
Women are the best customers. The reason why is because women are great communicators especially to their own families. If something works for them, they will share it with their friends and families and are therefore fantastic advertisers through word and mouth.

Paul
Where would you like your business to be in the next 5 years?
Lea
I am a single parent looking after a 10 year old at present. However ideally building my clientele to a level where school hours are completely covered and that I am able to pay all my expenses both business and personal from the income of my business would be a rewarding personal achievement. I don’t see myself employing anybody but to be busy and earning enough to support a healthy lifestyle for my daughter and myself would be ideal.

Paul
What is the biggest health threat facing Australians in the near future?

Lea
I believe obesity is the biggest health threat. Obesity comes with other inflammatory disorders, now commonly known as metabolic disorder. This means other organs and systems within the body are under stress and struggling. For example, self repair, vitality, energy, good sleep, healthy menstrual cycles in women and especially children with regard to nutritional status and learning ability are all highly regarded as ‘quality of life’. Addressing the body as a whole with regard to obesity and inflammation is the key to wellness and maintaining that wellness once achieved.

Paul
Well that just about concludes our interview with you Lea. I am sure small business people can learn from your experience regarding the small business training…and I strongly agree on the points you made on making sure you have the bookwork in order. The one other major factor I would like to point to is knowing your customer, what they want and especially where they are searching for your products and services. Once you know the demographics and psychographics of your customers you will be able to reduce your marketing costs due to a more targeted marketing and advertising strategy.

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