Second time around

Second time around


smallbusiness.smh.com.au
March 10, 2008 – 2:40PM

Using your networks and experience to push forward on your next big
idea may seem only natural to the second-time entrepreneur but just how
hard is it?

You may have left the other business with a golden handshake. In
some cases, it didn’t work out. Either way, you have to recharge and
find the passion to do it all over again – tough call!

Using your networks and experience to push forward on your next big
idea may seem only natural to the second-time entrepreneur but just how
hard is it?

You may have left the other business with a golden handshake. In
some cases, it didn’t work out. Either way, you have to recharge and
find the passion to do it all over again – tough call!

Jon Dobell, managing partner of strategic growth markets at Ernst
and Young (EY), says the ability to tap into a trend and be really
fired up is a common thread with second timers.

”For example, the 2007 winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year
Award – Shane Yeend at Imagination (a global game and media group) –
went through a number of businesses changes  in the tech space over ten
years before the big one. The tech wreck didn’t dampen his spirits so
there’s that trait of being flexible to reinvent yourself and still
keep the passion for business.”

An EY study of over 200 global leader enterprises identified six
fundamentals for any business to succeed and these included managing
risk; transactions and alliances; operational effectiveness; managing
finance; customer recruitment and people recruitment and retention.

The nature of entrepreneurs is to be optimistic and that’s tied up with their business, says Dobell.

”But they won’t discount advice even if it’s negative; managing risk is still necessary.”

Most businesses nominate cash flow as a crucial factor but Jon says
that managing all risks can make the difference in the start-up phase.
Start- up risk is far different to secondary growth phases.

Alliances are important because organic growth may not be enough. The
nature of an entrepreneur is to fly solo but to succeed, says Dobell,
you need to look for alliances, acquisitions and other transactions to
grow beyond what your competitors are doing.

”Most entrepreneurs don’t consider they have competitors and only
benchmark against themselves. They see themselves as drivers of the
space so their ability to identify transaction or alliance partners is
probably more open in terms of what they want to achieve.”

Operational effectiveness is important as the business grows and goes into a global strength.

”As soon as you get into multiple jurisdictions and different
reporting regimes then you need to have that quality. So it’s far more
important in early stages to get the core of the business right.”

Brian Stokes founded Cartridge World as his second business after
the first venture in dry cleaning failed and he wound up with bad
debts. Stokes realised that the solution was to find a new angle and he
quickly realised that he could refill ink cartridges at home and with
little cost. However, a hand injury changed all that and he began to
teach others and
think about franchising. Cartridge World came out of that experience and what a global winner it is!

Another second timer rounder is Shelley Barrett, who owned a modelling
agency for ten years before she started up ModelCo – now a global
distributor of cosmetics and skincare.
While her agency was successful, she felt that it had peaked and struck
forth into brand marketing. The Lash Wand was her first launch and the
success of that was the foundation for ModelCo.

Traudl Troska began her second business – Schon – as an artisan
jeweller after selling the highly successful Von Troska fashion label
in late 2006.

She’d been longing to get back to design basics and had taken up a
course in silver smithing some time earlier before making the jump.

”I always loved accessories and collecting things so it just seemed
such a logical fit. When I travelled, I always looked for jewellery so
the interest was always there. When I knew it was time for a change in
career, I took it back up you never stop learning.”

”When you have the passion and talent, you can’t wait to learn more.”

Now, Traudl works from home with her tools and uses online and direct selling for the Schon collections and plans to export.

”I think it would be harder if I hadn’t got the fashion background.
It’s related in terms of producing something beautiful; looking after
customers and being proud of the end result.”

”I enjoy working with my hands. In fashion, you need pattern
makers, machinists and button holers but with this, I can do the whole
thing from beginning to end. If I have the material and tools, I can
make it come to life in a day. I always got satisfaction from people
wearing my clothes but I get that feeling seeing women wearing my
jewellery so that hasn’t changed. The money isn’t the driving factor.”

 



 

Leave a Reply