To help inspire and empower women with their own small business we're catching up with the girls who are putting themselves out there to make their dreams come true.
This week we're catching up with Lee-Anne Johnson of North QLD Mumpreneurs Expo to find out what it's like running a business from a small country Queensland town.
Tell us a little about yourself, what’s the day to day life like for a small business owner in the tropics of Queensland?
With three small children life in the Tropics is busy. I live in a small country town four hours west of Townsville called Hughenden. Between the day to day running of the business I love spending time with my family swimming in the pool or running around in the back yard. I did find it difficult at first to run a business from such a small remote town but with the joys of the internet my life is bliss!!
Who inspires you, that encourages you to reach out and make things happen?
My family and friends inspire me to make things happen. I know everyone needs a helping hand out there and I'm here just to reach out and support people on their journey.
How did the idea come about for North Qld Mumpreneurs Expo? Did you go to other expos across the country and think ‘that’s what we need, I’ll make that happen!” or did it come around more organically?
The expos started as a fundraiser idea for the Townsville Roller Derby League and watching friends and family trying to start their own small businesses and paying a fortune for trade displays, marketing gear etc I wanted to do more to help them at a low cost!
Since the first fundraiser I was asked 'so whens the next one?" and it grew from there. Now we have six planned for the 2011 year with many fundraisers in between including our big calander for the end of year!
Are you a natural people person or is it something that you’ve had to learn from being the organiser of such an event?
I have learnt to be more of a people person from the expos. Having to talk to so many people on a regular basis via Facebook and email you have to be more aware of how you come across.
What do you enjoy most about the business?
Lending a hand. We are all human and I'm more than happy to go that extra step for people in need!
What’s been the hardest part or experience you’re had since starting the business?
Trying to set up the actual business side of it – paperwork, book keeping, etc trying to find the right payment and invoicing systems.
What do you think has been the most successful promotional activities you’ve explored to getting the word out about North Qld Mumpreneurs Expo?
Advertising via Facebook and having conections in the media to do stories for us.
You have a flourishing number of followers on Facebook – what do you think has been the best thing about being on Facebook?
The networking side of Facebook is the best thing it is so easy to spread the word and connect to more and more people. I have had emails from all over from people passing on the messages about upcoming events! It is truly fantastic.
Have you noticed an impact from all the natural disasters that have hit Queensland this summer with your mumpreneurs and the expo?
All our mumpreneurs are heart broken by the deverstation Queensland has induered the past few months. We have been doing fundraisers to help out, our first one was for the flood victims in which we did an auction and raised $2550 we are doing two raffles at the upcoming expo in Townsville for the cyclone victims and the New Zealand earthquake victims. Many of our mumpreneurs have been directly effected by these events and we are happy to help out.
What are the hopes and plans for North Qld Mumpreneurs Expo this year?
Well our hopes are to expand to all over Queensland within the next year which is already in progress with the launch of our sub branch South East Queensland Mumpreneurs Expo which we have a full weekend of expos coming up. We are also hoping to raise over $5,000 for charities and community groups throughout the year.
What would be your top 5 tips you’d give to someone starting out?
1. Plan well
2. Be organised
3. Research your tax obligations
4. Register your name and logo for trade marking so you are the only one
5. Research the market for your idea ( is it needed is there a place in the market for you)