I first saw Angela Vithoulkas at a social media for small business presentation and was so impressed by her vitality and passion for what she does that I came straight back to the computer and wrote a story sharing her tips for social media success. So now I'm delighted to be catching up with Angela to find out what makes her tick, inspires her; all to get a better understanding of this woman that so impresses me.
Without doubt, I think Angel is one of the best women I've met this year and I love her five smart tips for small business owners. So come, be inspired and grow with this impressive, real life lady.
Tell us a little about yourself; what’s the day to day life like for a small business owner of VIVO Café and who makes up the team?
I'm a small business owner, second generation. My parents were small business owners as well. I have been in partnership with my brother for almost 27 years!
I run several businesses, have a small hands on team and according to everybody (except me!) I work too hard. I do not have anything close to work life balance.
My day starts at 4 or 5am, often going to 8 or 9pm depending on the day.
Because of the variety of my businesses, my teams vary from cafe army to admin and marketing.
What inspires you, that encourages you to reach out and make things happen?
I have always been inspired by my mum's work ethic, I saw how hard she worked all her life to make a better world for us.
I have always wanted more, so ambition is vary much part of the Angela recipe. I wanted to give small business a voice because in my opinion no one is listening to us.
You run more than just a buzzing café in the heart of the city, you are a renowned public speaker and also have your own radio program, Angela’s Business Mix, how did that all come about?
Yes, more than just a cafe, yet all paths start and return to VIVO Cafe. Everything has been an extension, a natural progression if you will. The food business has done well, we won some awards, people started asking me to speak, then came the radio show. I am now an exclusive Business Blogger for the Commonwealth Bank and their Women In Focus Area. And stay tuned because thats already old news and before the year is out I will have BIGGER news.
Does life seem a little too quiet without a good challenge?
I live in the world of hospitality where catastrophes, fires and people co exist. Its never been quiet. I do dream of a quiet day. And I have had the occasional one.
My business in the cafe world cannot be planned; can't just work around how I feel. We work the hours of the business, and like most small businesses, the less wages I pay the better.
That the world refuses to go as fast as I want. That failure is often humiliating and its not easy to stand up in the middle of it.
But life does in fact go on and you will end up being the only person who remembers a bad day.
What’s been the best thing for the business that you just stumbled upon?
That not everything revolves around me. I really did believe that for a long time.
What do you think has been the most successful promotional activities you’ve explored to getting the word out about VIVO Café?
WOM will always win hands down, the rest are effective but nothing promotes your business like a happy customer.
And now they promote you on line, as well as bad reviews! Social Media has of course changed the way we market ourselves and talk to our customer.
What do you think been a really important regular activity with your social media that’s helped you grow?
Consistency, frequency and honesty. People can tell when you fake it on line as well as in real life.
I’ve learnt great social media lessons from you at your presentations, what do you love about social media?
I can be me. I don't have to be something I'm not. People can get to know me, what I like and what I don't like. I have made a lot of REAL friends and created a lot of opportunities through social media. Most importantly, these connections care enough about me to help me. Its very humbling.
What would be your top 5 small business tips?
1. Learn to love who you are, it translates into your business
2. Appreciate your business for what it is, don't focus on what its not.
3. Respect your cash flow, don't treat it like "easy come easy go"
4. Mistakes are the way we learn, triumph and overcome. Celebrate them.
5. If you don't like what you do or how you do it, CHANGE.
Have your chance to meet Angela and learn more about social media for small business success at this month's seminar!
Grow Your Business with Social Media
We're really enjoying our series on featuring women who are creating and growing their own successful small businesses on Facebook. Each business owner shares her own experiences, what inspires her and 5 business tips for someone starting out.
See below for more stories and check out our Business and Career page for Facebook Small Businesses for all the latest news!
Would you like your story told here on She Inspires? Share with us what inspires you and what you're doing!