Hey guys – here are my notes from Sarah Riegelhuth’s presentation at the Young Entrepreneurs’ Unconvention in Sydney in September 2012 #uncon. (Blog posts with notes from the other sessions by Jack Delosa, Peter Davison, Matt Rockman are coming up)
Sarah Riegelhuth @SarahRiegelhuth is co-founder of Wealth Enhancers, is the youngest Board Member in the history of the Association of Financial Advisers and also co-founder of the League of Extraordinary Women.
Here are some top tips from the session including tips for Media and PR, Business Awards, Cloud Accounting, Cloud Apps, Project Management and Systemizing your Business and Processes:
Find your edge – what makes you stand out from the crowd?
“Failure is simply the opportunity to try again, this time, more intelligently” – Henry Ford
“One person with passion is better than forty person merely interested” – E.M. Foster
Ideas are a dime a dozen, that is not what gets you across the line, if you don’t stick with it and see it through nothing will come out of it
Had a handshake deal for a business, put months of work and $45K, when contract came it was nowhere near what agreed. Could not go ahead as no trust
Lesson – fail fast and fail often, rather than making big errors that will cost you
Started new biz, had opportunity to buy biz with 100 names on the list and 20,000 recurring revenue, bought that to start biz, recently had valuation of biz at just under $4 million
Had office opening, 3 people in 20s but invited everyone they knew and 80 people came
Tips for getting PR and Media Coverage
Go to a professional association event – there will be a table of journalists
By getting media and press coverage, you are being positioned as an expert
Once you build up credibility in your trade industry press, then you can make the leap into mainstream media
Drop everything to talk to them, take journalists out to coffee, let them know you are always available for them
Use sourcebottle – you get email with call outs from journalists for stories
Spark controversy within your profession
After being in business for 18 months, a lot of people were looking at them as kids and saying lets watch them fall, tall poppy syndrome in Australia
Focus on targeting a niche market
Problem how to cut through – as 28,000 financial advisers in Australia, also impossible to come up top in google for “financial advisers” as big banks etc have that space covered
Don’t want to necessarily come up first Google for financial advisers – target niche market which is sports professionals and entertainers
Sarah recommends listening to Stanford’s Entrepreneurship Corner: Podcasts
Take the best from all of your competitors and build that into your model
Dealt with young clients – most financial advisers target retirees
Tips for Business Awards
Look for awards in your industry to start off with, then more broader like Telstra Business Awards. Tip about awards – Sarah was a judge and said they had to mark every single question with a score out of 10, each of the quesitons were marked in isolation. So someone would have a great award application but put one liners for some questions, so you need to give every question as much effort as the other questions.
Crucial to have systems and processes
As you have to do anything in your business, pretend you have to train 10 people to do that, pretend you are bigger than you are. The earlier you can systemize the better. They had staff turnover last year and realized their systems were not tight enough – they were losing knowledge with staff turnover. Even start with a word document on 5 steps to do X, then when you have new staff members ask them to try the document and see if they can do it better.
Their whole entire business is on workflow tasks, they use financial management software, use various cloud computing tools to have everyone communicating in one place
Recommended Cloud Computing Resources:
- Salesforce – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software in the cloud
- Basecamp – Online project management tool in the cloud – world’s most popular project management app
- Dropbox – cloud storage to share files in one place
Moved into new office, completely hot desk, got rid of filing cabinets
Create culture of being able to adapt quickly and change
They moved everything to cloud – no more outlook, everything to Gmail. Otherwise they would have to pass around the laptop and say look at Sarah’s email etc.
Being a leader is about inspiring people on a continual basis. Manage systems, lead people.
Measure everything you are doing, as if you are not measuring you are not accountable.
Matt Barrie from Freelancer said when they added that “completion” bar to profiles the amount of people filling up all that missing info in their profiles jumped 80%, just because they didn’t want it to show incomplete in that bar
“Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them” Alfred North Whitehead
Made an acquisition last year that doubled the size of their business, went into $1 million of debt to do it, but says best thing they ever did
Curse of the entrepreneur is so many ideas and opportunities, but can’t do everything, have to have goals and do focused, have to think if I am true to myself is that going to get me to my goal?
Rather be doing 1-2 things at 100% then lots of things half assed
Know the numbers – if you don’t take responsibility for knowing exactly where you sit financially you are digging your own hole
Online Cloud Accounting Software:
- Xero – They use xero accounting software, switched over on the first of July, says it is way easier and has been a godsend. They hook up to datafeeds and your online banking, so do these other options:
- Freshbooks – cloud accounting
- Saasu – online accounting
If you are small – do the bookkeeping yourself, if you can do it for a little while and get your head around it you will benefit when you outsource it later, keep up to date, not just “I’ll deal with it at the end of the year”
The power of focus and vision – 10% mindset, there are always a million things on your list to do, that goal – “the 100%” just keeps getting bigger. No matter how much you do you still feel like you are 10% of the way of your journey, the moment you feel like you are at the end is probably when you need to move on as that is probably when the passion is gone
As an entrepreneur, need to get used to the feeling that you are never going to be “finished”
Met Liz, Marie and Cheryl – started League of Extraordinary Women
The harder you work, the luckier you become
More blog posts coming up with notes from the other sessions at the Young Entrepreneurs’ Unconvention Sydney and other conferences around the world including Affiliate Summit and Clickbank Exchange in New York – for all the notes, videos and guides join our newsletter here.