In the rough and tumble of the business world, where tumbleweeds threaten to blow in, when over half experience cataclysmic failure in the first five years (and where even if you have succeeded to run your business well for a number of years, your exit plan doesn’t always go to plan), there are entrepreneurial business owners bucking these trends.
We will investigate two scenarios which illustrate this. Both of them are local entrepreneurs, doing extraordinary things. This week, we will see how a start-up really has taken off beyond the owner’s wildest expectations, and next time, we’ll examine a creative exit strategy that has all stakeholders positively beaming.
Imagine that you had a promising accounting career, but you just weren’t into it? Instead, you had a passion that took up all your free time and had occupancy of your heart. What’s more, with the encouragement of your friends (who already saw you as an expert in this passion of yours), you decided to jump horses from accounting, to focus on investment property real estate.
So, you started your own business – a buyer’s agency.
You entered with no great expectations, apart from hard work and commitment to your clients, and you knew that going into business was risky. You were told that most fail early and that you can’t expect to make a profit in the first couple of years because that’s when you needed to build it from the ground up.
To your surprise, the business took off quickly beyond your wildest dreams, and you completely replaced your corporate salary in the first six months! You were also able to quit your day job, permanently. And of course, you were absolutely delighted – and why wouldn’t you be?
Enter Claire Corby, one of our extraordinary people doing extraordinary things in the commercial world in Canberra. A born-and-bred, third-generation-Canberran, hers is a relatively new business model.
Claire runs the Capital Buyers’ Agency and asked about the early lessons learnt in business, she said:
“The hardest part was getting clear on exactly who I wanted to work with. At first, I was helping anyone and everyone, and didn’t have a clear audience. But today, I help people to find ideal Canberra homes and to settle into their new life so that they can enjoy living in our beautiful city from day one.
You know, you often hear people say it’s hard to make friends here, so as a born-and-bred Canberra girl, I get to share local insights to help newcomers hit the ground running and love it here as much as I do.”
Why has she experienced success so early? Perhaps she’s found that gap that needs filling; that problem that needs a solution. It’s the chicken-and-the egg scenario that many get wrong, but not in Claire’s case.
Find a problem you can solve for people, and you have a model that works.
At the other end of the scale, you have a seasoned business owner who dreamed up an excellent exit strategy. We will investigate this one next time.
Note: Do you know of any new businesses in Canberra that are bucking the trend by solving a problem and creating an industry/solution that wasn’t there before?