Olympian, small business owner and Biggest Loser host Hayley Lewis has written a book entitled Dream, Believe Create: A Woman’s Guide to Small Business’, and shared some of the tips it contains in this Q&A.
We asked Hayley to share her experiences of business in the My Business questionnaire.
Q: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started in business?
A: How difficult it was going to be
Q: What are your most effective work habits?
A: Don’t put anything off and be organised at all times
Q: The most important person in my business is ... because ...
A: Me because I pay the bills and buy the stock and manage the staff.
Q: Best business decision you’ve ever made?
A: Exiting Westfield Shopping centre and buying a business that is also an investment property.
Q: What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in business? How did you fix it?
A: Having the wrong builder install the fit-out for the swim school. I had to get another builder to rip out the entire deck and many other structures within the swim centre that were better suited to the environment.
Q: How do you delight customers?
A: Wrapping their presents and showing an interest in them.
Q: What’s your secret team-building tactic?
A: We have a monthly lunch together
Q: Favourite piece of business technology? Why
A: My iPad because it fits in my bag.
Q: Best tip for managing people?
A: Listen and solve the issue as effectively as possible. If they still aren’t happy than I offer them solutions.
Q: Who do you most admire? Why?
A: My Dad. Because he has worked hard his whole life and he makes me believe I can do anything.
Q: What’s more important in business: passion or preparation? Why?
A: Passion, because if you aren’t prepared then the desire for things to work out, just will.
Q: Favorite websites and why they add value to your work?
A: Business Chicks, because I enjoy hearing other business owners ideas.
Q: I drive a …
A: Car … because I run 12km every morning and I prefer not to use my legs for the rest of the day.
Q: What’s your favourite networking activity? Why?
A: Blogging. Because I get good ideas when I do it.
Q: How do you relax?
Q: Favourite sporting team?
A: Reds and the Wallabies because I love Rugby.
Q: If someone gave you $100,000 and said “Invest this in your business by the end of the week – or lose it” what would you do?
A: Buy $100 000 in stock of my best selling items for the shop.
Q: Generation Y: are they as demanding as everyone says?
Q: The Internet is a massively disruptive force. What’s your reaction to disruption?
A: I don’t believe it’s disruptive. If it’s managed, it shouldn’t make a difference.
Q: How do you foster and express creativity?
A: Keep buying beautiful things for the store and merchandising them in a way that inspires others to be creative.