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.
Taking digitisation out of the ‘too hard’ basket for SMEs
By Jason Brouwers
The insanity of consumer expectations
By Jason Dooris
Forget how big you are: always have a start-up mentality
By Simon Larcey