Ep. 32 2019 Alison Jack - Founder of Admire Events
In this weeks episode I speak with Alison Jack about her business which is an events management business, called Admire Events. We talk about her pricing model for this type of business and how she started. Alison is lucky to have a great network to assist her with looking after kids and getting business advice.
Tell a little about you, your business (what do you specialize in and how people can contact you) and how you got started?
I am a busy mum of two fire cracker young boys (5.5 and nearly 3 years old). I run my own Event Management business, Admire Events, and also support my parents and husband in their business, a private building certifying company. I am really lucky to be surrounded by a family that own their own businesses (brother has a carpentry business, my in-laws are property buyers, my uncle has a water proofing business, my aunt runs a child minding service, another aunt has a marketing services company in the publishing industry, my cousin had an online boutique clothing company) so when I made the switch after my first son to move from employment to business owner it was scary but exciting and I’ve never looked back.
Do you use any apps in business that you can’t live without?
To be honest I am a bit of a tech dappler. I love to try out new apps or ways to go about business that can make my life easier. These are not necessarily apps but they are programs that I love at the moment:
1. Office 365 – Tip: You can pay for just one account and have multi different email addresses being managed from the one account plus you get the 1TB of doc storage (I pay only $7/mth)
2. Trello – we were using Planner within the Office 365 program but recently switched to Trello to make it easier to share with clients. Basic account is free. Tip: if you are an excel spreadsheet visual person like I am you can set your milestones in excel, grouped together under your list names and then bulk copy and paste straight into Trello and it will create separate cards for each line in excel.
3. Zoom – There is a free version if you are keeping your meeting to less than 40 minutes.
Tip: not only fantastic for hosting meetings but a super useful tool to record yourself and send a video to remote working staff and/or suppliers. It can be softer than an email when giving feedback.
4. PPT – Tip: recently found out that you can record your voice over the slides!! Then if you change to content to only one slide you can just update that one recording on one slide!! Time saver!!
5. Telstra voicemail – Tip: if you’re a busy mumma and don’t want the phone to disturb the kids but feel the need to have a landline number of the sake of business presence – you can turn off the volume on the phone with Telstra but allow it to ring on the dialers end. Then Telstra can sms you when you miss a call. If it’s a genuine call and someone leaves a voicemail it can get sent to you on an email as a voicemail clip. Listen to it, not something you need to answer then forward the email directly onto staff/contractor/supplier.
6. Calendly/CRM/Dropbox or OneDrive - Book your regular meetings in advance (I have regular clients that I have a meeting schedule locked in a year in advance!!) and automate the process – Tip: use even the free version of Calendly to auto send reminders. Automate emails in the lead up to the meeting (even on the free version of mailchimp if you can’t afford a CRM). Set up a dropbox folder for that client and have the automated emails direct them to that dropbox folder so that you only ever need to update dropbox before your meetings and the rest is done for you.
7. My Hours – free online site to track your hours and be able to easily pull timesheets by project/task.
All of the above have free options available to small business busy mums exception Office 365 which I only pay $7/mth for.
What do you specialize in? let’s go deep into that…
With a career that has spanned over a wide variety of the events industry – think fun runs, cycling events, motor car rallies etc – we now predominately focus on “indoor events” (I got sick of getting wet!!) That covers anything from multi day conferences, to workshops, networking functions through to awards dinners.
We’ve worked across government and corporate but we have predominately been within a space that we love – not-for-profit. We recently won the NSW Best Cause Related Event of the Year award within our event industry peak body.
Our services are offered at really varied levels of done for you, done with you and do it yourself. We found, especially working in the not-for-profit space a lot, that many NFP and small business owners are not able to afford the ‘done for you’ services. We’ve developed resources and programs that you can gain support from us no matter how much you have to invest in really elevating your event to that next level so that you can be proud of what you deliver. What want to support anyone starting out at grassroots level, those that cannot afford to hire an event manager or event agency.
Where do you go to get your business information and why?
Oh my word!! This is one of my weaknesses and at times I have to rein myself in to keep focused from all of the information that I flood myself with!!
I work predominately remotely from home unless I have face to face client meeting. (Actually I do have a starter pack with my local co-working space for only 5 days a month which is the perfect amount to get me out of the house) So with working a lot on my own – and the majority of my non work conversations being with small humans – I like to get out to networking events and educational opportunities in person when I can. So that looks like anything from Business Chicks – which I absolutely love!! – to my industry association, mum/women organisations like Mum Society, Mums&Co, Shire Women is my local one. Realise Business are a not-for-profit in Sydney that through the government deliver a lot of free or low cost opportunities for small business.
My time to read is often limited and sporadic, but I give it my best shot. Haha!! (A page here, a page there, a month goes by and try again!!) What I’ve found is that I tend to get through an audio book quicker. So I listen to the books but sometimes don’t absorb as much listening as I do reading (I must be more of a visual person) so if it’s something great then I buy the paperback and quickly read it at a power rate because I’ve already heard it and mark the book up with highlighters and notes to quick reference the good bits.
Books I’ve enjoyed in no particular order are:
· How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
· Chapter One by Daniel Flynn (Co-founder of Thank You)
· Start with Why by Simon Sinek – I got the hard copy of this after listening to it
· The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson
· Unfuck your Finances by Melissa Browne
· The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss (if you are looking for a short cut hack to anything at all it’s in this book. Got a hard copy of this as well)
· Winging It by Emma Isaacs Global CEO of Business Chicks and all round awesome woman
I think the list of books that I’d like to read based on recommendations from various people from various places include:
· Becoming by Michelle Obama
· Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
· Purple Cow by Seth Godin
· The Courage to be Disliked by Fumitaka Koga
· Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Naoko Mori
· Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
· Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
· The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape
· Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff
· Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
· Deep Work by Cal Newport
· The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey
What one area of your business you would like to improve and why and how do you propose to do this?
Managing my accounts, receipts and doing my BAS in a timely manner so that my accountant doesn’t hate me!! Haha!!!
I really should get a book keeper to do this for me and work with my accountant but I keep thinking small by doing tasks that are clearly not in my genius zone.
Some Fun Quick Questions
What do you prefer and why?
1. Vampire or Ware-wolf? Ware-wolf – I love animals, I used to be a Vet Nurse before I changed careers to being an Event Manager. Not a lot of transferable skills in that career change. J
2. Netflix or Stan? Neither, we don’t have any paid TV I’ve never watched either of these programs so I don’t even know what the difference is.
3. Product based business or Service based business? I am service based so I think I can relate to service based business a little more.
CONNECT WITH ME
Facebook Page: @thebusymum
Facebook Group: @thebusymumgroup
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Okay, busy mum! Let’s get real, I mean really real real (is that to many reals). I would lurve to get this podcast out there (in podcast land) so that other business mums can learn from these conversations. As you know, I am on iTunes and I would be forever grateful to get a review on iTunes and the more reviews I receive the more likely iTunes will reward this podcast with a better reach. Here is the iTunes link to help me with a review