When it comes to trust, I always like to take the advice of close friends. Which is why I found myself emailing The Icehouse the morning after having dinner with a friend who had turned his life, and business, around after the advice and mentoring he received from them.
My business, making and selling natural cleaning and beauty products, was nothing like his but I recognised a similar need. We both desperately needed someone to tell us what to do.
As a former magazine editor I was very good at telling other people what to do, but with Wendyl’s Green Goddess I had no experience of running a small manufacturing and retail business. I had grown the business with my husband and son organically over three years and, rather surprisingly, it was doing okay.
It had no debt, was covering its bills and staff costs and had a good, strong brand. But as my son, Daniel Ellison, who manages the business said: “we’re a start-up stuck in start-up.”
We had a lovely family-run business, with a strong following and good sales but we both felt it needed a kick along to get to the next level and start showing a better profit.
From the first meeting we had with Mike Stokes, Director of Sales & Marketing at The Icehouse, I knew we had come to the right place. He had the unique ability to draw from Daniel and I the information he needed to match us with the right mentors and to find out what our business needed in terms of advice and information.
We both left that first meeting feeling like a big weight had been lifted off our shoulders. We looked at each other, mother and son, and grinned from ear to ear.
“Well that feels better,” I said.
When we met our mentors Debra Chantry and Dan Meiklejohn we felt we were not only in safe hands, but professional and very knowledgeable ones. We learned a lot about ourselves, the misconceptions we had about our business, the systems we needed to set up and before long we were being firmly marshalled into making some changes for the better.
At this stage we are working on the “low hanging fruit” as Debra calls it but we are already noticing changes in our bottom line and can’t quite believe it has happened so quickly.
We have bigger challenges to come, including borrowing some money for the first time ever, which freaks us out. But with The Icehouse at our side, we know that money will be invested in the right areas and we trust their advice to make sure that, correctly spent, it will give us a return.
We have never felt this confident about our business and we feel a new energy and enthusiasm for the business which is now simply called Wendyl’s with a new website and product design being rolled out over the next few months.
We have an exciting and busy year ahead at Wendyl’s but I have a feeling my accountant will be telling me that 2014 was the year Wendyl’s came alive.
This blog post is written by Wendyl Nissen, owner of Wendyl's all natural cleaning products.
Read the rest of Wendyl's story:
- Wendyl Nissen and The Icehouse Part 1: A Confident Start
- Wendyl Nissen and The Icehouse Part 2: Charging Forward
- Wendyl Nissen and The Icehouse Part 3: Success