It takes a lot of guts to leave a successful corporate job to start your own business from home. And it takes a lot of motivation and chutzpah to cold call prospective clients in an attempt to sell them on your new idea. That’s what Heidi Holmes had to do when she left her job at KPMG to start a jobs board for mature-aged workers. She inspired this week’s Enterprise post.
Sales. It’s a word that can shivers down your spine. Many small business owners love the idea of running their own show, but aren’t natural salespeople. They’re passionate about their product or service, but don’t want to sound like they are pushing people into buying it.
For managing director and owner of adage.com.au Heidi Holmes, this was a skill she had to learn to love. “I learnt to like it because that’s how I feed myself!” says Holmes, who launched her jobs board for “mature-aged and age-friendly employers” in early 2011. “It’s very motivating if you don’t have a paycheque coming in.”
Taking on the big guns
When it comes to job sites, this is a market dominated by some big players. For example, seek.com.au and also Fairfax’s (this publisher’s) mycareer.com.au. Holmes, 30, decided to specialise in the “over 45s” market when she because she felt there was a gap in the market. She was also motivated when her father, at 57, sold his business and wasn’t ready to retire. “He wanted to keep working,” she says. “That’s when I started thinking there must be other people alike him, they still have a lot to contribute. But many of them have stayed in the same job for a long period of time. When they want to find a new job, it’s a bigger challenge for some of these people.”
It’s an idea that Holmes toyed with since 2007 when she began working with a developer to build her jobs website. During this time, she was working at professional services firm KPMG, first in tax and then in marketing (she has an accounting degree and a masters degree in marketing). She also researched the market to validate her assumption that a site for mature-aged jobseekers had legs, including writing a university thesis on the issues facing this group. Holmes can reel off any number of statistics about trends in this segment of the workforce.
You can read the rest of the post here.