Naomi Findlay was a university lecturer in medical science and dabbled in property speculation on the side before she decided to start SILK Home Staging & Styling.
How did the idea for SILK Home Staging & Styling come about?
Investing in property and flipping houses for profit while lecturing, as well as helping friends and acquaintances to maximize sales prices on their homes, lead to me pursuing the idea as a business. SILK Home Staging & Styling was born and it was really an instant success. I soon realized that while there was a huge demand for talented home stagers in Australia, there were no accessible courses for those who wanted to enjoy the same success I have experienced with my business. So I recently founded the International Institute of Home Staging. It offers the first and only interactive online home staging and property styling courses in Australia.
What was the most difficult challenge you faced while starting out?
Taking action with confidence. When you have a great business idea sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the research and planning and to continually delay the launch. Whether that is due to fear or procrastination, it was a problem that I had to knock on the head. So the biggest challenge was taking that big leap and having faith in my concept and ability.
What has been the most effective form of advertising for your business?
The best form of advertising that I have comes from having raving fans. One of my aims is to enjoy my business and to convert my clients into raving fans through excellent service and results. Combining this with the power of social media to spread the words of the raving fans is by far my best advertising tool.
How important is social media to your business?
Social media is very important to my business in that it allows me to showcase my work on a regular basis and to build a picture of the process of achieving results for my clients. It provides me with the platform to build a community of people that share the passion of design and property without having to sell or pitch. Facebook is a particularly great platform to share the visual proof of my work with potential clients. This makes it easier for them to approach me. In addition to being a marketing tool, social media is useful for finding inspiration and for interacting with other small business owners.
What do you think the federal and state governments could do to make things easier for small business owners?
The laws and rules that come with having an employee can sometimes seem overwhelming. Without the guidance of expert business consultants navigating the minefield of being an employer, it can seem overwhelming at times. Any steps the government can take to streamline the management and documentation around this will be a step in the right direction.