Meet Wendy Perry from Switch Start Scale

 

To sum up Wendy Perry from Switch Start Scale in just a few words is a massive challenge.  Author, Educator, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Explorer, Mentor, Innovator and Leader are just a handful of ways to describe Wendy, and to say that she’s a wealth of knowledge and experience is nothing short of an understatement.

Through her coaching and mentoring work, Wendy helps so many to take their business and ideas to the next level, and we are very excited to have this incredibly inspirational SA Woman Member in our Business Spotlight for November.

When Jess from  Jess McEachen Copywriting took five with Wendy, they delved right into who can tap into the free services at Switch Start Scale, her top tips for start-ups and scale-ups, the experience and impact Wendy has had right across the globe, and why 2020 made so many say WTF before reconnecting with their inner entrepreneur to create true innovation!

 

// Thanks for joining us in the business spotlight Wendy! Yours is a name that’s well known and often recommended in our Members Group. But, for those in our wider SAW community who aren’t familiar with you yet, can you let us know what Switch Start Scale is all about and who it is you help?

From the Entrepreneurship Facilitator for Adelaide, you can access free coaching and mentoring, events and tours, webinars and workshops, and get involved in many activities promoting entrepreneurship more broadly across the community.

If you have a business idea, startup or small business, are self-employed and/or scaling up then you can tap into Switch Start Scale services.

Entrepreneurship Facilitators provides you practical assistance to support and encourage you to start a business as a way to create your own job and it is funded by the Australian Government so this means there is no cost to you.

If you are a new client, we will start with a stocktake of where you are at, your free one-on-one session can then turn into an A-Z action plan with coaching and mentoring on a regular basis to get stuff done.  If you are an ongoing client then you can make a time for a 1 hour Get Stuff Done (GSD) session every 4-6 weeks or so.

 

// For any women reading this who are looking Switch or Start and dive into the world of running their own biz – what are your top tips?

If you are looking at starting up a biz here are 5 top tips:

  1. On your idea, research who has already done what because no matter what the idea, you’ll always have competition, so be able to explain what your point of difference is using words that come from your potential customers mouths
  2. Get your idea to a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as quickly as possible, where it is not perfect but you can use customer feedback and suggestions to make the next version better – many people wait too long!
  3. Don’t be afraid to share what your idea is – this doesn’t mean giving away all the details but you have to get feedback and validation to shape where to next
  4. Everyone will have an opinion on what you should do… use your professional judgement and ask yourself whether this view is relevant, would this person be a potential customer, have they been there and done that, do they know your field or the problem you are solving. Filter out the crappy advice!
  5. Yes think local, of course national, but also international from the start – often businesses can be limited due to who and where you might think your target markets are – 2020 has shown us that clients and customers can be anywhere.

 

// Then, for those looking to Scale – what do you feel are the biggest factors in setting yourself up for success as you go to the next level?

As you scale up there is a mix of operational and strategic areas you need to tackle including:

  1. Your team and time – are you spending your time on the things that will help you grow and make sales? What can you stop doing, outsource, delegate and/or start doing to free up your time?
  2. Your IP and systems – have you systematised your Intellectual Property and are there ways that you can protect it? Alongside IP, you’ll need systems that cover policies and procedures, key tasks and human resources, financial forecasts and budgets, customer management and tech stuff.
  3. Your strategic and action plan – have you stated the problem/s you are solving and for whom, do you have ambitions and goals documented, a vision and mission, with an action plan that shows how’ll you’ll implement your strategic plan?
  4. Your partnerships – can you scale up more easily with partner/s? Map out those current and potential partnerships, document the relationships and outcomes.
  5. Your marketing – how are you keeping the leads flowing in, converting to sales and then delivering on the promise of your products or services?  Make this sales process as easy as possible, with a few clicks or contacts, and communicated in a way that uses the language that your customers say, act, think and feel.

Over this year, there have been lots of examples of working with clients to help you by co-hosting webinars, developing or packaging new products and services, or trying out new activities and things you can do online.

Pivoting and doing new stuff, without fear of criticism or not being able to pull it off, saw so much experimentation and innovation. 

This is a bonus by-product of 2020.

Wendy Perry

Switch Start Scale

// 2020 has certainly been a doozie isn’t it! What do you feel the biggest lessons of this year have been? And, what new possibilities have you seen emerge?

Many of us went from shock and disbelief to WTF!

You may have been stuck or panicked, perhaps not knowing what to do with your business, and then after a while the entrepreneur in you went, okay what can you keep doing, stop doing, rescue and/or ramp up?

Almost week by week, the sentiment went up and down, so managing your mental health and energy became a real priority.

Working in your trackies and slippers can be quite comfortable (professional on top though right J) and quickly adapting to online everything became the norm.

Truly valuing what is most important to you moved into sharp focus, as did the need to show kindness and reach out to other people, plus the importance of being resourceful which really is a South Australian trait.

Over this year, there have been lots of examples of working with clients to help you by co-hosting webinars, developing or packaging new products and services, or trying out new activities and things you can do online.

Pivoting and doing new stuff, without fear of criticism or not being able to pull it off, saw so much experimentation and innovation.  This is a bonus by-product of 2020.

 

// It’s fair to say you’re definitely not a one trick pony! Innovator, Leader, Speaker and Author are just a handful of words used to describe you. What have been the highlights in your career prior to getting involved with Switch Start Scale?

Perhaps more like a unicorn than a pony as one of the reasons to go into business was to not get bored ;).

Winning the Switch Start Scale contract with the Australian Government, starting in January 2019 was awesome and I love seeing people grow and take charge of their lives.

This opportunity was seeded many years ago as the company was founded in 2002 and Workforce BluePrint was launched in 2006.  Building capability and capacity, working across Education and Training including VET/Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET), Employment and Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Startups and Scaleups, 21st Century Capabilities and Future Jobs, Strategic Workforce Planning and Development for Businesses and Employers, Government and Industry, Regions and Countries.

In 2012-13, expanding internationally was put into the strategic plan which has led to working with clients are across all Australian states and territories, and global connections in Africa, Bhutan, Ecuador, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and the USA.  Having a positive global impact is a huge driver and there are a few favourite countries and projects including working with the United Nations in Germany, startups in Bhutan and Indonesia, plus presenting in Bangkok, Thailand and Seoul, South Korea.

 

// Switch Start Scale has a prolific Events line-up and you lead from the front with helping others to network and make valuable connections. What do you feel is most important in being involved in a community like SA Woman?

Giving first without the expectation of anything back is incredibly important because when you provide value, others will see this demonstration of who you are and what you are capable of.  Listening carefully to what clients and people in your network are saying or struggling with, gives you insight and can really help you remain relevant and on point. This is how Switch Start Scale generates ideas for networking events, innovation tours, webinars, workshops and Get Stuff Done sessions.

Being inclusive, warm and welcoming in a community like SA Woman and Switch Start Scale provides such an enormous return – wherever you can, opening up networks, smoothing connections, making introductions because I want to see you develop and grow, that is a core value.

 

// Now for a question we do love to ask everyone – where are your favourite spots for a delish working lunch?

Old school lunches are what I enjoy, which maybe harps back to the days when Friday lunch was a whole day event – ah the memories as the company is now 19+ years old. A historic pub like The Rising Sun Inn at Kensington, or a spot with a view – sea, water or winery – are favourites.

 

// Lastly – as a woman in business, what are you feeling most inspired about right now? Whether it’s on the ground with local businesses, or women we just have to check out on Facebook, Insta or listen into on a podcast?

It is amazing to help those businesses who are bouncing back, especially where there were so many cancellations and projects pushed out earlier in the year. Seeing people at events again is lovely and I’ll be hosting another Reigniting Economic Growth & Entrepreneurship – Leaders Forum & Dinner soon #ReigniteSA.

I’m currently working on a project in Bhutan to support unemployed youth, as well as setting up another business called Blue Poppy Ventures with an online shop, selling products made by entrepreneurs in developing countries.

PS. Currently looking for more products (mostly material based) in case any SA Woman community members have any contacts OS? Thanks!

 

Thanks for chatting with us Wendy!


Find out more about Switch Start Scale:

Facebook: Switch Start Scale

Instagram@wendy_a_perry

LinkedInWendy Perry

Websitewww.switchstartscale.com.au

Other great articles from Wendy: