Jellaine Ross is the entrepreneur behind beauty and fashion brand Cherry Blooms. She founded the business in 2008, and started by selling her products at the local markets in Brisbane.
Today, Jellaine has transformed Cherry Blooms into a global success - it is expecting a $3 million turnover for 2014. Her products have been featured in the Golden Globes and Oscars swag bags, are sold online, and are now stocked in 1000 retail stores across the world. In 2013, Jellaine was awarded the Telstra Business Women's Award for 'Young Business Woman of the Year' for QLD.
Jellaine has managed to achieve all this from her home office in Brisbane, where she's always close to her daughter Ava, 13 months. Here, she lists her top tips on how to take your business global.
Get a virtual assistant
You can’t get rich doing minor tasks, so delegate as much as you can, and be precious with your energy. Hiring a virtual assistant can free up time you’re spending on admin so you can instead focus on growing the business. At Cherry Blooms, we use oDesk or Elance to find and hire virtual assistants. They are usually based overseas and work remotely, and you can find well educated assistants who don’t charge a fortune.
We use our virtual assistants to upload our Instagram posts because the social media platform doesn’t allow you to preload, so it has to be manually done. We give them the content and they manually post on our behalf.
Manage your virtual assistants digitally
If your team is scattered all over the world, Basecamp is a great project management app for delegating projects to interns and virtual assistants. You can add a task, have it assigned to someone, and the person receives an email – and deadline, if you wish – and Basecamp will keep track of progress of the tasks.
Attend international tradeshows
One of the secrets to Cherry Blooms’ global success is that we have attended many tradeshows. Tradeshows are not only great ways to showcase your products, but they’re also good places to meet key players in your industry and explore partnerships. I make sure to have enough staff with me so I can network with potential new partners when we get busy, and we can focus on building relationships post-show.
We also make sure to hire excess staff (for instance, when we do beauty tradeshows in the US, I find affordable and qualified staff through Craigslist). Having a well-staffed booth helps create a buzz and attracts people to see what we have to offer – and it works every time.
Make your business virtual
The benefits of having a remote team is that you can work from wherever you are which means you can, like me, run a global business from the comfort of your home office.
I work with virtual teams, factories and distribution centres all over the world, and I manage and connect with them through different digital platforms. GoToMeeting is a great tool for virtual team meetings and supports up to 25 users per meeting. We also have groups on WhatsApp that we constantly use to message each other. We use Skype almost daily, Team Viewer so we can see each other's computer screens, and we obviously email each other all the time.
Take your accounting to cloud nine
When dealing with customers, partners and distributors all over the world, I’ve found it really beneficial to streamline all our accounting and administration through a cloud computing system. We use Xero Accounting, which makes it easy to receive and send invoices, and I can access all our financial information even when I’m travelling.
Create marketing campaigns online
If you have customers from all over the world, it can be difficult to find the time to make tailored marketing campaigns. InfusionSoft is a great product to help you with marketing automation; through this software, you can collect information about your potential customers and their habits and deliver tailored content and offerings.
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