How do you turn a sporting passion into a global operation turning over seven figures while providing the kind of personal and professional flexibility many people dream of?
I’m here to tell you that yes, it’s possible for your business, too (with the right approach and plenty of passion and determination, of course!).
When I started my first business – cycling clothing company Seight – I was entering an incredibly tough retail environment. Many of my competitors were major players and were already well established in the marketplace, so achieving cut-through and a profitable market share were just some of the many challenges I faced.
And yet just a few short years later my business was turning over more than $500,000, and all while I was yet to give up my previous day job. Fast forward another couple of years and my business had hit the magical seven-figure turnover mark and was running almost on autopilot, allowing me to work on what I wanted
To combine a business and a passion and grow them into a profitable enterprise with a major following both locally and internationally is something I’m immensely proud of.
By the time I sold the business, we were the only cycling clothing company in Australia to have three governing bodies (Cycling Victoria, Cycling WA and Cycling Queensland) using our clothing for their athletes. We were the clothing partner for
the largest charity ride in Australia – the Ride to Conquer Cancer – and we had national champions and professional riders either wearing our clothing and raving about it, or begging their team owners to make the switch to our gear.
When I reflect on that success, what I’m equally proud of is the way in which my company was perceived, both internally and externally. Our products and services had a reputation within the industry of being of the highest quality, which is a status you don’t earn overnight.
And within our four walls, we worked hard and yet had some of the most enjoyable times of our lives. I chose to create an environment for my staff in which our success was measured in results, not hours. If we got the job done early, why shouldn’t they enjoy the spoils of that hard work and leave the office early, or take a day off? Culture is everything in the modern workplace, and we had staff bringing friends to work in the business, such was the environment we worked hard to foster.
Now I’m proud to say I’m helping other small business owners to do all this and more. Some have taken their business ideas from seed to fruition and are now running highly profitable operations, while others have grown their business and processes to a point that has enabled them to take extended holidays while their business runs itself.
Tristan Wright – Small Business Maven