Susan Bell started Susan Bell Research after the birth of her second child. Susan recognised that, with the long hours in her industry, she could not be the parent she wished to by remaining employed.
Susan is a consumer researcher who designs and conducts surveys and qualitative reviews. Her clientele typically consists of large corporates, small to medium non-profits, and the government. She excels at research on difficult and complex issues, or for clients whose markets are changing. Susan also has experience in conference and webinar presenting. Choosing projects that interest her or are of value would have to be Susan’s favourite part of running a business.
Sue continues to work towards her ideal business. Here is what that looks like:
“I am actively involved working with clients like arts organisations helping them understand their customers. These clients have come to us because they want my ideas. I have enough support to take holidays and weekends off.”
Who’s your favourite entrepreneur and why?
“Melanie Perkins from Canva really impresses me. She is young, Australian, very successful. She (and her co-founders) designed a product that is very easy to use.”
What advice do you wish you had been given when you started?
- Don’t lose your confidence.
- Go on a course to learn how to sell.
What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business?
“I am a researcher, so not surprisingly I would say ‘research your market’. This doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. It can be as easy as watching how people behave in a certain location. The trick is to avoid asking people who just want to be nice to you!”
Sue recommends sharpening these skills as you start out in business
- Cash flow is the most important skill.
- Keep connected to your customers/clients
- Think long term. For example, respect your suppliers and pay them on time. They will help you later when you need them.
- Selling, in order to maintain cash flow.
What are your thoughts on being a member of HerBusiness
“I have been in business for 25 years. Although it is still going strong, I need a refresh, to think about my business from the outside. Suzi’s focus on marketing and selling is just what I need.”