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, she has transformed Cherry Blooms into a global success. Her products have been featured in the Golden Globes and Oscars swag bags, and are sold online and stocked through 1,000 retail stores across the world. She has managed to achieve all this from her home office in Brisbane. Here, Jellaine 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 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 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.
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