“What I love about small to medium businesses is that they’re often really agile, with founders who are present in the business, infusing it with their personality,” Amanda says. “Big business is, well, big!
“What I’ve learnt in corporate business is how to think and analyse. One of the things I’ve had the chance to do over the years is be a marketing specialist and work with and learn from other specialists – in strategy and finance for example. When you finally leave that environment, you walk out with an incredible kit bag of thinking frameworks that you can use to pick apart almost any business situation.
“When I go into a new small to medium business these days, I don’t walk in with the answers – but I do walk in with a way to get them.”
What we believe about marketing
While Amanda loves small business she also loves marketing. “I don’t really know why,” she says, “but I am just super-passionate about marketing done well.
“I mean, marketing is a story. Your brand is an experience. Why not make it true and authentic and clear and consistent? Not to mention relevant and compelling to a targeted group of customers. In small business you have the chance to make your business and brand come alive in a way that is so difficult to achieve in a big company.
“The thing is, that most people don’t really know what marketing is. They think it’s ads and brochures. Or logos. That’s what they want to tinker around with. They do what John Jantsch calls RAM – random acts of marketing - and then wonder why it doesn’t work.”
Here’s some of what Amanda believes that drives the approach in our marketing workshops.
Six things worth paying attention to if you’re contemplating joining a marketing workshop.
What we believe about business
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, it really is a marketing business. So before anything else, you need a marketing plan and system. After that though, you need to manage the essentials to create these - the foundations of a valuable business. Our foundation courses are structured around these essentials:
The foundations of a valuable business.
The Amanda Story
Amanda began as a publicist in the film industry, created her own small business in the rag trade in her 20s, moved into product marketing in textiles and then product marketing and marketing management in the building materials industry.
Over the last decade she’s been variously the ANZ Marketing Manager for CSR divisions PGH and Hebel, the Group Marketing Manager for property developer and builder The Allam Group, and the National Marketing Manager for James Hardie. Along the way she also spent nine months in CSR’s corporate strategy department, leading bid teams for a couple of acquisitions and researching new business opportunities.
She has a Masters of Management from Macquarie University, and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment from RMIT. (Amanda is also a published author with a book about renovating published by Penguin in 2009.)
Despite achieving career success, she still looks back on her days as a small business owner as the best time of her working life. It’s taken her about 15 years to return there!
“I loved running my own business, Amanda says. “I just loved it. I felt I was constantly learning, solving problems and just having an all round great time. I also loved being the driver of the whole thing.”
Amanda’s business Jam Homewear produced bed linen, pyjamas and bathrobes for David Jones and assorted boutiques, and bed linen and bathrobes for various hotels during the early 90s.
While Amanda couldn’t sew to save herself she could spot a gap in the market. With a strong design vision and the ability to find the right contractors Amanda handled the marketing and selling. She’s learnt a lot since then…
Our workshops are on hold right now but please check out our free white papers and reports below.