In the entrepreneurial world, age means very little, in fact sometimes it makes you more willing to take risks – sometimes good, and when they’re not, you dust it off and start again.
That’s the way it is for 29 year old serial business owner Jessica Bryce, who just two weeks ago was hospitalised after sustaining a nasty bite while treking the Kokoka Track in Papua New Guinea.
But this week, she’s back healthy and busy promoting her fourth business venture, bespoke nail polish company, Say It With Polish.
Jessica is smart and energetic. It’s not that she’s got the best ideas in business, although they are pretty good. Rather, it’s her financial savviness and business brains, which gives her confidence and the upper hand when deciding whether a business is worth her time, head space and money.
“As women, coming up with ideas isn’t the hard part, a lot of the time having the cash at the start isn’t hard either, but it’s about realising all the possibilities, putting down all the financials and figuring out what you need to be doing to make a profit that’s the challenge.”
Having started out her career as a banking analyst in the high pressure world of corporate mergers, she learnt early the importance of having a good business model and making sure the financials stack up.
Now, seven years on, she’s sold two successful online companies, and has just celebrated her first year as founder of Say It With Polish, and a public relations business JBPR.
Jess was just 22 years of age when she went through a business broker with her pilot boyfriend, and now husband Jarrod, to find an attractive online company which could provide passive income and provided flexibility – possibly for a family into the future.
That was EZdeals.com.au.
“I took out a loan with my boyfriend and we put in $40,000 each. We had only been dating 6 months.
“We doubled our money. But we wasted a lot too, on things that we didn’t need such as redesigning the website and the logo.”
One lesson she learned from that experience was practising a lean start-up model and not spending money on anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary.
“I soon realised that if you’ve got a good product, people will still buy from an ugly website.”
Ezdeals.com.au was sold just before the daily deals space imploded, so the timing was right.
She and Jarrod soon launched into their next venture The Escape Lounge, replicating the Ezdeals.com.au business model to focus on travel.
The business was a hit and grew fast, perhaps “too quickly” for Jess and 50% was later sold to ASX listed Disruptive Investment Group Limited and the owner of Check-in.com.au and was ultimately bought out.
These days, the 29 year old co-runs Say It With Polish, an online company that allows you to design your own nail polish and personalise the label.
And this time, her connection with the business is a little more emotional because she came up with the idea while trying to find the right gift for her bridesmaids.
Six months of researching, and all around planning her wedding was all it took for the business to get up and running.
“Two months after starting Say it With Polish, the business was turning a profit and after our initial investment,” she says.”
It’s a great position to be in, let alone when you are just starting out.
“As a starting point though, budget for the costs that are needed to get started, and then identify what you need to do to start making money.
“I think some people look at opportunities and think it will cost X to start it, but then they forget about all the ongoing costs after that.”
“My biggest advice to anyone starting out is to nut down on the financials. If you don’t have a business partner who has that expertise, then you need to invest in that advice.
“Talk to as many people as you can and ask for help. You’d be surprised by the opportunities for growth that come up by simply exploring new connections and collaborations.”