In 2015, third year Curtin Interior Architecture student Melissa Louis decided to utilise her entrepreneurship skills to start her own business, Imperio Investments. She combined her experience in property management, investment and development with skills acquired through her studies; which included: design principles, spatial layouts and building and construction needs. Her ability to recognise potential investments and understand her clients’ lifestyle preferences contributes to her success. That year, Melissa completed her final year thesis and launched her business through the Entourage’s Scaleable and Saleable program.
Melissa attributes her entrepreneurial success to utilising ‘lean strategies’ to start her business and discusses how she managed the first year of her business.
What are Lean Strategies?
Lean Strategies are strategies in which individuals create more or the same profit as competitors but with fewer resources. Many people think that having less capital or resources than larger corporations reduces your success rate substantially, however I believe it forces you to think creatively and innovate with what pragmatics you have.
Throughout my own business, I have used various lean strategies which have allowed me to still achieve the same result as others who have spent thousands of dollars within their start up. Having a degree in Interior Architecture enabled me to use those skills in an innovative and creative approach.
Now that I have learnt a lot throughout the first year of business, I have invested money into a great lawyer, I found that the advice and legal side of business is something that you cannot avoid. In the setup foundation it’s essential to have a great lawyer.
I have also started to delegate my tasks to offshore companies. As great as lean strategies are, there is also the balance of time and money to be considered. I found all my time was spent on marketing with not enough money coming through the door. Therefore, I made a list of priorities on how I was going to generate income.
Smaller tasks like copy writing and designing I have now outsourced to freelancers. It may cost me money to pay them but it’s more beneficial for me to concentrate on sales and systems to increase the profit of the business.
An advisor once told me, “Every task you consider, you should also think what is the return of investment, how can my money be better spent?”