To celebrate Small Business Month, we’re launching the Small Business Brilliance series, presented by Salesforce, asking Australia’s top entrepreneurs to share their trade secrets. We sat down with Jessica MacPherson of St Kilda Mums to talk business, babies and biggest challenges…
MC: You started St Kilda Mums in 2009 after organising a working bee at your local hospital where you sorted donated baby gear for new mums in need. What spurred you on?
JM: After the working bee, I started getting emails from social workers asking to find prams and other baby products. I realised pretty quickly this was a service that was needed, so I called an “inaugural committee meeting” with the working bee members and other friends. We knew right away that we wanted to strengthen families by strengthening the services available to them, with quality pre-loved baby goods.
MC: How has St Kilda Mums grown?
JM: Six years ago, we were able to employ me as our first CEO, and since then we’ve grown 20-fold. We have one part-time employee for every 100 volunteers. Last year we helped 20,403 babies and children, and 5,685 of those were younger than 12 months of age.
MC: Our Women In Business survey found that one of the biggest challenges for running a small business was adopting new technologies. You’ve been a Salesforce customer for six years, what tech advice would you give others?
JM: Our key success factor is the way that we’ve been able to use volunteers and great technology. We’ve had a constant stream of Salesforce admin volunteers come through the business for the past six years. We’re always learning [from them]. My advice to other entrepreneurs would be to invest in their own learning. It is easier than ever before, particularly in the Salesforce ecosystem, to educate yourself.
Join us at the marie claire Small Business Brilliance series presented by Salesforce on Wednesday October 9 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney 8:30am-10:30am, and Tuesday October 22 at TwoTonMax in Melbourne 8:30am-10:30am, $50 per person (plus booking fee): eventbrite.com/o/marie-claire-19824407207