Career

Business lessons from Kayla Itsines, Jane Lu and Alyce Tran

Cosmo’s ‘Be The Boss’ series kicked off with some crazy talented (yet refreshingly relatable!) women…

By Lorna Gray

On Saturday morning, Cosmo hosted a special event for budding entrepreneurs in Sydney. Part of Cosmo’s Be The Boss series, this forum focussed on, you guessed it, starting your own business.

And who better to speak at the event than the crazy successful Kayla Itsines, Showpo founder Jane Lu and The Daily Edited co-founder Alyce Tran?!

Here’s some advice from the ladies in-the-know…

Getting the right business idea

Jane Lu, founder of Showpo said: "Think of what you’re interested in as a consumer. I'm not high-fashion and wanted products that would appeal to the mass market. Attainable fashion was always what I envisaged. I wanted to sell stuff that I would like, and I knew there was a lot of people out there like me."

Alyce Tran, co-founder of The Daily Edited was all about achieving attainable luxury. They never go past a certain price point but you will be receiving a little bit of luxury with every mongrammed leather good.

"Think of what thing do you do that might be unique or unusual and capitalise on that," said Kayla.

Oh, and we like this point: The best ideas usually come with a glass (or two) of wine. Jane points us towards Facebook group Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine.

Use social media to attract people to your business

Fun fact: Kayla hadn’t even heard of Instagram when she started out and she credits it 100% to her success. She now has 5.4m followers and counting...

These ladies are in complete control of their Instagram accounts and seriously monitor all the comments/interact with followers/make sure their snaps are perfect.

Kayla said: "Particularly if you’re the face of your brand, control your posts." And with the snaps themselves? "Make sure pictures are relevant and educational to your audience."

Rather than having a company/client relationship, it’s almost like speaking with a friend instead.

Jane added: "Customer service is so important to Showpo. And social media is a big part of that."

Alyce says it's important to tailor the business voice to each medium - The Daily Edited will be different on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat as people consume these differently. So Snapchats may be a bit sillier whereas 'Grams are always luxe.

Putting it into practice...

Get this... Jane Lu actually pretended to go to work for the best part of two years as she felt she couldn't tell her parents she'd quit her job as an accountant. She started Showpo in her parents' garage. So Jane's advice is (unsurprisingly) "Just do it!"

She also says if it's a product-based business, you should spend more money on advertising than stock at first as you can never truly predict what's going to sell. and put systems in place, even if you're working all on your own.

Kayla recommends doing as much as you can yourself. "If you do everything in-house instead of outsourcing, you'll have complete creative control and things get done faster. You're in full control of all the elements."

Alyce saved a year’s salary before quitting job to do The Daily Edited full-time.

"Register your trademark and buy all variations of your domain name," Alyce advises. And she's an ex-lawyer - we trust this advice!!

Some last nuggets...

Alyce: "Be very, very careful with investors – they always want something in return and it's all profit for them. They're not actually invested in your business the way you are."

Jane: "Innovate and change for longevity. Go with the times and listen to your customers."

Alyce: "Get brand ambassadors who fit the brand and people can relate to."

Kayla: "Be 100% passionate about your business. My Grandpa told me: 'If you do things for money and not passion, you’ll never be happy.' He was right."

RELATED VIDEO: This video of Kayla Itsines’ dogs interrupting her workout is SO cute