Powering forward with Mia Plecic
Mia Plecic has always upheld the entrepreneurial spirit, but kicking off her latest business venture in the face of a collapsing economy has made for interesting results.
Australia has entered its first recession in over thirty years, but businesses shouldn’t lose hope just yet – and Mia Plecic’s latest endeavour is a good indication why.
Plecic’s Slick Stick – a hair wand designed to keep errant hairs in place – has become a huge success in the last few months, made all the more impressive due to it being brought to market only after the pandemic unfolded.
Plecic feels that the uptake has largely been due to the fact that everyone has been stuck at home – herself included.
“People are at home and they're not doing anything – they're just scrolling through socials, and they're shopping and getting that instant gratification through online purchasing,” she said.
“I've been home all day every day and there's been nothing else to do, so I'm really just focusing on my business 24/7. So that's been a bonus in the sense of my business growth and how much energy I'm putting into it.”
Approaching the entrepreneurial mixing pot
Considering how well she’s done with Slick Stick, it’s surprising to learn that Plecic hasn’t always had her sights set on wayward hair.
Coming from a personal training background, Plecic’s first forays into start-ups included teeth whitening, cold press juices and even a subscription-based tampon company, but for now she’s content exploring the world of haircare.
“A lot of people think that you need to stick to an industry that you've even been trained in or you've got interest in, but as an entrepreneur, you can't have one specific industry – you could go from pet care to hair care to clothing.
"You need to be able to jump from business to business and use your blueprint because it's all the same no matter what product you're selling."
For Plecic, having fingers in so many entrepreneurial pies has added huge value to her skillset.
“I guess what's evolved over the five start-ups is my imagination and my potential to do different things, market in different ways and try new things when it comes to business.”
This is perhaps most evident in her latest creation. Slick Stick actually started its life as a white label product, meaning it was originally a product available to keen marketers to rebrand and use as they wish.
By strongly believing in the product she was offering, Plecic shows how lucrative these products can be in the hands of business-minded people.
“I can't keep up with stock, which is a good problem to have. We're actually in the process of formulating our own products and increasing the line of products that we have.”
Prepare for the worst to safeguard your future
Even successful business aren’t without their hiccups, and Plecic is the first to admit she’s had bad business experiences.
“I've run into a few issues in the past with trademark problems and business name problems and business partner problems.”
For Plecic, these early learning hurdles have provided invaluable insights that she’s keen to share.
“I think the most important is to really make sure you secure yourself legally.”
"It's really important that we teach ourselves to create systems and procedures as though we are running a multimillion dollar company, because that's the best way to succeed."
“Things like setting up the companies to protect your personal assets and if you are going into business with someone, making sure that you have a shareholder’s agreement in place.
“They’re the sort of things that some people overlook and think “that won't happen to me,” but the sad reality is that more businesses fail than they succeed, especially with business partners.”
It’s not only about considering the big picture, either – Plecic’s success during the pandemic has also hinged on the use of supporting resources.
One of Plecic’s biggest recommendations?
“Just having things like MYOB set up from the start, even if you are bringing in a really small amount of money.
“It's takes the accounting out of my day-to-day job and what I love doing in business is being creative and product development, but I'm not into numbers so I leave that to MYOB.”
Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race
Successful entrepreneurs often tout specific strategies as the only way to succeed in business, but Plecic advises business owners to learn as they go.
“I think you need to both be smart and go slow, but at the same time when the iron’s hot you really need to go for it.”
Her success doesn’t hinge on formulas, business plans or investors – instead, she’s a firm believer in business owners applying their own individual approach to their work.
“I would love to say that I'm sitting here with this big plan, but I'm just going into each day with an open mind and just see what happens.
"There's no right or wrong with start-ups, you've just got to do what feels right. It's very cliché, but I always say follow your gut instinct – if it feels right at the time, do it."
And although innovating can be vital, Plecic says it’s important to not let this get in the way of your core business priorities.
“I think the most important thing for me is just to make sure that I'm on top of my stock, ensure that customer service is on point and the customers are happy and the rest will take care of itself.”
Don’t dismiss the time and energy you invest
Surviving in the current climate is tough for business owners everywhere, but Plecic reminds us that we shouldn’t forget our successes – even the little ones.
“I don't feel like we celebrate our wins enough.”
“As an entrepreneur, you're always looking for that new shining light.
“You hit one goal but don't really give yourself enough time or credit to enjoy it before you move on to the next goal.”
It’s good advice, because even though times are tough, business owners doing it hard shouldn’t beat themselves up – surviving in the current climate is an achievement in itself, after all.
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