Power up with Mel Power


6th November, 2020

Power up: Building a global business during a pandemic

Introducing a new series by serial entrepreneur Mel Power, the local business leader describes how the pandemic has motivated a global expansion.

I often used to wonder if there is ever a good time to start a business. It wasn’t until I grew a global business during a pandemic that I truly appreciated the answer.

A couple of months ago my business turned 18 months old and I’d hit almost $2m in revenue. In January I’m on target to hit $1m turnover a month. This isn’t a bragging exercise, this is an “OMG, I can’t believe I just wrote that”, pinch-myself moment.

I’m a mum of three boys from Maitland. Sure, you could call me a serial entrepreneur, but I’ve never been in the position I am today.

In this article, I’ll provide a little context for myself and my business journey, as well as offering some takeaway lessons for you to apply on your own ventures.

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Did COVID-19 change the way I approach my business?

Mel Power, Command The Price You Deserve
Mel Power is taking her business coaching operation to the world. Photo: Supplied.


To answer the question I need to think about my why and what motivated me to shake up my business and dive head first (without a helmet!) into my love of education and community.

Before I started my educational mindset programme, Command the Price you Deserve, my business had grown to 120 clients in under a year and I was feeling confident about the approach I had taken to scaling my practice.

At the same time I was noticing a big disconnect in the communities I managed and participated in, with people feeling exhausted and under valued. It struck a chord with me after years of being in the same boat.

This was my second stab at running my own practice. After experiencing complete burnout with my last business and finding a sustainable solution, I knew I could share my learnings with my fellow number nerds.

As I grew a thriving community, I soon realised it’s about more than just sharing ideas, best practice and experience – it’s about mindset and processes.

Without hesitation I scribbled ideas onto paper and set up a Facebook ad; I had no idea if it would work, I had no website, I had no business plan, and my idea for the programme was still on a scrap of paper.

And then the bookings rolled in. One after the other they came, a conveyor belt of people seeking answers, more time with their families, recurring clients and the respect they deserve for the value they deliver to businesses across the globe.

I had just got into the swing of things and hired a couple of contractors to help me when the COVID-19 pandemic gripped its hands across the world.

Nations across the globe went into lockdown, sending the economy spiralling and SMEs scrambling to pivot online and or apply for the stimulus packages being offered by governments.

The students continued to roll in. To respond to the demand and emerging gap* in the market, we created new modules and a new entry-level programme, Cashflow Specialist.

This online training provides support and bookkeeping software certification for people out of jobs or suddenly needing a second income to provide for their families – a reality I know all too well.

*Bookkeeping and accounting has never been in greater demand. I now have a team of almost 40 experts providing coaching and training to people across the globe. With government relief packages requiring current and accurate financial data, the value we can offer businesses is significant.

There are millions of SMEs in the USA, a country battling the spread of COVID-19 during a stormy year of election campaigning. We knew from our existing modules that stay at home mums were signing up, desperate for extra cash without some outrageous ‘up front fee’ or needing to buy a load of kit just to get started.

With little experience of the US market, I found myself launching a US$97 product aimed at creating jobs during a global recession.

So, if you’re asking yourself the same question, here’s my advice on getting started:

  • Don’t worry about a fancy website or changing your LinkedIn to the fashionable founder title — focus on your idea and who you’re talking to
  • Get to grips with social media advertising and how it works
  • Keep it simple — forget bells and whistles, just get something out there and see what works. Gather feedback and mould as you go
  • Keep your finger on the pulse — what’s happening around the globe, read news from economists — take an interest in how people are feeling
  • Treat everyone with compassion and kindness. It has been a tough year for many and for some you’re a much needed life jacket

Above all, have faith in yourself. If entrepreneurial kids can start businesses on Instagram from their bedroom during COVID-19, so can you.

This is the first in a series of columns from entrepreneur Mel Power. Stay tuned for the next instalment in two weeks, or subscribe to our email newsletter service below.