Key learnings from a community leader:
Showing your kids how to build a business demonstrates the value of hard work
Money isn’t everything — success can be measured through the strong group of people supporting you during your business journey
Promote your uniqueness and point of difference by focusing on products that no-one else has
Wild Tribe’s drive to foster grassroots connections
Business and community are tightly linked in small towns, and Alison (Ali) Henry’s hometown of Nowra is no different.
In fact, Ali’s Nowra-based boutique, Wild Tribe, is the perfect representation of this uniquely fulfilling support network.
“I firmly believe in collaboration over competition,” she says.
“Wild Tribe is all about supporting local business, local artisans and we're all women.
From being on corporate payroll to starting her own
Time away from Nowra spent tackling Sydney’s corporate world only reaffirmed Ali’s love for small town living. Wanting to raise a family in a place that embodied her values, Ali moved back to invest in her beloved community.
“I'm so passionate about Nowra.
“You spend your money in a small, regional town, and that feeds someone's family or sends them to swimming lessons.
“It supports all the local businesses.”
It was only after signing the lease for Wild Tribe that Ali found out she was pregnant again, this time with her daughter, Torah. Undeterred, she pushed through with her inventive business plan.
“When I brought Wild Tribe into this space, I wanted it to be a cohesive collaboration between businesses, rather than lines on the floor.
“We support all the businesses beside us, share their successes, support them in what they're doing and celebrate everything.”
- Ali Henry, Owner, Wild Tribe
Showcase passion with your business
Ali’s enthusiasm for sharing the talents of Nowra’s locals is another part of Wild Tribe’s success.
“It's a really good way for the local artisans to enjoy the retail space without all of the overheads that go with retail.”
As well as boutique clothes for mums and bubs, Wild Tribe’s range caters for shoppers looking for something a little bit different.
“We have a jewellery maker, a candle maker and a lady that makes eco-friendly bags.”
And it’s not just range and craft that are important to Ali — quality comes first.
“If I can't stock an Australian made product, I’ll only look at ethical brands.”
How MYOB helps support the tribe
Community is a strong driving force for Wild Tribe, but business success relies on more than a supportive network. Accounting software has helped take a lot of the frustration out of day-to-day operations for Ali.
“Using MYOB is easy. It takes the complication out of bookwork and paperwork.
“It saves me time and money and enables me to get sleep at night, because I know I’ve done everything that I’m supposed to do.
“You have peace of mind that you’re doing everything right, especially when it comes to payroll.”
- Ali Henry, Owner, Wild Tribe
Features that make adapting a breeze
Despite happily using MYOB for years, it was only recently that Ali found some of its features handily took the reins in the face of unexpected change.
“Watching Wild Tribe grow has been really rewarding. We've just taken on our first worker in the last six months.
“MYOB payroll made having an employee much easier, particularly with Single Touch Payroll.”
Ali was especially surprised about how easy payroll was to set up.
“It took maybe five minutes to do, but once it’s done, MYOB talks to the ATO.
“It’s so good knowing you're getting your payroll reported correctly so there are no issues.”
It’s not just the streamlined setup, though. Ali relies on MYOB’s dashboard to find important information at a glance and adapt her business accordingly.
“The Dashboard is fabulous because it allows you to find what you want really quickly.
“I need to keep an eye on whether I need to cut hours or increase hours depending on our sales.
“It gives me a good snapshot of that and I look at it every week.”
Lessons learned from a unique approach to business
Ali always envisioned Wild Tribe as an inviting space for mums and kids, and her own daughter was no exception.
This inclusive approach provided Ali with a unique business perspective.
“Being a parent and running a business is hard, but allow your kid to be part of your business growth.
“Show them what hard work is and the value of it.”
Ali also encourages business owners not to simply follow the herd.
“Find what makes you different. Follow that and believe in it, because it will resonate through your retail space and your customers will feel it.”
Always consider your community
Bottom lines can often feel like a solitary goal for business owners, but Ali believes it’s more important to look at the bigger picture.
In her experience, results can’t be measured with dollars and cents.
“I define success with happiness - and it has to be success not just for me, but for the people surrounding me.”