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Advisor keen to introduce new programs and focus on women

As a Business Advisor in Realise Business, Amanda Warrington is looking forward to introducing members to a new ‘Shark Tank’ type-workshop and focusing on more services for women entrepreneurs.

Having been an entrepreneur her whole working life, Business Advisor Amanda Warrington likes to describe small business owners as “my kind of people”.

“They are independent, free thinking, interesting and creative. They have very real challenges around their business and I find helping them work through those issues very exciting,” Amanda said.

For the last three years, Amanda has relished her role as an Advisor finding the career transition from a successful fashion/jewellery retailer to coaching a natural fit.

Her first foray into business was at the tender age of 22 when she established a fashion store on Melrose Ave, Los Angeles. Its unique leopard print and ripped t-shirts became the favoured attire of 80’s megastars including Van Halen and Michael Jackson.

From those heady heights of being “thrown in the deep end with absolutely no experience”, she went on to successfully operate and sell her own businesses at Bondi Beach and other Sydney areas for over 20 years.

With the encouragement of friends who often sought out her business savvy, she completed a Masters of Business Coaching at the University of Wollongong. As a requirement of the course, Amanda volunteered at BEC Sydney Metro (now Realise Business) and within five months had secured a full-time position there.

This year, Amanda is keen to launch two Business Mastermind programs exclusively for women, capitalising on her previous experience in running the Women in Business Mentoring Program and focus workshops.

“Women are incredibly social and like to talk through things. The Business Mastermind programs will give 8–10 like-minded women the opportunity to meet regularly and discuss their challenges in an open and supportive environment.”

Amanda also plans to introduce Pitch Perfect workshops – known as “Shark Tank but kinder” – where Realise Business members will learn how to succinctly describe their business whether it be for an ‘elevator pitch’ at a networking function or for a presentation to potential investors.

“The great part is that everyone gets the opportunity to present to and receive constructive advice from a panel of two or three professional advisors as well as their peers. There is a clear set of criteria that is applied to every pitch so it is a very democratic process and everyone walks away with practical feedback.”

As well as presenting other marketing and business workshops, Amanda will continue to offer one-on-one advice to business owners, working with start-ups who need the basics of how to attain an ABN right through to those wanting to take their business to a new level, or even sell their enterprise.

Her success stories are many but one significant example relates to a couple who wanted to close their café after only four weeks, but with Amanda’s help and encouragement decided to continue.

“I helped them find their unique point of difference and after just over 12 months, they are now starting to reap the benefits of their determination and passion.

“They made that common mistake of believing that the business would be immediately financially sustainable. It’s not practical to work 60 hours a week and not allow money for the hiring of staff, bookkeeping or other support services. I see time and time again that budgeting for the long-term is a really big problem.”

Other common mistakes include business owners not taking the time to research the identity and needs of their audience, and retailers launching a website without the appropriate marketing support to ensure the business can easily be found.

When she is not working, Amanda is a keen Cuban salsa dancer and dedicated to the practice of meditation, the latter of which has helped her “listen with awareness” during her coaching career and has also assisted many of her clients.

“It’s not for everyone but for those business owners who are feeling overwhelmed or at their wits end, some techniques can help them relax and find some space in their minds to see things from a different perspective.”

You can contact Amanda via email @ amanda@realise.business.

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