Today I’d like to introduce Elizabeth Ball, owner of It’s In The Stars. I’ve asked Elizabeth to take part in our series as she has a great product relevant to parents and I was really pleased with the lovely BabyStars reports I ordered for my girls and LoveStars report for myself. She is not a parent herself but calls her business her baby and I’m sure a lot of us feel this way! Elizabeth holds a Master of Business Administration (MGSM, 2006) and is based in Beaumaris, Victoria, Australia.
How long have you been in business?
Since 2005. But this is my second website business, after running an online media industry portfolio website, Communicationgame.com from 2000-2003.
How did you come to start your own business?
I have had a lifelong fascination with astrology, wrote astrology columns and did horoscope charts for friends getting married and for their children. After I closed down Communicationgame.com and worked as the marketing manager at www.redballoon.com.au I realized there was a niche for luxury astrology reports for couples and parents and launched my website at the end of 2006.
How many hours a week do you work?
What have you learnt about work life balance?
- Have a partner who insists you stop working at 8pm!
- Make one social/family phone call for every 5 business calls to make sure you keep connected.
One of your own favourite products?
My gorgeous BabyStars luxury gift baskets which allow new mums to enjoy receiving another gift later once they’ve redeemed the included gift-boxed gift certificate for a BabyStars astrology report.
One of the most unexpected things about starting a business?
How personally devastated you can feel when one person doesn’t like your product.
One of your greatest wishes for your business?
To have every new mother receive a BabyStars luxury astrology report upon the birth of her child.
One of the moments you’re most proud of in recent months?
Doubling my conversion rate since www.itsinthestarsonline.com was relaunched in March 2011 and expanded to include email reports, gift baskets, gift certificates and phone consultation.
A challenge in business?
Finding and selecting a new website developer who works remotely in another state to take care of my website.
Advice to others starting out in business?
The most impactful time to reach your customer is right after they’ve bought from you, via a feedback survey (which will tell you heaps!) and on their or their child’s birthday, via a handwritten birthday card. This one $1.13 unit marketing item generates thousands of dollars in referred and repeat income.
What is one of your favourite business resources?
The 4-Hour Work Week – you’ll quickly discover if your business can run without your presence, and if it can’t, what you need to do.
What kind of work does your partner do?
Store manager for Coles. Having him work in retail is great as he understands what I’m doing and I can use the staff discount at Officeworks!
Is your partner & family supportive of your business?
Andrew is extremely supportive. My mother supports me emotionally but can’t understand online commerce!
What’s your office like?
It is very simply furnished with a desk from Ikea and a sofa bed where I put packages for mailing on. I am waiting for my desk to arrive from interstate so I can have personal astrology consultations.
Describe a typical day:
I post a new article on my gift news blog, confirm customer orders, produce luxury astrology reports for couples and parents, take bookings for personalized phone consultations, look up my ephemeris for transiting planets as research for phone bookings, take orders to the post office, write birthday cards, work with web developers on fine-tuning my website or on new programming tasks, read online call-outs for gift, relationship, baby or astrology-related media enquiries, seek new distributors and so on.
What do you love about being in business?
That I’ve created something from scratch. I am not a parent yet but this is my baby!
What do you think is a myth about being in business?
That it can’t be fun! Or that I’m sitting here in my pyjamas.
If you love reading your stars, sign up for the free monthly and 2012 horoscope forecasts at http://www.itsinthestarsonline.com/newsletter/ and you’ll receive a 15% member discount on your birthday, plus advance access to special offers. You can also follow It’s in the Stars Facebook page.
A big thank you to Elizabeth for sharing her story, it’s great to be adding to our Professional Parents People page so you can learn from other’s experiences. Would you like to share your story? Contact us
If you balance business and family, come and join us on the Professional Parents Facebook page