10 Small Business Hacks

Beck Wadworth of An Organised Life shares lessons learnt since launching her dream start-up

10 Small Business Hacks

All photos by Beck Wadworth

Beck Wadworth is the 26-year-old self-confessed ‘organisational freak’ who’s crafted a business out of making our lives a little less chaotic. Her stationery label and lifestyle blog An Organised Life combine her simple, minimalist aesthetic with her love for typography and has quickly amassed a cult following since its launch in 2013 (over 27,000 Instagram followers don’t lie).

Here Beck spills ten hacks she’s adopted since she took the first step toward her dream start-up.

Mistakes can be a blessing in disguise and are a huge learning curve. I always knew that I wanted to create my own stationery brand but I didn’t have a huge business background. I started off small and by throwing myself in the deep end I have learned so much along the way. From postage systems and dealing with customs to printing techniques and marketing my brand, I have learned from every mistake and have grown my brand further and further in the right direction.

A lot of people have given me advice from “you need to mass produce” to “you need to add colour” and everything in between. I always listen to my gut and stick to my vision. Don’t rush your business and ideas, make calculated decisions, go with your instincts at all times and look at the bigger picture.

Everyone has their own secret to what makes their creativity flow. Make sure you put time aside to let yours do its thing! For me I am inspired by people with a busy lifestyle – I love listening to their stories and mulling over in my head what I could create to make their day-to-day life easier! Also, every Saturday morning I have a routine where I grab a coffee and quinoa porridge from my favourite cafe Bru, head down to the beach and walk from one end of Bondi to the other with my boyfriend, head back to my little North Bondi apartment, and then get stuck into designing, writing and photographing for An Organised Life. Saturdays are such a productive day for me creatively.

Knowing your weaknesses can be a confronting thing! Learn to embrace it. Luckily my biggest weakness was my brother’s biggest strength. I brought him on as my accountant not long after I started out and have never looked back!

I am constantly working towards goals. Long term, short term, financial, creative and everything in between. I am a very realistic person and know that good things take time. I am a huge fan of lists, I get a lot of satisfaction from ticking off goals and tasks! Planning is so important for growing your brand.

Never get comfortable and always stay on your toes. From product development to social media, make sure you are always keeping up to date and letting your business & brand evolve. One struggle for me has been that a lot of competitors keep popping up in the market. I have stayed true to my vision and have not been tempted to change my brand drastically, although I am constantly evolving. For example I regularly tweak my website, am always looking at ways to simplify the online checkout process and keep introducing new products and blog posts that help organise your life. Through this process I remain true to my point of difference by having functional quality products with a monochrome, minimalistic style.

Having a small business can mean you are often a one man/woman band! Make the most of this opportunity to learn about your customer. From packing online orders to answering social media comments, always listen to what your customer wants, take it on board and change and grow your brand accordingly.

I’m not going to lie – I love being organised. Make sure you stay organised at all times, whether you’re replying to emails, organising photo shoots or paying invoices. I dedicate time every night after work to catching up on admin and I always try to work a month in advance when it comes to blog posts, product launches and photo shoots.

It’s so important to surround yourself with like-minded friends who inspire your vision. One of my favourite things to do with the girls is to indulge in a cheese platter, a glass of red wine and to pick their brains on my latest idea or product.

I’m lucky enough to have such an amazing support network of friends and family! I love celebrating product launches and new milestones with them.