Starting a business takes time, energy and commitment – not to mention funding. So it helps if you’re passionate about what you do. Some business owners, like Mari-Mar Walton, have managed to turn their hobby into a business.
Mari-Mar is a former personal trainer and the founder and owner of Travelling Fit, a travel agency for runners who compete in marathons, half-marathons and various other adventure races. She describes running a business as “a big job” and says there have been lots of hurdles to overcome along the way.
As is the case for many small business owners, managing the juggling act of family life and building a business is a key challenge, and one that led to Mari-Mar having to hire staff. But this in itself is not necessarily an easy process – you need to find the right person for the team.
A challenge for new companies is marketing, as business owners often need to create a website and develop a brand strategy for the company. For Travelling Fit, part of the brand development plan has been sponsoring events around Australia – marathons in the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth, for example. As Mari-Mar explains, being present at these events “gives fantastic exposure for our business” and enables the brand to reach its target market.
She adds that her relationship with her NAB Small Business Banker has supported her through the ups and downs of running Travelling Fit. This includes helping her manage the currency fluctuations that affect her industry. A NAB Small Business Banker can help with small business financing, your business banking requirements and also advise on ways to expand your business.