Redland Times - Sunday, October 30, 2011
Business irons out budget wrinkles
ENTREPRENEUR is a big word that evokes images of big money and big talk but each edition of the Classifieds unveils many quiet achievers who don't need to wear titles like 'CEO', even when they can.
The steady stream of entrepreneurs creating new businesses fuels the economy and enriches the culture, locally and wider. Those with ideas and drive can have the supreme satisfaction of building their own business, without fancy titles and expense accounts. The Classifieds are a showcase for what used to be known as the "self-made man" but now should the "self-made person".
I HAVE had the pleasure of talking with a true "self-made woman", a mother-of-four who created an income stream, firstly for her family, then grew it to employ 12 people. Speedy Ironing Service's brightly coloured notice with artwork stands out under the 'services – domestic' heading. About two decades ago, Marita Neville started the business with a two-line classified.
Marita looks back on her business as a journey of learning and discovery that has allowed her to "grow personally". "Ironing was something I could do at home; I started with a friend but then kept doing it as my own business," she says. At the time, the Victoria Point 'commercial hub' was just a corner store on Colburn Avenue. Marita lived nearby in a new estate. She needed to travel to Canon Hill and Mt Gravatt to shop.
GRADUALLY, over the years, Marita gave up ironing, but kept up the driving for pick-up and delivery. Now she has two drivers and concentrates on managing the business. The drivers have computers showing the necessary client details. Marita, in fact, lists the use of such IT as a highlight of her business development. "I have learnt so much – about management, how to run the business more efficiently, dealing with people, computers and IT," she says. "It's not just an ironing service." She has streamlined the accounting and business practices.
SPEEDY Ironing Service has clients throughout Redland City. Marita has thought about servicing a wider area but says she is comfortable with the geographic limit at this stage of her life. "Ten years ago I may have wanted to keep expanding the business but I now have 14 grandchildren and they are a big part of my life," she says.
She talks about her business achievements with humility: "I am a Christian and believe that you don't do something like this all by yourself, but get help from God." Marita is part of the church congregation in a Bay side church.