It’s been so great to see our Online Business Lift-Off (OBL) Program help those who can’t work a traditional “9 to 5” job. We’ve helped many carers and job seekers set up their own businesses online. We teach you how to find and validate a business idea, get your technology set up, and start running your business so you can get customers coming to you. Recently, we caught up with Martina Kramer.
Martina, tell us a bit about yourself and your business, Marketing Mix 4 You?
All my professional life, I’ve spent time working with businesses looking to change and adapt. I enjoy being part of transformation strategies, and in the last few years I’ve been thinking that I could use my experience to offer this to other businesses too as I’ve done so many!
My background began in cosmetics and fashion, and I’ve worked across many industries since, before settling in building and construction a few years ago. Businesses were looking to transform how they marketed products, not just from a B2B perspective, but to the end users as well. There was a lot of design-driven thinking I could draw on from past jobs, the possibilities I could see were endless! This is where I realised that my expertise was too valuable not to share, so I decided to build my own business whilst still working.
My business, MarketingMix4You, helps businesses make holistic decisions based on the needs of their customers. I help them future-proof themselves. I look at what their customers need and compare that with what they offer, and then help marry this together through a mix of marketing and strategy tools. I’ve always thought great brands understand customers and having worked in this space for a while, I wanted to help other businesses become modern and sophisticated in their thinking as well.
What was the problem you were trying to solve before signing up to the OBL program?
I didn't specifically come in with a problem. I knew I had the expertise to share and needed some guidance. I wanted to find out how this could fit in with my work life, so maybe that was my problem!
I discovered the OBL program by searching online. It sounded very interesting and I was ready to learn more about the specifics of running a business. I enjoy keeping up to date online by learning about online marketing and my own industry as well, so I thought an online-based program would be a great fit for me.
What was the experience like during the 12-week OBL program?
Doing everything online was challenging, but very rewarding. For example, registering for programs – there were so many to think of! The team helped guide us through each step, which was great. Even though there are so many different programs, passwords and learning curves to get the hang of, the fantastic thing is that it actually works out to be time-saving! Finding out what programs are best to use on your own really takes time, e.g. deciding on website builders or design tools. It’s like Trudy and the team presented everything to us on a silver platter; there was a new ‘food’ (program) each week and the entire process with each program was laid out for us.
I started in November last year and finished this year in March. I’m so proud I finished in just under 5 months! Going to the graduation was amazing as well as I was able to listen to everyone’s stories. It was so rewarding to have been part of the Knox group and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to graduate in this way. Trudy and the OBL team were there, as well as the Mayor. It was a great party and helped build that feeling of accomplishment!
What did you enjoy the most?
The first part of the course, which was face-to-face, was amazing! It was interesting to build relationships and interact with each other from the start. We all worked on our business ideas together where we were thinking about our own business and also giving others' feedback too. These relationships then continued online, which was a good way to build involvement in the classroom sessions.
I enjoyed spending more and more time on my business idea and the process of getting started, which is something I wouldn’t have done without the program. Getting started is better than being perfect!
If you had the chance to talk about this experience to someone else, what would you say?
I think this course really gives you direction – a vision – as most people who are carers or older job seekers don't think they can build up a business online. Especially for me, coming into this program as someone older and starting after a full working life gave me a new perspective that you can use your past experience to your own benefit. It’s hard to do these things alone so a group setting is sometimes best. At OBL the team and your classmates go along with you on the journey.
I have to say, after the OBL program I received job offers and messages via LinkedIn. I had a profile before but never really used it! During the OBL program I fine-tuned it and directed it at my expertise rather than sharing my business. I think this speaks to the confidence I gained from going through the program. I now use LinkedIn to build connections for my business, so it’s nice to know that at any age this can still be done!
I would also like to say thank you to everyone who contributed to the Knox OBL program, they did an amazing job! Trudy and the team shared their expertise, everybody was super motivated, helpful, and always there to coach and guide you through every step, with extra help if you needed it. It’s an amazing program, it helps you kick off a new chapter in your business life!
We’re so glad you enjoyed the program Martina, and now have found more work from LinkedIn as a result!
The Online Business Lift-Off Program helps build out not only an online business, but the confidence to go out and do something on your own. We can help you build an idea if you don’t have one or fine-tune an idea you already have and then go through the necessary tools to get your business up and running.
If you’re interested in our program, pop over to our home page and add your name to the list. We'll let you know when we're starting our next program.
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