This week, Cas talks to Danni Royall-West about the challenges of keeping a balance between work and life, while working from home. Danni shares some awesome business building tips and the inspiration for her home based business journey!
Tell us a little about the person behind the business?
I am a daughter, a wife, a mother (to three beautiful boys), and a small business owner. So, in my spare time… I know you’re laughing right, what spare time? I love being a graphic designer!
And now a little about the business itself?
dnd graphiks is all about building your brand. Brands are not only important for larger businesses they are more important for small businesses. So dnd graphiks helps you build your brand through graphic design, signage, printing and website design. With a background in marketing and advertising, I can make all of these elements in your business work together.
How did you come up with your business name?
The dnd section of my business name represents my husband (David) and myself (Dani), hence dnd……it also represents ‘design n distinction’. Graphiks is fairly self explanatory, being what I do, but I never conform so graphiks had to be spelt with a ‘k’.
What made you want to begin a WAH business and how did you get started?
My background is predominantly marketing and advertising and I’ve always had very hands on roles in this area. When I got back into work after my kids went off to school again, I found myself in a marketing role that included graphic design. The more I did, the more I loved it, so I pursued formal qualifications and got a part time role doing graphic design work.
The hours were difficult with the boys at school, and one of my sons has Autism and we were going through a rough stage, so I was having to leave work to go to school or call on family to do that. So one day I decided to go out on my own, work from home and be there for my boys, my biggest boy, Dave included.
What inspires you to keep your business going?
Love. Agitation. Drive. Enthusiasm. My philosophy for success in life and business is to love what I do, be agitated to deliver outcomes that positively overwhelm, be driven to be efficient and effective, and to be enthusiastic about the community I live in and the industry work in.
Love is particularly important for me. I love what I do and I love life. By embracing and loving life I give every opportunity in life and business my all, I find confidence in knowing I have given my best.
For me, being agitated in business is about persistence to strive for and achieve more. I am forever learning and experimenting with new ideas and software to keep me ahead of the pack. My agitation and excitement for the industry contributes to my success and pushes me to seek more and in turn deliver better results for my clients.
I believe success in business is also about making a profit. I’m very driven to ensure my business makes a profit. I believe more profit means a better business overall, which leads to better outcomes for my clients, a better economy, a better community and a better world at the end of the day. If you are not making a profit, then you need to seriously consider why you are in business.
How do you advertise your business and which methods have proven more successful?
I advertise in a local business magazine on the Sunshine Coast. This is predominantly to grow my brand awareness. I am also involved in a number of networking organisations in my local area, Kawana Chamber of Commerce, Maroochy Chamber of Commerce and the Sunshine Coast Business Womens Network. I find networking and building relationships is the best advertising for me.
Do you have a current best-selling product or service? If yes, tell us about it.
No particular product is in more demand than another. I look at the service I provide as being a full package.
How do you juggle your family and your WAH business? Any tips for other WAHPs?
Work and life balance is paramount to my success. I run my business from home and this means time management is critical, because it is important for me to find the balance to be the wife and mum I need to be for my four boys (one of them being my husband!), and operate dnd graphiks. Working from home allows me to schedule time to drop the children at school, pick them up and take them to afternoon sports. My three young boys are extremely active and eager about life.
My eldest son, Cam, has Autism which has made life extraordinary, challenging and rewarding all at the same time. It is a priority for me to be available for my boys whenever they need me. The challenge with working from home is that it can be hard to switch off and it is very easy to work late into the night when meeting deadlines for clients.
I believe it’s important for business women to not try and be ‘Superwoman’ all the time – whilst we are good jugglers of many things, sometimes we just can’t do everything and that is OK. The technique I use to overcome this challenge is to schedule time for work and timeout in my diary. This means drawing a physical line through the page when I’m not in the office. Time out for me when I’m not being a wife and mum is spending time at the gym or having a coffee with friends. These activities remind me why I live here on the Sunshine Coast and assist me to put life in perspective. In other words, they help keep the anxiety levels down and maintain some sort of balance. Sometimes, when competing deadlines become difficult to deliver, I manage clients’ expectations by communicating any necessary changes to timeframes upfront and in plenty of time. This is achievable due to the positive, honest and trustworthy relationships we have established with our clients from the beginning. Having a supportive husband and great children whom I love and adore is also a bonus!
And finally, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a WAH business?
Love what you do. Life is too short to be doing something you don’t love! Persevere through the ups and downs. Realise you can’t do everything, concentrate on what you are good at and work with people who are good at the things you’re not.
Do you offer any discounts to Support a WAHP members?
I don’t publicise it, but if someone said they found me through Support a WAHP I definitely would.
Connect with Danni here:
Name: Danielle Royall-West
Business: dnd graphiks
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/dndgraphiks
Location: Warana, Sunshine Coast Qld