Career path and highlights
With a wealth of business experience and global sporting achievements, Judith knows a thing or two about success. From the track to the office, she's on a mission to keep the country fit and healthy.
Judith has run her own sporting and fitness goods business for 20 years. Along with her twin sister, she was the first woman to represent Australia seven times in the Maccabiah Games, where she won bronze in javelin. She has also won three gold, one silver and one bronze medal for road relays and cross country events at the Australian National Championships.
Judith's top 10 tips for success
Have a sound business plan
The business plan comprises not just short-term but long-term goals. So it's what you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it and when you want to achieve it. Most businesses are not profitable in the first 12 months to 2 years so you need to have a plan in place.
Be client-focussed/personalised in service
Personalised service is an incredibly important one. I always respond straight away to emails and make them one-to-one, personal. I always help people and if it's not an email, it's a phone call. You have to deal with people with a mature and friendly attitude – you can't treat them like a number.
Possess strong interpersonal skills
It's similar to being client-focussed but it's how you relate to people, particularly online. That can make or break a business if you don't look after them. Communicating consistently and being responsive is key.
Deliver products that the market wants
You'll find this one out pretty quickly. In order to succeed, you need to have an understanding of what your customers are looking for. The way I started out was cold calling. I had a product – an exercise mat – and for six months I visited gyms, physios and personal trainers to see if there was a market for it before I set up my business and put in money. Be persistent. Then you can do your SWOT analysis.
Easy to navigate website with mobile phone and tablet capability
If you don't have this you may as well not be in business. Simple as that. People want it to be easy to navigate so they can find things. It should have pricing, goes to the cart and then is able to be bought. If the website has too many steps – and I have seen some – people just leave your site.
Strong product knowledge
You have to know your products. I do expos and if you are selling products there you have to be knowledgeable – and it won't just be about a product. In fitness, people want to know what exercises they can do and they want to know if it can help any ailments they have. You have to be honest and know what you're talking about.
Self-confidence in yourself and your products
Self-confidence is a really interesting one. The one thing that gets women into top positions is self-confidence. I think I have developed it over the years and by doing my MBA in sports management, but believing in yourself is the key to success.
Enjoy what you do
If something is not working for you, get out. You have to be passionate about what you do. Success will follow.
Be consistent and efficient in service delivery
With any order you need to have them out in a particular time frame. Everything has to be packed and sent within a certain window. Particularly with web orders we try to get them sent out the next day or in two days. People expect efficiency and a fast turnaround time.
Maintain a strong management discipline
Basically it's understanding your cash flow. It's paying bills on time, it's the preparation of reports, managing your stock and it's reviewing your business on a monthly basis. And part of that is knowing your profits and losses. If you're not making a profit, why? Where are you spending too much? You need to do that.
Disclaimer: Mat-tastic (mat-tastic.com.au) is a donor to Deakin University