Keen mentoring eye helps cosmetics business to bloom

Spring heralds the end of a very special mentoring engagement, but does mark the beginning of a new era for Byron Bay business, Eye of Horus Cosmetics.

Eye of HorusAusIndustry's Entrepreneur Programme supports businesses in a range of areas so, when Collins Hume's Peter Fowler helped Eye of Horus seek eligible funding, co-owner Heather Spierings and her colleagues received an injection of funds they put towards a customised business-mentoring programme.

The Byron Bay-based cosmetics company was just four-years-old and, according to Heather, was in need of direction in order to grow. 

"Things had grown fairly quickly so it meant stopping to take time to really have a bird's eye view and look at our business direction which covered a plethora of areas from staffing, software systems, warehousing, budgeting and cash flow," says Heather. "All the things a business needs when reaching the point of being initiators to being ready to go to the next level."

Eye of Horus was also in a position to start distributing their products internationally, so the timing could not have been better.

"For the grant we outlined our business needs and, as long as we met certain growth criteria, support was available," says Heather. "Then we needed to prove 30 per cent continued growth over the last 12 months." 

As long as Heather and her co-directors didn't grow out of control, they knew they could mobilise their business and grasp new market opportunities. 

"We now say 'yes' to everything, but we do protect our downside; this is something Peter taught us," says Heather. "A part of planning and mentoring was to set out our export plan and target where we headed in a structured way."

"We started with the United Kingdom because we had interest there and, being English speaking, made it easier to set up third-party warehousing as well as work with an accountant who was across GAAP for VAT and tax."

The brand has reached cult status amongst fans, celebrities and professional make-up artists and now exports to New Zealand, Ireland, Iceland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, the UK and Europe.

After choosing Collins Hume and Peter from a Google search, Heather is delighted with the way things are working out, "They have really helped us take our business from a startup to a truly international business."

"Recently I reread Peter's overview of our business and our business plan from 12 months ago which set out our direction and organised key actions we needed to achieve," says Heather. 

"Feeding back to him on our 30 and 90-day action plans wasn't hard during our mentoring programme because we knew how much we had to plan and refine our priorities. Peter helped us achieve everything we set out to do 12 months ago and more." 

"Having regular opportunities to talk together as a team and then reacting strategically always ended up being so valuable to assess, discuss and decide together whereas, in the past, we'd say 'we'll get around to that' and we never always did."

The Eye of Horus team is small and strong with a range of experience, so Heather believes they now have a range of good tools with a wonderful team to press on and continue to grow as they desire.

"Anything associated with growth means we need to plan carefully and we now have the knowledge to do this in the future and implement our ideas effectively."

The business is currently implementing new software with CRM, stock reporting, sales reporting and retailer snapshot reporting. They are also using the remainder of the grant to engage with a branding consultant to improve their packaging, marketing and finesse their overall brand for international markets.

"There is quite a lot planned already into next year especially point of sale, cash flow, new staff and expanding to two premises in Byron," says Heather.

For a business that started life in Melbourne, Heather has not regretted the move to Northern NSW one bit.
"We needed a step up from the accountants we were using – someone who could bring a wealth of experience to the table and who could help us grow," says Heather. "And those accountants are Collins Hume. We are so happy to have them as part of our team."

Read more about Eye of Horus and their stunning cosmetics on their website or visit them on Facebook or Instagram.

AusIndustry's Entrepreneurs' Programme (formerly the Entrepreneurs' Infrastructure Programme) uses experienced advisers and facilitators drawn from industry to ensure businesses get the advice and support needed to improve their competitiveness, productivity and to seek growth opportunities. Practical support for businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs includes: advice from people with relevant private sector experience, co-funded grants to commercialise novel intellectual property in the form of new products, processes and services, funding to take advantage of growth opportunities, and connection and collaboration opportunities.

Copyright 2017 @CollinsHume Ballina | Byron Bay | Lismore NSW 02 6686 3000. Connect with @CollinsHume on Facebook Google MyBusiness Instagram LinkedIn