Interview: Trudi Yip, Creative Business Advisor
After many years of watching talented creatives struggle to succeed in business, Trudi, founder of bookkeeping firm Numeric Eight, decided to investigate the common challenges they face and how to overcome them. She is the author of the book Counting Potatoes – Transform your creative passion into business success which outlines the 6 key ingredients that are essential for a creative business.
Why did you choose to help creative professionals specifically, and not business owners in
When I left school I studied fashion design. I then went on to operate my own childrenswear retail, wholesale & manufacturing business. I ran it for 13 years before selling the business. The childrenswear business had 2 retail outlets, sold to 110 stores around Australia & David Jones nationally. So I have a natural affinity for the creative world.
I believe owning a business can be fun, even euphoric but I also know it can be heartbreaking and
soul-destroying. Over the years I have witnessed plenty of highly creative and talented business
people succumb to the challenges of operating their own business. I wanted to understand why
some of these businesses thrive while others struggle to survive.
What is the biggest challenge that creative business owners face according to your
I believe their biggest challenge is they have so much passion for what they are doing but they limit
their potential by trying to do everything themselves. This includes what they hate – the accounts
and monitoring their cashflow!
What are the 6 questions you believe every creative business owner should ask themselves
to be more successful?
I would say:
1. Why are you in business and where do you want to take it?
2. Do you understand the real problem your customers want you to solve?
3. What is the thing that keeps your customers coming back to you?
4. How well are you communicating with your customers, your team (if you have one) and
5. What do you do best as a leader and how do you bring out the best in others?
6. What are you doing to ensure long-term performance?
When you spend time answering these questions and considering the things that are holding you
back, you will regain your energy and motivation. My book, Counting Potatoes, helps you work
through these questions while providing real examples from either my own business experience or
those of my clients and colleagues.
What key advice do you share with your clients?
I have discovered being creative is not enough. You need to:
– Replenish your energy
– Connect to your greater purpose
– Make a commitment
– Cultivate a mindset of continual progress and discipline
When you bring these equally important components together, you will reignite the fire in your belly
and deliver a winning formula every time.
What is your best success story? Please tell us about a creative business you helped to put
back on track.
I have a few…..
I started with a fashion house 6 years ago. They owed money externally and were not in great
shape. Today they turnover in excess of $5 million and have a global presence which includes
many USA department stores. By helping them manage their accounts, set budgets and control their cashflow, the business was
able to focus on its operations.
Another example is these 2 guys who were starting their own business when I first them. The
meeting was held in their living room! Today they have sold out to a huge corporation and received
$10 million for the acquisition. I helped walk them through the back office processes, kept their accounts in order and managed
To view excerpts from the book Counting Potatoes – Transform your creative passion into
business success or to purchase a copy click here.
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