- Cofounded and sold her first online business ExpatWomen for six figures
- Created the innovative Story Resumes for illustrated and infographic resumes
- Cofounded GreenSocks and recently graduated from the muruD startup accelerator
- Former National Workplace Diversity Manager for a large federal department
- Mum to two beautiful children and wife of a recent AIB MBA graduate
- Lived abroad for nearly 10 years in Indonesia, Mexico and Malaysia
Andrea Martins has been making a name for herself lately in the Brisbane startup scene with her #PayItForward startup blog featuring articles such as 4 Mistakes When We Met Premier Palaszczuk and talking about what it’s really like to start a startup. She openly shares her successes and failures, hoping to inspire fellow founders along the way.
Tips from Andrea’s Entrepreneurial Story
When I started ExpatWomen , I didn’t mean to start a business, I just meant to solve a problem. I was living in Mexico and exhaustively researching my next destination, when I wished there was a central website that I could go to which collated all the best sites and expat stories in one place. Initially, I thought the idea of creating a massive, central resource site was crazy. But then my American friend Jill Lengre bought a new laptop to work on it with me which validated my idea and gave me the confidence and supportive business partner that I needed and the rest is history!
Tip: Find an equally passionate business partner. The solo founder’s journey is a long and lonely one. If you can find a business partner who is as passionate about your idea as you are, you’ll more than double your chances of success. I met a successful business woman once who said she nearly quit many times. When I asked her why she hadn’t, she responded “because my business partner and I never wanted to quit on the same day”.
When I started Story Resumes, the financial outlay was much higher than I expected because my product quality standards were very high. I wasn’t too worried though, because I had received such great feedback along the way that I thought I would be rewarded in the end. However, when it came time for customers buy the product, sales disappointed me.
Tip: Talk to customers as early as possible in your journey. Ask potential users two key questions: Would they pay for your product? And… How much would they pay? In hindsight, these two questions could have saved me thousands of dollars that I could now be using for my new business or for an around-the-world holiday!
When I started GreenSocks, I was much more savvy about tapping into the wisdom of others. I ran Google Consumer Surveys and coldcalled potential users of the product to seek early feedback. I participated events such as Startup Weekend, a business pitch competition and Mentor Blaze. And just recently, my cofounder Richard Eastes and I had the privilege of completing six months in the muruD startup accelerator in Brisbane’s River City Labs. The accelerator gave us incredible access to advice from mentors and investors all across Australia an experience I highly recommend!
Tip: Ask for advice. Yes, you need a tough skin when you don’t like what you hear, but that honest feedback will be priceless in helping you build a better product and a better business.
Favourite quote – “What you can produce in ten years will absolutely astound you. But you have to start now.” Marie Forleo