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Lisa Hawkins, Life Balance Essentials in Australia

What is your name and what is your business name?

Hi. I am Lisa Hawkins and my business is Life Balance Essentials.

What areas to you service?

I am based in Launceston and eventually want to service the whole of Tasmania.

Do you specialise in any particular area?  (ie bookkeeping, admin, events)

I am only new to the concierge industry. In the beginning, I imagined I would be there to help out parents with tasks involved with keeping a house running. However, my first two clients are both businesses. One has asked me to take care of their wedding function requests and look after “brides”. The second has asked me to look after her administration. Both have had issues with staffing and find my service easier than hiring someone permanently. To put myself in a better position to be totally self employed I have now also put my hand up for a mystery shopping role. For me, this also fits in as a great service for a concierge to offer.

Why did you choose to become a Personal Concierge?

In my current role I have found the most enjoying aspect has been helping people. When someone is genuinely thankful for what you have done for them it is a great feeling.  I have had around 20 years experience in finance and administration, once I had the idea that I wanted to work for myself I started to research what was available in the big wide world for “roving” finance and admin specialists. Originally I thought I was going to have to offer a virtual assistant service then the internet guided me to Kay Marco and Abbie Allen. Once I spoke to both of them I decided I wanted my business to grow up to be just like theirs. J

What was your greatest challenging in opening your own business and how did you overcome it?

The greatest challenge I am facing in getting my business up and going is letting as many people as possible know there is this kind of service available in Launceston. Tasmania is very much based on word of mouth. While I love to chat I am struggling to get around to everybody in Launceston.  I guess another challenge for me is having the time to market my business.  To counteract both of these issues I have started to attend functions where there are a lot of high profile people in one room and speak to as many of them as possible. I am even bringing my husband in on the weekend to spread the word. I have found recommendations have the highest success rate. If nobody knows who I am then the chances of being recommended are low.

Give us a snap shot of how the Personal Concierge industry is received/progressing/operating in your region?

I’m still deciding if it is a good or bad thing but I am the first personal concierge in Tasmania. The reaction is always positive when people hear what I offer. However, due to lack of knowledge there are still a lot of questions people have which could be preventing them from taking up my service. One thing  I have learnt in Sales is you need to ask people to tell you their concerns.  I do need to practice this little bit of advice when it comes to my own business. I do believe my business will do very well once people start talking about it and having the right questions answered.

How do you see the Personal Concierge industry in Australia in the next 5 years?

I believe we have all trained ourselves that we can do it all. Convincing ourselves and the rest of the community that we don’t have to is going to take a little bit of work.  I believe the Personal Concierge industry in Australia is placed in the forefront of the idea that everything can be outsourced.  The wonderful thing about what we offer is this relief that there is someone to help. It is hard for people to let go but I see the personal concierge industry in the next 5 years being a valuable part of family life balance.

If you have anything else you’d like to add, like a great client story (without naming the client), then add it in!

My most valuable client is my 7 year old. (Hopefully this will change in the not too distant future). However, she does teach me about patience with clients. Her idea of fun at the moment is to let me know, that if I ask  her to do anything around the house she is quick to advise me, “that is my job”. I am here to help people and the service should start at home. Hopefully this attitude will be the hardest I have to contend with in my personal concierge career. LOL

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