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Early business growth - meeting the challenges
06 March 2018
What do you do when business growth seems inevitable? You’ve every right to shut down the impetus and remain where you are, or you may have already developed a plan to cope and it just needs to be activated. For many businesses, especially in their first years, the growth process is more organic. Owners find themselves developing the plan as they go.
Blue sapphires are classic but thoroughly modern. According to jeweller Maria Lizunova (above), founder and proprietor of Lizunova Fine Jewels, they never go out of style. It’s why she chose the concept of a ‘sapphire room’ for her new retail store in Sydney’s CBD.
The small, intimate space set within the Art Deco, marble-clad interiors of Chifley Plaza has glass frontage to three sides. Working with interior architect Patty Hava of Hava Studio, the jewel-box space - in shades of blue sapphire, shot through with lines of gold and black and white marble - marks the evolution of the brand and a huge learning curve for Maria.
For someone with a purely creative background, negotiating through a process of signing a commercial lease and fit-out was one of the first challenges of growth. Based in Potts Point, originally, Lizunova began in 2012.
The new city space relocation at 2 Chifley Square has also meant employing more staff.
That was another steep learning curve, Maria admits.
“I had zero HR experience. I had to define and write a job description. That was challenge number one, followed by reading through many, many applications, shortlisting and then interviewing people from them. I’m sure I was more nervous than my first interviewee.”
Small businesses don’t have the luxury of teams of people to handle the various disciplines involved in the running of a business. On any given day, Maria will form the creative direction of the business and be its designer, in charge of customer service, quality control, gem selection, product photography, web design, marketing, PR, merchandising, accounts and human resources.
“It’s challenging on so many levels, especially on my time. I strive to do all the tasks well,” she says.
Lizunova’s is a family business. Maria’s husband is her business partner: “He doesn’t work in the business, but his perspective, support and input are invaluable and instrumental as the business grows.
“As a woman in business, I have also experienced the spirit of mutual support among female leaders and business owners, which, at its core, is an expression of the generosity and nurturing at which women excel.
“We progress ourselves as well as each other, and it's beautiful to be a part of that.
“It's empowering to create and grow a business of your own; to overcome obstacles and celebrate victories. I believe as our businesses grow, develop and succeed - or fail - women progress as people, as partners, as mothers and as leaders.”
See more, here.