Secrets of a multi-million dollar business
with Kayla Houlihan
Kayla Houlihan is the founder of Tribe Skincare and has built a multi million dollar business from her spare bedroom.
In this episode, we speak about:
- The shifts she had to make from moving from a 6 figure business to a 7 figure business
- How she has changed her mindset as a 7 figure business owner
- Her advice for anyone wanting to take their business to the next level.
A must listen for anyone chasing a 7 figure business!
In this Episode:
- 06.36: The best piece of business advice
- 10.09: How it feels to run a multi-million dollar business
- 13.51: What to do differently to run a million dollar business
- 15.30: The mindset of a million dollar business owner
- 17.34: How to take your business to the next level
I’m Kayla, the founder of Tribe Skincare.
Since 2017, we have helped thousands of Aussie women get their skin in its best health – reducing facial redness, minimising breakouts and saying goodbye to dry patches and eczema.
So many Aussie women have said Tribe is the only skincare that doesn’t irritate their skin and leaves it feeling soothed and hydrated. Even for the most sensitive skin prone to eczema or rosacea.
Whether your skin is more on the oily-side or the dry-side, we have a simple-to-follow and effective skincare routine for you. Packed with natural anti-inflammatories to even your skintone and make your skin glow.
I feel beyond proud to be behind this incredible skincare brand and to be a part of this community.
Today’s guest on the podcast has built a multi-million dollar business from her spare bedroom. Kayla Houlihan is the founder of Tribe Skincare, and I am beyond grateful to have her as a guest on the show. In this episode we chat about the shifts she had to make from moving from a 6-figure business to a 7-figure business, how she changed her mindset as a 7-figure entrepreneur, and her advice for anyone wanting to take their business to the next level. This episode is packed with value and I know you will enjoy.
You’re listening to the Clare Wood podcast, where we talk all things business, finance, marketing, and mindset for entrepreneurs, sharing practical tips, and actionable advice to help you take your business to the next level. Introducing your host: me! I’m Clare Wood, I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, and a reality tv addict, and I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life, because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two. Now let’s dive right in to today’s episode.
I’m so excited to welcome today’s guest, Kayla Houlihan, welcome Kayla!
Thanks so much for having me Clare.
Can you share a bit about who you are and what you do?
My name is Kayla Holihan, and I am the founder of Tribe Skincare which is a skincare brand for sensitive skin, and now also mineral makeup for sensitive skin. I’ve had the business for just over two years, and it’s my day job now. My role in the business is the Marketing Manager, which is a glorified way of saying I sit on emails and social media all day. I’ve also got my passion project, which is a podcast I host called The Bite Sized Biz Room, which will soon be re-branded to Biz Bites, because apparently the bite sized room is hard to search in the Apple podcast app.
You’ve forgot to mention too your other business!
I’ve also have a pet brand called ‘Fluufs’ . At the moment we just sell grooming gloves, because I found trying to grow it further, was taking too much time away from Tribe Skincare.
I’ve also got an online course to help business owners with their influence and marketing.
You are a busy women. And you’re about to get married soon.
I love your podcast, The Bite Sized Biz Room, you seem really easy to listen too, you’re down-to-earth and you share lots of practical advice, which I love to do to.
I’d love to know, why did you decide to start a podcast?
I sat on the idea for over a year, and I was writing episodes in my head, and every time I came across something, I would explain my experience. Then you just have that day when something clicks and you think, I’m going to do it. I hade it happen, I’d listened to other podcasts, so I had an idea of the direction I wanted to take it in and the strategy for it – which was give as much practical advice to business owners as quickly as possible. All the episodes are less than 15mins about one particular topic, and are my learnings and experiences with that one topic.
I think it’s fantastic, I really enjoy listening to it! One of my favourite things I heard from you was the best business advice you’ve ever received.
I’d love for you to share that with the listeners here today?
The best piece of business advice
When I was told this piece of advice, my sister and I had a skin clinic in Geelong and there was a businessowner, Trevor, who took us under his wing a bit. One day he came in and we weren’t having a great day, we were feeling like we were doing everything, offering great products, great service, great prices, so why wasn’t our business working. Trevor explained to us that businesses can offer three things that are good price, a good product and good service but fi you want to succeed in business, you can only pick two. So we thought to succeed you would have to do all three things really well and impress all our customers, but you can’t actually do all three.
Kmart, for example, they do a great service with stores all through the country, they do really great prices so they can’t offer a great product as well. You know that the quality might be lacking a bit and mass-produced overseas.
That is such great advice!
I’d love to know for Tribe, what do you do well?
So we focus on a really good product, Made in Australia with natural ingredients and no fillers and we also offer a good service with same-day-dispatch, express shipping, really great customer service, so therefore, we don’t compete on price. We aren’t super expensive, but we certainly aren’t the cheapest either, we can’t compete with brands that are in supermarkets and chemists for $7, ours retails for $46. So we can’t negotiate on price, otherwise we’d have to compromise the product quality and the service we are offering.
It’s amazing how many businesses are doing all three, and that’s where you can get to that point where you are frustrated because you are doing everything right, but why does it feel like my business isn’t working. Then when you get rid of one of the factors, it’s like you are doing less, but you are getting more results from it as you a focusing more on those two.
Then you are serving your customers better too, because it is more sustainable and you can serve them for a longer period of time.
Yes, you want to last past that 2-3 year mark where it hard for businesses, then after that you can have your long-jevity.
How it feels to run a multi-million dollar business
You run a multi-million dollar business, does that seem surreal to you?
Yes and no. At the start it was surreal. I’ve been running it for just over 2 years now, and the first 18 months it was new experiences, we didn’t really have many policies and procedures in place, and the business was growing so fast. I felt like I couldn’t keep up, each day was new and out of control. But the last 6-12months it feels a bit less surreal because it is my norm, I get up and do the same thing, it’s not as varied as it used to be. Starting a multi-million dollar company wasn’t something I set out to do. I had a skin clinic when I started tribe Skincare, and I thought of it as a side project to the store. I knew there was a market for it, for good quality skincare for sensitive skin. I remember the first time Tribe Skincare ever had a $3,000 day, I was joking with my finance that I had a $1M company now because of that $3,000 day. But those days became more consistent gradually, it didn’t happen overnight, although it did feel like it happened quick. Then you have milestones like a 5-figure day, or a 6-figure month, and it’s really exciting and motivating. It’s now ticking away and quite automated. When I think about multi-million dollar companies I think of giant buildings in the city with hundreds of staff and the amazing thing is, it’s just me and one staff member that work at the house, and everything else is outsourced. We don’t have a big premises, it’s just automation and outsourcing that have allowed us to run a multi-million dollar business.
That’s what is so incredible, the opportunities that are available to us. It’s not like you have to have the fancy suit and big office, to run a successful business.
I was chatting to you before the recording saying, Friday is always tanning morning so I’m sitting here with all this fake tan on in my dressing gown recording a podcast. This is technically work, but it’s pretty good work if you ask me! You can create the job you love.
So often, I’ll be at a networking event or talking with someone on a podcast thinking, I can’t believe this is my job!
That’s what I say to clients, what do you love doing within your business? Focus more on that, and what don’t you love doing? Outsource it.
When you started to shift from a 6-figure business to a 7-figure business, what changes did you have to make in how you do business?
What to do differently to run a million dollar business
The main changes which have happened over time is logistics. Making sure we have enough stock, getting out shipping on point, training staff to assist me etc. Everything happens on a bigger scale. I remember someone saying, you think your business is going to get to a certain point, and your stress will go away, but when it gets to that certain point, they are actually just different stresses. So you have to find those coping mechanisms and get on with the job.
I’ve heard that saying a lot, “new level, new devil”.
The only real difference is, once we hit $1 million sales, I thought there is actually a million dollars’ worth of Tribe Skincare out there in people’s bathrooms and that is the best social proof you can have, so that’s really helped grow the brand. Having the products out there, our customers are advertising it for us, because they have Tribe Skincare showrooms in their homes and their friends and families visit and see it and ask about it. So that helped continue to grow the business once it hit that 7-figure point.
The mindset of a million dollar business owner
For anyone listening, chasing million dollar results, did you have to think differently to be running a million dollar business? Did you have to change your mindset?
Yes, I think so. From running a business in general over the two years, my mindset has changed. In a way I am a lot more separated from the business. When you are a small business you feel like your business is your left arm, it’s an extension of you and it’s attached to you, and that can be stressful. Every high and low affects you and your life.
Now at Tribe Skincare, I have a role instead, I come in every Monday to Friday and I try not to let that work leak into my life. My mindset has been to separate from work time, to personal time, so I can have that work/life balance again.
I’m definitely still in the ‘my business is my baby stage’. That is great advice!
It’s hard. I feel it all changed when I deleted work emails off my phone. I now only access them from my computer and I only sit at my computer business hours, Monday to Friday. You really do have to create that space, if you feel you need it. I was feeling overwhelmed and like I didn’t have a life anymore, then you question, what is the point of the business, if I can’t have a life outside it. So I have changed my mindset and created some strategies so I can have some hobbies again, apart from my business.
How to take your business to the next level
If someone is listening and feeling super inspired to take their business to the next level, what advice would you have for them?
I’d have to give them my best business advice, which we’ve already spoken about, which is choosing two rather than doing all three of the price, product and service factors to focus on.
For business owners I think it is important to run your own business in your own way. It doesn’t need to look a certain way or grown to a certain level. It can be fun, and learning and you are going to have the good come with the bad. At the start, I had these stereotypes in my head, if I had a e-commerce brand this is what it had to look like, I had to have a warehouse and external staff etc. but then I thought, if I’m happy to do all that, then why don’t I just do it. It gives my life purpose, but my business doesn’t need to look a certain way for it to be successful.
If people would like top connect with you, or their hands on Tribe Skincare, how can they do so?
They can go to the website, www.tribeskincare.com.au or we are very active on Instagram @tribeskincare.
I have loved having on the podcast and have been really inspired by you. If anyone does want those links Kayla mentioned, then they will be in the show notes for today’s episode.
Thanks for sharing Kayla!
Thanks for having me Clare!
Thank you so much for joining me today, if you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe to receive future episodes, and I’d be so grateful for a review on apple podcast! If you’d like a copy of the show notes or any of the links mentioned today, please jump over to clarewood.com.au/podcast and remember that Clare is spelled CLARE, have a wonderful week and look forward to chatting to you again soon!
About your host
Hi, I’m Clare Wood – I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, a reality tv addict, and a passionate business coach. I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life; because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two.