Our Business Women Australia members are full of knowledge, wisdom and insights.
It is here you will find the collective voices of our Premium and Diamonds members.
Enjoy and share what you love!

The BWA Story

In the first 5 years of my entrepreneurship, I worked solo, building a Women’s Business network called Women in Business WA. This fabulous monthly coffee club meetup in which we shared stories and helped each other, allowed members to build friendships based on commonalities and a desire to learn and grow together, to share knowledge. It was the open-hearted conversations of support that was the pinnacle of our community.

Working from home, and alone, this community was both a useful and necessary resource for growing my business. However, although it was inspiring, for me it was not particularly educational. I needed to find the right balance. The community was a great way to learn from more experienced business owners, but at the same time, they too were building their own business and IP.

When in 2011, my friend and founder of Women in Business WA, Sue Rowe sold the business to me, I was determined to meet the new demands of what women in business were looking for to help them grow. WIBWA kept its core members and they stayed with me as I implemented changes and progressed to add more educational workshops and mastermind opportunities. Our then “networking group” was taking on more and more developing leaders in business, which then saw us as a reputable community of business women worth investing in. WIBWA was not a referral group, so there never was any pressure to buy, sell or meet any KPI’s as part of the membership. It was a community to share knowledge and offer support to each other. 

During 2015 it became evident WIBWA was ready to grow and so we implemented big changes. By the end of 2015 I had taken on a business partner Lyn Hawkins, and we decided to grow nationally.

Business Women Australia was created; a strong membership based organisation with new programs.

We are now active in Western Australia across 4 locations, Victoria in 1 location and about to open our chapters in Brisbane and Sydney.  Our intention is to have open doors in every state by 2018.  It is truly a very exciting time for Business Women Australia.  I love creating new opportunities that could potentially help business women to be Leaders in their own industries and for them to develop their brands and bring their profiles to light. 


Jennifer Rose Bryant
Founding Director 

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Honesty at Work

“The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.”- Augustine of Hippo

On a recent trip interstate, I came across a very interesting documentary, while flicking through the Qantas in-flight entertainment, that got me thinking about honesty and trust in the workplace.

(Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies is a documentary feature film that explores the human tendency to be dishonest. The film interweaves personal stories, expert opinions, behavioural experiments to reveal how and why people lie, as well as the causes and complexities of dishonesty.

The documentary is based on the work of behavioural scientist Dr. Dan Ariely. His experiments involved groups of university students taking a number of simple multiple choice tests. Depending on the number of answers they had correct they received a financial reward, $1 per question answered correctly. They marked their own test papers, shredded them, reported how many they had correct and then received an immediate financial payment in return. The twist is that the shredder actually did not shred the responses! This is how Ariely and his team measured the ‘dishonesty factor’. 

According to Ariely, we all do it….it’s human nature to lie. From plagiarism, to infidelity, to financial fraud, dishonesty seems to be a universal part of the world we live in. But those little fibs or ‘white lies’ can become large-scale problems with major implications not only in the workplace but in society as a whole.

Ariely states that there are five main areas where people get trapped into the cycle of lies:

1. THE FUDGE FACTOR – catch phrase for all the things that allow us to misbehave and still think of ourselves as good people.

2. EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT- people get wrapped up in something wrong because everyone else is doing it.

3. SELF DECEPTION – when you might have exaggerated your past accomplishments.

4. RULES OF THE GAME – it’s OK to break the rules because they weren’t being enforced anyway.

5. LYING FOR OTHERS – it’s OK because what you are doing is helping someone else.

6. DISTANCE – email, social media and particularly distance from money, things like credit cards and electronic transactions — make it easier for us to misbehave financially.

7. CREATIVE – it’s OK, I’m being creative, manipulative sales and marketing techniques that can go too far.

The part of the documentary I found most thought-provoking is that Ariely and his team were able to make people act more honestly when they were reminded of their moral codes. Ariely’s studies showed that just thinking about the Ten Commandments, reading or signing a Code of Conduct made people act more honestly. Equally, he demonstrated that having faith in others, or ‘social trust’, is an important ingredient for a thriving society.

So what can we do to ensure we create ethical and honest workplaces? Ariely’s research indicates that reminding people and ourselves about our own morality makes us behave better. Perhaps then just a simple, regular reinforcement of the organisations values, Code of Conduct or philosophy can have a major effect on honest and ethical behaviour in our workplace. From firsthand experience, I have seen this in practice in organisations such as Johnson and Johnson (J&J). The J&J Credo guides behaviour, decision-making and is at the core of the organisation’s culture. Management and staff live and breathe it every day and J&J has a worldwide reputation for its integrity in how it operates its business.

Reinforcement of the organisation’s purpose, mission and beliefs, along with building a high-trust culture: a culture of excellence and recognition, openness and flexibility, giving people the discretion in how they work. Shifting leadership from controlling to coaching and mentoring, in a nutshell, managing for trust, may be the answer to a more productive, innovative, satisfying and honest place to work.


Written by Premium Member, Debra Barnes

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Wellbeing at Work

In Australia, approximately half of working people identify work as a source of stress. Many people also see work demands as a barrier to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This suggests that not only are many people not enjoying their work because of excessive demands placed on them but believe that work stress rolls over to their personal life. They feel it affects everything.

But it’s not just workplace stress causing unhappiness. It goes both ways.

Personal problems can affect work, work problems can affect personal life. People who are not looking after their own psychological wellbeing have a harder time at work, and workplaces who are not looking after their people, have employees who are not thriving nor performing at the best.

Given that many of us spend most of our life at work, it makes sense that we try and be happy there. The way we feel tends to play out in the place where we spend most of our time, and for most of us that means at work. 

From a workplace point of view, having happy workers generally leads to a more successful workplace. Happy workers also end up being more successful in every area of their life.

As a business owner, you can ask yourself what you can do to support the wellbeing of your people.  What I can do to look after my staff? But on the flip-side, self-responsibility needs to play a role with your people. What do staff need to be doing outside of the workplace to look after their health? They are in control of much more than they think. We are all more than our job.

Happiness in life can bring success at work. Happiness at work can bring success in life.

It pays to work on both.


Dr Marny Lishman is a Health & Community Psychologist in Western Australia, and will be presenting at our next Success Circle in Perth in July – BOOK NOW

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Marketing – Where do you start ?

Marketing – Where do you start ?
Author: Cathy Smith, Catco Enterprises

Where are you spending your marketing dollars?
Are you following fads that don’t work?
Are you forever chasing shiny “marketing results” offers that cost money but don’t bring results?

Our news feeds and emails are constantly filled with experts offering the latest must haves. ‘Generate leads with this special deal,’ ‘Get rich now’, ‘Quick or you will miss out!’ As business owners we might be lured to thinking there are faster ways to generate more sales for our efforts.

Being inundated with hollow choices can make it a challenge to stay focused on what really works.

Did you know in 2015 the average attention span of a person dropped below that of a goldfish, compared to a person’s attention span in 1980, which was around 20 mins. 1         

It is no wonder that most business owners feel overwhelmed when it comes to marketing their business.

Think about the businesses you keep returning to, and those you refer your friends, colleagues and family to.  Why did you choose them?

Have you always used them?
Did someone refer you?
Location – did you walk or drive past them and notice?
Do you know the owner, the consultant, the team?

“Business is built on relationships. We do business with the people we know, like and trust!”  It is a well known fact that customers try a new business out, particularly in a local area, because of the KNOW – LIKE – TRUST factor.
So, how do you generate awareness (to know you) , like-ability and trust?
The way to cut through all the marketing clutter is to have a clear plan; a real plan that starts by looking in and at your business.   Consider the value of what you offer and how to inform your ideal customers that you exist, are trustworthy and reliable.   Marketing your business in an effective way, doesn’t need to cost you thousands. You can have your cake and eat it too, as long as you know which cake to choose.

Cathy Smith is the owner of CATCO Enterprises and a Premium member of Business Women Australia. As an experienced web and graphic designer she believes it is crucial to get your business in front of the right people.  Through her professional career since 1986, Cathy has learnt that business is built on strong relationships. She established CATCO Enterprises  in 2001 to provide tailored marketing solutions for small businesses to generate results.

Join Business Women Australia’s Bunbury Success Circle on Thursday 29th June to hear Cathy Smith’s  thoughts about marketing in your local area while she provides pragmatic ideas for content to build your profile and your brand to engage new customers.

Book at ticket to this not to be missed presentation.


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The Cashflow Queen’s Two Tips for Profitability

The Cash Flow Queen’s Two Tips for Profitability
While entrepreneurs are often armed with strong ideas, passion and skills, a lack of financial know- can compromise their vision and be the cause of business failure.   As a business owner the buck stops with you. Have you got your finger on the financial pulse of your business? We asked Tracey Loubser, the Cashflow Queen and Sapphire member of BWA, for her two biggest tips to help businesses be profitable and keep on top of cash flow. Tracey stresses that financial clarify gives you vital insight.  We couldn’t agree more!

Tip #1: Categorise your financial “buckets”
Tracey suggests that you separate your business into distinct categories.  Define your types of “financial buckets” and work out each one’s inflow and outflow.  Separating them shows how much is going into and out of each bucket. It also helps as a reminder that the Admin Costs bucket needs to be supported by inflow (profits) from the other buckets.   For example in a consultant / trainer type business:

How much does the Consulting bucket make after paying:

related staff wages
related software costs
training costs to keep up to date with latest trends
related Marketing / Advertising costs?

How much does the Training bucket earn after paying:

Venue / Catering costs
Printing of workbook costs
Wages (or part of wages) related to delivery & follow up time
advertising, flyers/ banners or other related costs?

What does it cost to run the Admin side of the business:

support staff
bookkeeping costs and the like?

If you identify and track an area’s excessive outflow you can get on top of that expense. Timely action to rebalance your buckets will help avoid future pain.

Tip#2:  Identify unprofitable “buckets”
Tracey stresses that being able to pick up on an unprofitable or ‘leaky bucket’ is more serious than overspending, as it attracts its own related bank outflows, so the effect on the bank account can be disastrous.

Take the three steps Tracey suggests to see how much money each distinct area of your business is making and how much it actually needs.

Identify the average monthly amount of profit made in each ‘bucket” category.
Identify how much money is needed to support the Admin side of your business – support staff, insurances, bookkeeping, rent etc. (Remember to account for your own wage)
Does the money made from each bucket cover this? If not, exactly what is the shortfall?

Be aware of exactly what net dollar value is needed to break even. To ensure your desired profit, you will need to consider how much to boost that figure.

If the situation looks unsustainable, then either cut costs, or find a way to ensure you consistently earn that revenue.  Get on top of your financial figures – make sure they are clearly visible – that way, you can determine your flexibility for quoting and pricing, and avoid future cash flow crises!

Tracey Loubser, premium member of Business Women Australia, is the Queen of Cash Flow. Through her multi-award winning business, Confident Cashflows, Tracey has helped many business owners to achieve higher profits and improve their cash flow.  Her acclaimed Seven Step Process has proven the key to such transformations as a shift from Net Loss to Net Profit in only ONE month, and Net Profit improvement of 65% in just seven months.

Contact Tracey on mobile 0409081991     or by email W:




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Managing Change: Building Trust During Volatility

Managing Change: Building Trust During Volatility
In times of volatility creating a high-trust culture and environment for is no longer essential it is critical to business success and sustainability.

High-trust organisations understand that employees are at the heart of their business. During times of volatility they focus more than ever on culture, values and employee engagement.

Highly engaged employees working in high-trust environments remain resilient and do not change their level of engagement in times of change.

High-trust organisations are more productive and efficient. Research shows that high-trust organisations generate 2.5 times the revenue of low-trust companies and have enhanced innovation and entrepreneurship as well as improved customer loyalty.

High-trust means less time managing, controlling, supervising, creating and enforcing policies and less time managing conflict and communication problems that result from low-trust environments.

High-trust organisations facilitate not only organisational but personal growth. They have values that align with achievable goals. They empower their people to reach their goals by giving them the discretion to work the way they want.

High-trust organisations rely on open, authentic and transparent communication. They are ethical and fair. They encourage fun and social networks. They instil loyalty and passion in their people and deal with problems and conflicts efficiently and with respect. They provide coaching and mentoring. They accept and encourage vulnerability. They believe that control and command is ineffectual, the annual performance review is dead and that an exit interview is a thing of the past.

Central to building high-trust are both the organisation’s leadership and its core purpose. Authentic leadership that ‘walks the talk’, that is committed to creating a high-trust environment and a core purpose that aligns with the values of its people. This in turn will generate trust in the organisation’s leadership, improve employee goodwill and provide a sense of belonging and greater meaning to work.

Insight by Premium Member – Debra Barnes

Debra is speaking at our Leederville Success Circle on the topic of Managing Change, Wednesday June 7 2017 BOOK NOW

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