Pip Meecham, founder of ProjectBox, is our 2020 AusMumpreneur QLD-NT Leadership gold award winner.
ProjectBox is all about helping businesses to look at the HOW in their business – how they do the things that they do via system documentation, then translating that to ensure processes and workflows are optimised for efficiency and effectiveness, implementing tools and technology to help streamline operations, with operating procedures that help scale.
When did you start your business?
This year we are celebrating our fifth year in business! The company was established in July 2016.
What was the inspiration behind starting this business?
Pip has always had a dream (and a gut feeling!) of doing more and being more. When she went back to work after having her daughter, she was treated poorly by an employer. That was the motivation she needed to do something about her dreams.
She then wanted to be someone that other people looked up to for advice and inspiration all while being able to be there for her daughter. Of being someone who was recognised by her peers for her achievements. Of being the mum that has the freedom and flexibility to attend school events whilst still being able to comfortably provide for her twosome. Of having a life by design.
With the encouragement of her Dad and her Mum, Pip’s first business The Admin Hub was born. This was subsequently put to bed after two years to make room for a bigger long-term vision. Pip has always had a love for systems and processes but during her work within The Admin Hub, she realised that there was a lack of awareness and support for business owners when it came to their systems. The Admin Hub was subsequently put to bed to bring ProjectBox to life.
What are you most excited about in your business?
The fact that there are no limits which has allowed us to build a business that works for our clients and that keeps our tech hearts happy!
What has been the most challenging thing about starting your business?
The greatest challenge has been education and building awareness of what ProjectBox does and who we are. Systemising is not something that people naturally go looking for, so we have spent a lot of time building a following by providing free education through our Facebook page, attending and speaking at various physical and online events, podcasts appearances, and running various workshops across South East Queensland. The other major challenge that Pip has faced specifically this past year is building a fast growing company, whilst having a school age child home during Covid. This very quickly reduced the number of ‘working’ hours available each day and co parenting a daughter whilst running a business meant a complete rework of our personal systems to make sure that everyone was getting what they needed from her. She had to learn to accept help, which for Pip, was an incredibly difficult thing to do.
What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a business?
Firstly, surround yourself with the right people who are going to support you in your journey.
There are a lot of people who will try and change your mind and push you down a certain path because they think it’s what’s right and will encourage you to give it up instead of giving it a go. But follow your heart.
The right people will pick you up when times get tough (because they will!) and give you the gentle nudge to keep you working towards your dreams. They will help you to celebrate all of your little wins, and keep you motivated during the times when things don’t feel like they are going so well. Secondly, have a clear idea of why you want to be in business and where you want to get to. You will fall back on these a lot when making decisions.
Why did you enter the AusMumpreneur Awards?
Our customers tell us how much of a difference we are making to them and their businesses. We entered the awards to be able to show them that we are being recognised for that work. It also allows us to spread the word about systems. To show how important they are to businesses and the incredible impact that they can have.
What did you enjoy the most about being part of the awards?
The best part for us with entering these awards was that it gave us a chance to reflect on everything that we have done the past 12 months. It’s not until you sit down and really start to look into it all that you realise how much you have accomplished!
What surprised you most about the awards?
Even though the event was entirely digital this year, it was incredible to see the amount of support from women around the country who had entered the awards! This then turned into new connections, – all without leaving the house. In a world full of Covid and Zoom meetings, it really surprised us how quickly connected everyone became with each other.
How did the awards help you in your business?
The awards helped us to raise awareness of systems and also of the work that we are doing within the business ecosystem! It’s an incredible feeling to be introduced as an ‘award winning’ business or speaker and we are incredibly honoured to be able to include that information as part of our brand profile. It opened up further speaking opportunities, blog posts, and as a part of the entry reflection process, inspired us to look further into our own business and make some changes in line with our future goals.
What advice would you give to others mums thinking about entering the awards?
Don’t overthink it and take a chance on yourself. These awards are a fantastic way to take a deeper look at your achievements both personally and on a business level. Going through the process from application, to finals interviews, and the awards ceremony is highly rewarding. Even if you never make it past the application process, it’s all about what it teaches you.
What has been the best thing about starting your own business?
From a family perspective I love that I can be there for my daughters’ special days and her important events. I love that we have the freedom and flexibility to choose lazy afternoons together after school, retelling stories from our days or sitting side by side working on improving our knowledge or as she puts it ‘bossing’. I love that we design our life around our goals and our needs at any given point.
But more importantly, I love that I am inspiring and empowering her to follow her dreams and showing her that she can do or be whatever it is that she wants to in her life.
I love that I get to experience all that life has to offer. I get to be an amazing mum to an incredible seven year old, and I get to build my legacy as well. Starting my own business has allowed me to grow in ways that I never knew were possible.
What’s happening next in your business?
This year we are putting a huge focus on how we can ‘future proof’ ProjectBox and take our passion to the world. We are going through the process of re-evaluating our own systems to make sure that we are ready to handle the next stage of growth. This has included redefining the way that we do things and the way that we work with clients, the tech that we are using to support us, and making sure that everything fits within our own values.
What are your big plans for the future?
With expansion into the US market firmly insight, Pip’s next big goal is to open a Not For Profit (NFP) where she can provide real life, on the job experience to those who are not undertaking further education but who need a helping hand to get into the workforce. It’s something that Pip feels incredibly passionate and is considered just as important as our values when making decisions for the business. How will this work with the NFP?
All images featured here are from ProjectBox.
2021 GLOBAL BUSINESS MOTHERS AWARDS
The 2021 Global Business Mothers Awards recognise the best and brightest mothers in business globally, acknowledging success in business & innovation.