Lisa Du, 25, is from Melbourne, Australia. She started her technology education business, ReadyTechGo, in 2012. ReadyTechGo gives people the confidence and skills to embrace modern technology. They do this by providing personalised technology training in the comfort of a person’s home or office, and they help older adults remain independent and in contact with loved ones.
Starting the Business
Q: Where did the idea for your business come from? Where were you in your life and career?
A: Working 14-hour days on dusty mine sites, Brad and I spent 4 years implementing fatigue management technology. Brad was usually found on the back of a haul truck, and I was training drivers and management. We found ourselves in the crib (lunch) room one day, sharing stories about our families, and soon discovered that we shared similar experiences. Brad’s parents had the latest technological innovations, whilst my mother was getting onboard, and my father was choosing to keep right away. Both of us had a job which involved extensive travel, and when working away from home, especially whilst overseas, found it difficult to get in contact with our parents using applications such as FaceTime and Skype.
Technology has progressed and is now involved in nearly every aspect of our lives. More and more businesses push us to get online, and even government services assisting the elderly have moved online. The trouble is, technology changes so rapidly, that it is difficult for anyone to keep up to speed! We thought, video tutorials and phone support were great for younger learners, but older and not so tech-savvy learners need more. One-on-one support, all steps written down, using their own devices, and in the comfort of their own home
Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting out?
A: Startup capital was a challenge, and marketing. Traditional marketing methods were so expensive, but how does anyone find out about your service if you don’t market?
Q: What is the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you started the business?
A: Research your suppliers!! We trusted a lot of suppliers, and going for the cheapest option is definitely not always the best option. You will probably end up spending more money in the long run. Now, we make sure we use credible suppliers who can show us what they have done.
Q: What would you consider your first big success in the business?
A: Our first big success was appearing on the front page of The Heidelberg Leader. We couldn’t afford regular advertising in the weekly newspaper. We sent out lots of PR, and we were very persistent and managed to get a journalist interested in writing about us. He told us we would be in the paper, but we had no idea it would be the front page.
Q: What is the toughest thing about getting to the top / staying on top in your industry specifically?
A: There are so many training courses and classes available. Everybody’s initial thought is “Oh, I’ll just go to a class”, or “I’ll ask my children to help”. They soon realise that a class for “beginners” is not actually for beginners, and they don’t get a lot out of it as they didn’t get to ask the questions they wanted. It’s hard to make people understand that one-on-one training is much more beneficial. Additionally, people soon realise that their children are not the best teachers!
Q: Where do you see your industry heading in the next 5 years?
A: Technology is evolving at an exponential rate. At the same time, we have an ageing population. The critical issue facing Older Adults is constant change coupled with slower learning. So I see that our personalised technology training will become more and more in demand in the next 5 years.
Q: What do you plan on doing / changing in order to keep growing in this time period?
A: We plan on coming up with creative ways to get our name out there. We plan on constantly upskilling our trainers to provide the highest quality service. We also want to find ways to carry out the training in a more cost-efficient manner.
Q: What does ultimate success look like to you? How will you know when you’ve achieved it?
A: Success to us is when we have a presence in every state of Australia and we can see a movement in the Older generation embracing technology.
Q: What do you think will be the biggest challenge facing entrepreneurs in the near future?
A: Finding great talent and building that “A Team” will always be a big challenge. Also, because so many entrepreneurs are giving it a go, building that credibility and establishing that trust with new customers.
Q: What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in your industry and wanting to make it to the top?
A: Be persistent, and don’t let the big boys scare you. Believe in yourself and your business, and offer your customers a better experience.