Boss Lady

3 top tips for building a sustainable business


Building a sustainable business from the ground up is not an easy feat and many small businesses struggle to make it through the first five years in the marketplace. So what is the key to building a sustainable business and how do you make it through the initial slog to achieve success?

The vision for a sustainable business extends far beyond ensuring regular cash-flow and is more about building a strong brand presence in the marketplace to take you through the highs and lows.

The last 30 years in business have not been without their challenges, but there a three main things I’ve learned to sustain BBS Communications.

Look outwards

In the ever-evolving business environment it is far too easy to get caught up in improving internal processes and procedures to improve the efficiency of your business. While this is a very important element of business to support growth and expansion, too much naval-gazing can lead to you being left behind.

Look outwards and make a conscious effort to stay abreast of the latest demands, priorities and problems that need to be solved by current and potential clients.

Reading the news across various business and market sectors is a daily habit. This ensures you stay informed of business priorities and are ready to pounce on new opportunities. It’s also important to look outside your current sphere, especially given today’s fast-moving environment.

While servicing your clients is important, it’s also important for your business growth to get out and talk to people who aren’t your clients. Integrate yourself within the business community and stay visible across different industries. Although events can be tedious, book them into your diary and make a habit of reaching out to contacts for a simple coffee catch-up every month. Face-to-face contact is invaluable.

Find your energy source

Finding what fuels you to tackle each day with dedication and energy is the key to maintaining a successful business. Many businesses start their journey with a high-level of enthusiasm and energy but burn themselves out after the first few years operating at an un-sustainable level.

Whether it’s recognising when you need to take a break to refresh and reset, going for a regular walk around the block, reading the paper at your favourite coffee shop each morning or doing a regular yoga class, it’s important to understand what keeps you going.

Even after 30 years in business there are still days when the balance isn’t right, so explore different options until you find what works for you.

Be financially literate

While client engagement and maintaining energy levels will keep the wheels in motion, knowing your finances inside-out will determine your ultimate success.

Educate yourself on money and the value of what you’re selling, both the services you offer and your time. Check your figures constantly so you have a thorough understanding of what is fair value and whether you need to change or adapt your figures and costs.


It’s important to remember that you can’t be expected to be an expert in everything, so it’s ok to ask for advice when you need it. Find an advisor you trust and build this into your business-as-usual.

About Jane Edwards

Jane Edwards AM BA ONM (Fr) FAICD FAIM, Hon Consul for France, is Executive Chairman and Founder of BBS Communications Group. She is recognised as one of Australia’s leading businesswomen, with a distinguished professional public relations and media career spanning more than 35 years. For more than 25 years’, Jane has led the BBS operations in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. She also serves on numerous public and private sector boards and is a regular public speaker on leadership and professional development. A former journalist, Jane is a specialist in issues and reputation management and advises senior executives and community leaders on personal profiling and business-critical issues which require speed, nimble thinking and discretion. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) and the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) and an adjunct professor as The University of Queensland. BBS Communications Group is a full-service consultancy operating across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Region. Our expertise and experience stretches over 25 years and includes corporate communication, media relations, stakeholder engagement, digital communications and investor relations. We are strategists, problem solvers, storytellers, reputation guardians, project managers, change enablers and team players. Our clients see value in communications expertise that is enhanced by real world commercial understanding forged during the past 25 years, and enriched from work across a variety of industry sectors, with organisations large and small, public and private, profit and not-for-profit.

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