Posted on 10 August, 2018  |  4 mins

Joanna Maxwell’s story will probably feel familiar. “I'm the business owner. I'm the person who does all of the education. I'm our sales rep. I look after all things. Everything is done by me.”

For business owners out there, this is the reality. Every aspect of your business requires your input—you call all the shots and there never seems to be enough time.

“I felt like I was never organised,” Joanna confessed. “I didn't have the time to step back and look through everything to find out where we were at”... but then she found 9 Spokes.

Meet Joanna of Savvy & Shine

Joanna knows hair, and the “savvy” component of her business’ name could very well apply to her. Her business is built on her foundational knowledge and her commitment to empowering stylists.

Joanna started her career as a hairstylist. Then, she spent 10 years working as a product technical specialist and learned tonnes about the salon industry. In response, she knew she wanted to start her own business and become a distributor for a product that reflected her values.  

She launched Savvy & Shine to provide a range of hair care products and salon furniture to stylists and salons in Northern Ireland. She primarily works with another family-owned business who manufacture all their products in house—a rarity in the salon industry. Joanna became their UK distributor and travels the world teaching salons about the brand.

Savvy & Shine also provides technical training and business coaching for their professional clients. Recently, Joanna opened Savvy & Shine Academy to offer even more education to hairdressers of all levels.

Like all small-business owners, Joanna is busy. She’s often travelling and needs to manage her business from the road. She needed to find new ways to expand, save time and streamline her operations.

Harnessing the power of the cloud

With so much travel, Joanna was struggling to support her tiny team and keep her business operations running smoothly. Cloud apps came to the rescue. Joanna took her business processes digital two years ago and never looked back.

Inventory management app TradeGecko made a huge difference. “Truthfully, it changed the way we do things. It's really worth having for us. It's amazing.” The Savvy & Shine team use TradeGecko every day to keep track of stock levels and maintain their B2B website. TradeGecko also helps Joanna keep her team small and her costs down, since the app’s extensive features means she doesn’t have to hire an inventory manager.

Joanna didn’t stop there! She uses Quickbooks to manage all things money-related, and Shopify for her retail and event booking site. There’s Facebook for Business and Twitter to spread the word about Savvy & Shine, Google Analytics to track her website traffic and MailChimp to manage her electronic communications. No matter where she is working, Joanna can manage her stock, check-in with her accounting, and communicate with the Savvy & Shine community.

“It took a lot of stress away from me, moving everything onto the cloud, to be honest,” Joanna says. “All of the apps made a huge difference to us. For me, personally, I think it's probably [saved me] numerous hours a week in paperwork and admin.”

Enter 9 Spokes

Joanna was using a terrific set of cloud apps, but she still didn’t feel organised. Even though she could manage her business from afar, she had to jump from one app to another, which was time-consuming and divided her focus.

“I need to be able to see at a glance what all our sales are, how many people are visiting our pages, what our gross is and what our stock levels are, because stock is vital to us.”

9 Spokes was the solution. With 9 Spokes, Joanna sees an overview of her entire business on one page, with one login, from wherever she is in the world.

Her business trips are super time-strapped, but she still has to manage the business back home. “9 Spokes is important to me at the moment because I don't have time to go in and manage everything. Everything is there, so I actually find I've used 9 Spokes more, because it's quicker.”

Joanna has connected seven apps to her dashboard, and now has fast access to her most critical data. “Before, I was having to re-create spreadsheets to monitor everything. Now everything is on one dashboard; it saves us time and money because we haven’t had to hire an extra employee to run it all.

“Particularly, I like my sales by month [widget], as most business owners tend to do! I love my top selling product. It's got to be my favourite because in our warehouse we have around 500 different products. We have a lot of products, but for me, it's really important because I do all the stock control, as well! I like to be able to see really quickly what's moving and what's not.

“I just feel like I'm a lot more organised. Since introducing 9 Spokes, I just feel like all of a sudden I have time to go sit and have a cup of coffee, because I didn't have one before. Everything's together, it just makes it so much simpler for me.”

Join now

To read the full case study from Joanna and her business, Savvy & Shine, please click here.

And you can start saving time now by joining 9 Spokes! Sign up and get your free data dashboard where you can see all your business metrics in one place, from anywhere, on any device. Like Joanna says, 9 Spokes “just keeps everything simple and in one place.”

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