It was an entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering drive that lead Sonia Majkic to start 3 Phase Marketing two and a half years ago with her business partner Tamara Alaveras, but not without its challenges.
Before starting 3 Phase Marketing, the pair worked together at another agency. “We worked with an agency that wasn’t adopting much of a digital culture, but clients were asking for Google Adwords and social media. It was hard to watch a company that just didn’t evolve with the digital landscape. We knew we could do it better,” Sonia says.
Deciding to go into business on her own wasn’t easy for Sonia. She admits to feeling helpless and found juggling her entrepreneurial drive while being a mother to two small children quite difficult, regularly being overcome with peer pressure, guilt and her negative wall. It wasn’t until a successful business friend helped put things into perspective. “Those people, they’re just going to go to another agency. You’re practically running this business anyway, and it’s never going to be a good time,” Sonia’s friend reminded her.
“To hell with it,” proclaimed Sonia, finally realising that she had to listen to her calling and put the judgement and guilt behind her. “What message am I sending to my kids, telling them to follow their dreams but I’m not doing it myself?” Sonia knew she had answered her own question.
And the rest is history. 3 Phase Marketing, an agency that started with no staff, now has ten full-time staff members and is buzzing in their Chadstone Shopping Centre office. With clients including Mercedes-Benz, Renault and Lexus, they are a Google Partner and offer services including website updates, graphic design, social media content, Google ad words and EDMs.
But with rapid growth means the need for Sonia and her team to hire more staff and streamline processes. “We’ve grown, we all know what we need to do to get the job done, but all we have is a word document that keeps getting scribbled on as processes evolve,” says Sonia, concerned about the potential for something to come undone along the way.
The rapid growth of the business has taken an obvious toll on Sonia, she admits to feeling overwhelmed and having to do basic tasks like scheduling content and admin because there’s just not the manpower nor the time to train new staff. “How can I be everywhere, how can I train staff and ensure consistency?” Sonia says.
It’s these realisations that lead Sonia to realise that the saving grace is Nextpond. In fact, she has decided not to take on any new business or staff before Nextpond is fully up and running. “I’m tired, I’m overworked, and the kids miss their mum,” Sonia admits.
One of the key points that stands out from Sonia’s meeting with Travis Reading, Co-Founder of Nextpond, is his comment about time spent on a five-minute process. “If you’re going to spend an hour talking about a five-minute process, putting it into Nextpond will eliminate your talking about that process for the next five years”, Sonia recalls.
When asked about her vision for Nextpond in 3 Phase Marketing, she says, “I view Nextpond as a growth tool. For me, it’s going to help get more business because I’m going to be able to free myself up from having to manually and verbally train the team. It’s also going to be a satisfaction tool for my clients.”
It’s clear that one of the huge benefits of Nextpond for Sonia will be the time made available for her to spend with her family. But even before implementation, Nextpond has offered the flexibility she needs. “I thought about setting aside a couple of weekends to get Nextpond up and running but what about swimming, and my little boy wants to go to the museum, that’s my family time,” she says. Instead, Sonia opted to pay for Nextpond consultants to come in and get the program up and running. “I’m the client that needs the system but then needs someone to pull it together,” Sonia admits.
You can hear it in Sonia’s voice, the obvious exhaustion of juggling a growing business and a family, yet the sheer determination to make everything work, coupled with the excitement of what’s to come with Nextpond.
Nextpond is, in so many ways, likely to be Sonia’s path to work-life balance in more ways than one.