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Quit Cigarettes in 60 minutes
Quitting is good for business
Kelly Albornoz wants to put herself out of business. Kelly hopes a drug-free technique will help all East Gippsland smokers to quit and if she succeeds, she’ll run out of clients.
But that’s fine with Bairnsdale-based Kelly as it will mean a healthier population. Kelly is also a talented photographer and has a photography business.
Kelly studied environmental science at Deakin University in Warrnambool, where she also researched whales and visited Antarctica three times. While there, she honed her skills as a photographer and was inspired to create Albatross Photography & Design, named after birds that followed her ship.
More recently, Kelly turned her hand to helping people quit smoking. Quit Cigarettes in 60 Minutes combines Hypnosis with Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques that create new habits and focus on the positive consequences of quitting, such as improved health and saving an average of $6000 a year.
The program costs the same as a month of cigarettes for a 20-a-day smoker and is covered by a lifetime guarantee. If a client starts smoking again, they can come back for free.
Kelly, who gave up smoking cold turkey, trained in NLP several years ago. As a science graduate she was impressed by its methods and believed they could help smokers, including her mother, quit cigarettes and improve their health and finances.
Kelly completed the Quit Cigarettes in 60 Minutes training while pregnant with her first baby. But she shelved the idea after losing the baby at 28 weeks. Friends and family had also discouraged her, saying the business would never work.
The original plan was rekindled when Kelly, now a mother of two, attended a six-month Women in Business Program delivered by the Small Business Institute. The State Government funded program consisted of six workshops covering topics including:
• Defining your purpose, business planning, goal setting
• Offline marketing
• Online marketing
• Creating a business plan
Each four-hour workshop was followed by a mentoring session with an SBMS mentor, in Kelly’s case Bruce Hall.
Bruce is a Small Business Institute director and has been a small business mentor for more than eight years, during which time he has worked with more than 1100 businesses. His specialities include personal development, marketing and e-marketing.
SBMS is a non-government, non-profit organisation of volunteer expert mentors who give their time and experience to help small business. It is supported by Small Business Victoria, which refers clients to it.
Kelly originally planned to use the program to develop Albatross Photography & Design. She also told Bruce about Quit Cigarettes in 60 Minutes and that others thought it wouldn’t work. Bruce thought it had great potential, so Kelly switched her focus back to Quit Cigarettes and:
• Adjusted her pricing
• Commissioned a website and put a lot of effort into creating engaging copy
• Created quality promotional material
• Added extra elements to her offer of extra support to her clients
• Reviewed all the key “touch points” or moments of truth in the business and adjusted elements to ensure she provided clients with a quality experience. This included the way she presented herself at client sessions
• Completed a detailed business plan.
“From the outset, Kelly’s background in science was evident in the rigorous approach she took,” Bruce says. “She addressed each element in a very considered way. She was not afraid to ask questions or seek guidance.”
Kelly intended to work one day a week, but as word spread she soon achieved her client goals and even had one travel from Melbourne after she helped his mother quit smoking.
After taking leave to have her second baby, Kelly started building a consulting room on her property, which meant she no longer had to rent a room in town. The business is going extremely well and she hopes to significantly increase client numbers in her second financial year.
Almost all of her clients have successfully given up cigarettes, so Kelly is well on her way to putting herself out of business. Bruce is full of praise for her talent, determination and organisational skills, but most of all her altruistic motives.
“Kelly has a genuine desire to help people quit smoking,” he says. “Her motivation is not about making money - although that is clearly important - but to improve the health of people in the East Gippsland area.
“Her mission is to put herself out of business by helping smokers quit smoking! This is not a motherhood statement but a genuine goal.”
Kelly is focussing on Quit Cigarettes but has found time to continue her photography business and has several clients, including local real estate agents.
Women in Business gave her the confidence to manage both with tips such as a “Time Bucket” to calculate how much time she can allocate to each task. This also reduced her stress levels.
Bruce says Kelly now has well-honed business skills and is a talented and experienced photographer. Her science background is also a plus.
“Kelly has shown what can be achieved if business is approached in a methodical and diligent way,” he says. “No corners were cut and she was prepared to step outside her comfort zone to do what was needed to create awareness and make her business a success.”
Kelly can’t thank Bruce enough for his help and encouragement. “I kind of found myself again,” she says. “It really was just life changing for me. I got the business up and running within a couple of months and started seeing clients before the end of the mentoring.”
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