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Ask Charly Leetham (A Leetham Trust project)

2011 SAWIB WinnerCompany: Ask Charly Leetham (A Leetham Trust project), Canberra, Australia
Company Description: Ask Charly Leetham specializes in connecting disparate systems and provide full service for any business seeking to create, grow and manage their online presence. Ask Charly Leetham believes that technology is an enabler that aids business success – technology does not determine the direction of the business.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Entrepreneur – Service Businesses - Up to 100 Employees

Nomination Title: Charly Leetham, CEO & Founder

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):

Charly Leetham's biggest business achievement has been to walk away from a failing business and start a new business, whilst continuing to meet her ongoing financial obligations. Charly learned that it’s ok to ’fail’ as long as you learn from that experience and apply those lessons to the growth of my new business.

She has run her new business profitably from the outset, and grown it steadily over the last four years.

Her approach to business, willingness to learn from experiences and sheer tenacity has resulted in her being awarded the MCEI Women In Business Marketer of the Year 2010 and being appointed to the Board of Advisors for Women in ECommerce, an International organisation that helps Women start or grow their business. Charly is also shortlisted for the Telstra Business Woman of the Year awards 2011 (results announced between August and September 2011).

Charly has co-authored two printed books and is now co-authoring a third book, to be released in August 2011. She is also a regular contributor to several forums and Womens Network Australia magazine "Working Woman".

One of Charly's guiding principles is to assist others in their success - even when this sometimes means offering advice or service at no cost. For employees and subcontractors, Charly ensures that they feel recognized and appreciated for their contribution to the growth of the business.

As the CEO, Charly has been actively involved in all aspects of the business growth, customer attainment and retention.

Charly is incredibly process driven and believe that a business is as much made or broken by it’s processes as not. She has ensured that as many of the business activities are documented into easily replicatable steps, so that she can employ or outsource activities quickly and easily. When quoting for work, she provides details of scope, inclusions, exclusions and timeframes so that clients may make an informed decision. Regular communication with Clients, Suppliers and staff is a must for a successful business and Charly finds that clients appreciate an update even if that update doesn’t have ’much to say’.

Charly says "I believe it is the combination of my experience, my willingness to share my knowledge and expertise freely and my logical and down to earth approach that has been the foundation for my business success."

Charly's approach to new work, is to say ’I wonder how we can do that and what it would cost’... rather than ’No, that is not possible’. This has resulted in some innovative technical solutions utilizing ’everyday’ applications and tools and she is now considered a leader or the ’go to girl’ when an answer is required. Overall, by documenting business processes to allow for others to step into roles quickly, she has empowered her business growth.

List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your nomination. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, []:

Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 100 words):

Charly has a passion for IT and helping people overcome their technology challenges. She has more than 20 years experience in the IT industry, ranging from hands-on technical, to high-level business management. She has installed and configured computing equipment and has managed business contracts in excess of $26 million dollars.

Charly Leetham’s goal is to assist small business owners realise the power of the Internet as a channel to market their organisations in an appropriate and cost-effective manner. She helps solopreneurs and small businesses map their business processes and plan their web presence.