They say behind every great man there is a great woman. And so it has been for more than a decade for Michelle Joosse who diligently worked behind the scenes as the in-house accountant in her husband’s IT business on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
When her husband tapped her on the shoulder (not for the first time) and asked her to take over the running of their Hotline IT business, Michelle finally said yes and the company has exploded, proving that business smarts is better than geek speak when it comes to being successful in the incredibly competitive landscape of IT and tech providers.
“I think the key to our success is that I don’t really know a lot about tech and IT, which meant I spent 18 months researching the market and understanding what customers really wanted from their IT support people and how I could promote our products and services to meet these needs.”
“I wasn’t constrained by industry ‘norms’ and I could turn the focus of the IT business to the customers, their frustrations and their needs, and bring an organised mind to what they needed,” explains Michelle.
Michelle Joosse believes that business success is far more about processes and meeting customer needs than it is about the mechanics of what the business does.
The biggest pieces of advice Michelle has for other women in business are:
- Just because a business has a good ‘technician’ (the person who can do the core business activity), doesn’t make them a good business person.
- Being overly focused on what the business offers and not what the customer wants and needs is a fast track to failure
- Doing business with someone with similar values will always be easier than doing business with the ‘closest’ or the ‘cheapest’
- Being customer-centric is the key, especially in IT where the ‘technicians’ often have what can be referred to as a ‘terrible bedside manner’
“I am seen as quite unique in my industry, in that I am a woman. Most of the industry events I attend there are very few women and very few of them are the boss.”
“In an industry where the boss is basically a technician who ended up with staff, I offer a refreshing change of not only being a woman but a woman with a business background, not a technical one,” Michelle says.
Hotline IT is now on a mission to recruit and employ other women so they too can thrive in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry.
For further information on how Hotline IT is educating women about tech, contact Michelle Joosse on 1300 446 848.
More About Michelle Joosse
From Accounting major to CEO, Michelle’s vision has always been to influence business and disrupt the status quo. More than a whiz with numbers, her interests spanned across economics and natural science. But the lure of a stable career shaped her initial career choices.
Graduating from Monash University with a Bachelor of Business Studies (Accounting), Michelle’s first position was with leading cast-iron producer Ajax Foundry, before landing a prominent Accounting/HR role with the global Japanese electronics giant Sanyo.
2001 proved to be a pivotal year, achieving CPA status and attaining a Master of Commerce (Professional Accounting). She also met and fell in love with her husband and now business partner Mal.
Realising they shared the same vision to make IT easier for businesses, Mal asked Michelle to enter the business in 2003. The duo worked successfully together for almost 14 years until Malcolm felt Michelle was the right person to manage the business and lead the team, whilst he focused on product development.
Leading a business that’s been established for over 20 years has been no easy task. Michelle constantly interacts with customers to ensure Hotline IT is always improving the service to clients and innovating within the industry, a key part of the organisations mission.
Thus proving she can drive Hotline IT’s direction and growth, whilst providing a full IT solution for businesses.
From its humble beginnings as a one-man band in 1993 to a multimillion-dollar organisation—Michelle is now dedicated to building the mission of Hotline IT to ensure businesses have a simplified IT process that provides a secure and reliable technology solution.