Celebrating achievements of businesswomen of the Coffs Coast – Tracey Hayes, Go Vita

In recognition of International Women’s Day this Sunday March 8, we chat to successful businesswomen of the Coffs Coast about success, challenges, who inspires them and more…

Tracey Hayes runs Go Vita in Coffs Harbour. Tracey, a qualified naturopath, started the thriving health food store 14 years ago, motivated by her passion for natural health and business acumen.

We put a handful of questions to Tracey…

Q: What are you most proud of?

We’re proud to have built an extremely successful business from scratch, but also of the fact that we’re ranked in the Top 5 Go Vita stores in Australia (there are 130 stores). We continue to outrank some of the biggest city stores. Go regional!

Q: What challenges have you had to overcome?

In small business and retail in particular, it’s important to never be complacent or rest on your laurels. We’ve been successful for a long period of time and continue to grow because we constantly assess what we’re doing.

External factors, which are completely out of our control, present the most difficult challenges and you have to have a business capable of weathering these storms.

Q: How do you keep the momentum going?

We constantly reassess what we’re doing and explore new opportunities or ways of doing things. Also, I take great interest in national and international trends, to get a sense of where the market is moving and the likely changes in consumer attitudes and preferences.

Q: Can you offer a little product insight?

We insist on having skilled naturopaths in the business working with products that I personally select for quality and efficacy and certainly not based solely on price. I believe very much in providing sound, reasoned solutions and products that help maintain the health and wellbeing of our customers. I get great satisfaction in seeing the results we achieve with our customers. Not a day goes by where I‘m not humbled by their continued support of our store.

Q: Is there a woman who inspires you in a professional context?

Julie Bishop, our former Foreign Minister comes to mind for her sheer professionalism and her ability to maintain composure and exhibit her skill and persuasion against anyone, male or female. Internationally, Nancy Pelosi is also admirable for the same reasons. An unwavering woman with principles and America’s political conscience. 

These two women have not let gender inhibit or restrict what they do and are not intimated by the conventions of their chosen careers.  They both exhibit a calmness and intelligence that would put many of their peers to shame.

Q: Any advice to women who are launching their own business?

  • Put your health first, both mental & physical.
  • Do your homework, put together a proper business plan and financial modelling.
  • The power of having a clear set of values and non-negotiable guiding principles in your business helps clarify everything you do. From attitudes you will accept, to choosing the products and services you offer. This is critical in order to earn and keep the trust of your customers. Refuse to accept anything that doesn’t align with your values. It might cost you in the short term, but the returns down the track are tenfold.
  • Be open-minded and don’t be afraid to ask leaders in business for help.
  • Tap into your ability to embrace change, humility and resilience and you will thrive!

Thank you, Tracey. You’ll find Tracey at Go Vita Coffs Central in the heart of Coffs Harbour.

Find out more about International Women’s Day here.