A former police officer turned startup founder says empathy is one of the most important entrepreneurial traits she picked up in her previous career.
Match My Ride founder Leanne Taylor says working in the police force taught her many key lessons that helped her along the startup journey.
Being able to speak with anyone from a homeless person to a politician is incredibly important, she says.
In the development of online car sales platform Match My Ride, Taylor held many meetings with dealers and business owners picking up skills and knowledge to tweak her product to improve it.
“When you start out, you just have to listen to people and when you do have the opportunity ask questions,” Taylor tells StartupSmart.
While working in the force, Taylor says she saw firsthand that everyone has a story and their own life problems, which has given her the ability to approach people with empathy and genuine interest.
“You can’t buy communication skills,” she says
Solve problems again and again
When a door closes more than once, Taylor sits back and really examines why.
It can be upsetting but there’s always a way, she says.
In building Match My Ride, Taylor says she would review step by step how to solve the problems preventing her from taking it forward.
“And even if there’s a crack in that door and it’s slightly ajar I’ll keep going until I have to move on,” she says.
“I’ll never let that closed door stop me.”
Taylor used these lessons to help her get the startup off the ground.
“I had no idea where to start when I first came up with idea,” she says.
Following a $10,000 investment from a family member Taylor has been actively networking with dealerships and other business owners to bring her idea to life.
Aiming to simplify the process of buying a car, Match My Ride lets buyers submit a wish list for their ideal car, which gets instantly distributed to a network of dealers.
Taylor says this will stop buyers wasting time visiting numerous car yards and filtering through online ads to compare pricing and mileage.
“It’s a lot of work to buy a new car so Match My Ride lets the dealer do all the heavy lifting,” she says.
Taylor is now working to build the network of dealers on the platform before looking for more investment and reaching customers.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of dealers and it has started to slowly gather momentum,” she says.
Ultimately, she hopes to have well-established dealership networks in every state and territory across Australia.
“My goal is to have every brand from every state on board so my customers can know that when they put in that request someone will call them,” Taylor says.
Follow StartupSmart on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and SoundCloud.