Where Are They Now: Simone Annis

"Don't worry so much about the future, you are on the right track for you"

We interview women in our community about innovation and what drives them to make a difference in their industries. This week we spoke to Simone Annis, owner of Switched on Cycles.

What are your big wins/challenges since we last spoke?

I had a major (un COVID-related) health scare in 2019. So a win for me is still being here!
Managing the business and stock levels during the pandemic was challenging. Supply chains and shipping were highly impacted. I had to order a shipment about a year before I needed it after having just received a shipment at the start of the pandemic and then we went into lockdown. Sales were really lumpy, cash flow was tight and we couldn’t do much marketing. We had to cancel a number of our promotional events and for a while, we had no customers.

What advice would you give yourself 5 years ago?

Don’t worry so much about the future, you are on the right track for you. Be kind, but frank with everyone in business and in life: customers; staff; family and friends. Gratitude is also good to focus on. Don’t put things off that you want to achieve, you don’t know how long you’ll have.

What do you want to ask your future self?

Did I meet my own expectations of myself? How has my writing and art practice progressed? Am I happy with what I’ve achieved in my life? Have I given my children a good start? What did I do personally to reduce climate emissions and did I do what I could to help others reduce climate emissions? How else can I help (in general)?

What are you proud of right now?

I’m really proud of our involvement in setting up and running the Canberra Electric bike Library. We partnered with a grassroots community organisation, SEE-change, to respond to an RFQ that the ACT Government put out. No one else in the industry was interested (there wasn’t much money in it). We knew that industry experience would be crucial in getting the Library up and running and with the knowledge we’ve shared, the Library is a really successful community asset and has achieved great results.

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