~ Capturing Your Pets' Soul ~ RMIT

A few weeks ago I headed down to the Melbourne Town Hall to give a talk and meet up with the students at RMIT who are thinking about entering the university's prestigious Business Plan Competition. It was a fantastic night! I am a self confessed small-business-geek, so I just loved chatting about business and hearing about all the different ideas and concepts that the students have. Thought I'd share with you all the wonderful article RMIT just published about myself, Ragamuffin Pet Photography and a bit about the talk I gave on that night.

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Caitlin McColl won $5,000 3rd prize in the 2011 RMIT Business Plan Competition with her company Ragamuffin Pet Photography.

Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength due to her ability to combine high quality photographic expertise with practical business savvy.

Caitlin, a graduate of RMIT’s Bachelor of Arts (Photography), has been passionate about photography and pets since she was six years old. At 16 she won her first photography prize and hasn’t looked back.

“Melbourne has over 250,000 highly involved pet owners. I saw a market opportunity and decided to start Ragamuffin” she said.

“Our mission is to provide customers with beautiful photographic portraits of their beloved pets that truly capture their love, soul and joy.”

Speaking to prospective entrants in this year’s RMIT Business Plan Competition, Caitlin’s tips for success included going to the Competition’s excellent business planning, marketing and finance workshops, choosing your team members carefully, and continually revising and improving the business plan.

“It’s also important to be honest about what you plan to do, your current capabilities and how you will overcome any gaps or weaknesses” she said. “But don’t be humble. This is not the time to be shy about your achievements and skills.”

Her final piece of advice for those who are serious about their business concept was to “give it all you’ve got”.

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Click here to read the blog post about my experience with RMIT's Business Plan Competition - including a cringe-worthy video interview (does anyone like to see themselves filmed?!) and the awesome giant novelty cheque.