Merge the two together and you get the following amazing blogpost.
Although lengthy, Ruthie is worth every word of type and we assure you it is a good read.
So make a cuppa, get comfy and get ready to be inspired by this amazing local Ipswich Woman in Business, as Amanda sits down and talks shop with Ruthie.
I walk into the immaculate clean Battery World shop front and am directed out the back, past the collection on newly won awards, to the busy Ruthie; owner of Battery World Ipswich alongside hubby Howdie. I am greeted with the normal cheerie Ruthie, all whilst problem solving a client request over the phone.
Ruthie's committed to her business more than most women I know. In her words ' I am my business'; she is dressed head to toe in purple.
Purple uniform, purple jewels hanging from her ears, purple nails and purple eyeliner surrounding her gorgeous bluey green eyes.
She finishes up her phone call and sits down with me to discuss their recent sweep of awards won at the Annual National Battery World Awards.
Proud of their recent achievements, she was ready to fill me in on all the details.
Only starting their business 2 years-3 months ago, Battery World Ipswich has come leaps and bounds. Looking around the back room, policies and procedures neatly displayed, it is not at all surprising.
The awards night held just last week was a pinnacle night for the duo and their team; they won 4 of the 6 major awards, competing against 76 other stores nation wide.
In her words 'Shock. We were just shocked.'
Accepting the first award for Community Recycler of the Year award was 'absolutely amazing' she said with the most widest of smiles. Her eyes filling with joy.
Ruthie & Howdie are big on business standards and even bigger on paying it forward. During the last year alone they raised $5000 by recycling old car batteries and donated the money to recovering Ipswich residents; post floods.
They also held other initiatives, amongst raffle prizes and the like, helping 7 schools raise funds in a similar fashion. Again, donating over $1500 dollars to schools for sporting equipment and the like. They also won awards for Franchisee of the Year 2011 ( 2nd year in a row), Marketing Excellence Individual (2nd year in a row), 5 Star Store Nationwide for 5 Star Excellence for 4 quarters in a row. Wow.
None of which they knew they were receiving until the night itself.
Deep in discussion about their marketing award, Howdie walks past and over hears our conversation. Like the tight team that they are, Howdie has to make a point of telling me how brilliant Ruthie is.
'She is innovative at marketing; not just mainstream media. She finds marketing avenues that others wouldn't even look for. I have great pride & admiration for Ruthie and what she does for the business'.
As I had his attention, whilst trying to serve gosh knows how many people and get daily routines completed, I ask him how he felt receiving the awards.
'We do it for the rewards, not the awards.' Well said I thought.
'The awards are just rewards for running a successful business, recognized by our peers'.
It's no wonder they are where they are.
On that, their success.
Like anything, you get what you put in. After a few prompts about how they got to the position they are in, Ruthie explains in detail 'the absolute key to our success, is the community. Without the support of the IWIB, Ipswich Chamber of Commerce, The Ipswich Council, Mayor Paul Pisasale and most of all, the Ipswich residents - our customers - none of this would be possible.'
I realise that starting a franchise is different to a initiating a raw business'.
'The main reason being the support network of the franchise itself and a proven business system. If you stay true to the business system and work hard at it, you will be successful.
It is then up to you how far past that success you wish to take it.'
'Howdie and I are so positive. Of course we have our down times but generally, we love what we do and that shows'.
With a massive 37.5% increase in sales, when the average nation wide is 12%, I think is evidence of that. Go Team Ipswich.
When I asked Ruthie, why do you do it? she pauses.
'No one has ever asked me that'.
She thinks about her answer and replies with a simple and energetic, 'because we love it!'
'There is a unique satisfaction in being able to help people every day.'
Never does someone come in and say, I need this battery to fix that product. It's always a matter of problem solving.'
Initially the idea of opening their own buisiness was a case of a sea change for the energetic pair. Having both served in the armed services, over a period of decades, they needed a change.
Howdie familiar with the Ipswich area (and it's rapid growth), the RAAF base, Mayor Paul Pisasale and the Chamber; it seemed the only option.
What a perfect option it turned out to be.
'We will live here always and retire here.'
'So where to go from here?' I ask.
Still not loosing the excitement from her voice, Ruthie continues on to tell me 'we have even bigger goals for the next 5 years'. They plan to open a second store and eventually step back from the business. Not leave, just be in a position to step back and have well trained staff that are then able to take some of the workload from us'. We expect our business to work above the highest level of service. We hope to inspire people and even have our franchise as a 'training store' for new shop owners looking into expanding the Battery World Name.
Ruthie, a frequent member of IWIB, we have seen grow over the last 2 years. Although always a confident character, she is quite frankly now in her prime. She is a fantastic role model for anyone who owns & operates a business and a great advocate for Ipswich businesses.
If you want to meet Ruthie & Howdie in the flesh, they are holding an IWIB event in April.
Stay tuned for details.
From all the members and team of IWIB, we want you both to know how proud we are of you.
You deserve all the success that comes your way.