After years of working in IT and web development for big corporate, Heather Maloney reached a ‘sliding door’ career moment.

'I wasn’t really enjoying life working for a big company but I loved my actual job,' she says.

'So 13 years ago, with fabulous support from my husband, I decided to do something about combining the best of self-employment with my technical skills and started my own small business, Contactpoint.'

Heather’s story is not unusual. Lots of people start their own business simply because they’re unhappy working for someone else. The key to her success, she says, has been four-fold, keeping up with ever-changing digital technology, providing clients with real value, encouraging her team to excel in their chosen field and staying true to herself.

Award winning business

As well as a strong personal conviction, Heather wants to promote the IT industry as a destination for budding female programmers to help support its growth. She recently entered the Melbourne Business Network’s B3000 Awards.

Not only was the timing right to get exposure for the business, but I was keen to promote the IT sector to young people, particularly young women, as a career pathway.

Heather believes Australia needs more people coming through with STEM skills. She entered as an encouragement to females in technology.

Heather was rewarded with a win – 2018 Female Entrepreneur of the year at the B3000 Awards.

'I’m very pleased I did it,' she says. 'It gave my team a great morale boost and was terrific for our clients to see the recognition.'

Through the entry process, Heather was rewarded with some time to stop and think about what she’d achieved.

'For the first time since I’d started my business, I was able to look at what I’d done in the business and in the community – it was a nice reflection.'

As business grows, so does confidence

Along the way, Heather says she’s learnt a lot about herself.

'I have much more self-confidence these days,' she explains.

'And not just through obvious things like the award or business success.'

Heather’s business philosophy has always been about growth and development.

'We are a business that is growing and we want to help our clients to grow, as well as our staff – in fact, that’s our mantra: technology to grow,' she says.

From a home office when she started, the business now employs 10 people full-time, providing its clients online, website and mobile custom technology solutions.

Heather Maloney is a wonderful example of taking control and being authentic.

'As part of navigating our business growth, and leading the team, I am attempting to "only do what only I can do".

'One thing I know for sure is that, with all of the affirmations and learnings I’ve had, I’d never go back to working for a big corporate again!'

I’ve learnt things like I enjoy employing people and helping them to be happy. I know now that I can manage a team of people and we can share great results.