Business In:Brief with Suzanne Mitchell (GoDaddy)
Marketing director of GoDaddy 2019–present
Suzanne Mitchell is the new marketing director at GoDaddy. GoDaddy is a web hosting platform and domain name registrar that allows users to quickly purchase and configure web hosting packages, buy and sell domain names and manage all aspects of their websites. With over 19 million customers worldwide, GoDaddy aims to empower everyday entrepreneurs around the world by providing the tools to help them succeed online.
In Business In:Brief we often speak to founders of startups about their experiences and advice. This time, we have the pleasure of gaining insight from the marketing director at one of the largest web hosting platforms in the world. The woman powering the marketing of a company that facilitates millions of entrepreneurs with a platform to begin the journey of starting and running their own businesses.
Formerly of eBay, Suzanne tells us about the potential of the Internet, the importance of "attacking" opportunities and why every day is a school day when it comes to learning from Australia's small business community.
What's your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was being part of the team that helped transform eBay from what was, at the time, a relatively unknown platform in Australia, into one of the most popular destinations for people to discover, buy and sell goods online. Many of those sellers started their online stores initially as a side hustle to make some extra cash on the side, but would go on and build thriving online businesses outside of eBay.
Seeing people unlock their potential is something I feel very passionate about. At GoDaddy, I'm in a fortunate position where I get to speak with a lot of entrepreneurs to learn more about their ideas and ambitions, and help them to discover new solutions to help them build thriving and fulfilling online businesses.
What's something that you have learned in business that took you by surprise?
A common misconception in business is that small organisations learn from bigger, trailblazing ones. The reality can be quite the opposite: startups and small businesses have a lot they can teach larger companies, especially in relation to people, culture and authenticity. I didn't fully realise that until I started working more with small businesses at GoDaddy, and I'm constantly surprised by their dynamism, resilience and ability to innovate.
For example, we recently worked with Reground, a sustainable business with an aim to reduce waste in the coffee industry. The founder, Ninna Larsen, moved to Australia from Denmark where they have eight different everyday bins for different waste. She was working as a barista, pouring 16 kilos of coffee grounds into landfill every day, and decided she wanted to do something about it. So she started a business, took it online and used it to raise awareness and grow a community of sustainably minded businesses who turn coffee waste and soft plastics into a reusable resource. It's difficult not to cheer for people who use a small business as a platform to really make a difference.
How do you plan on growing your business in the near future?
At GoDaddy, our ability to grow and evolve is a by-product of our bigger focus to empower everyday entrepreneurs with the tools and advice to help them to build successful small businesses. At the heart of this is helping people to name, start and grow their business online so they can take advantage of the power of the Internet to better communicate, attract and service customers. We recently conducted research in Australia, which revealed that one in three respondents were considering quitting their job to start a business in 2020. For those who are ready to take the leap and follow a dream, we want to be there with the online tools and support to help make that happen.
What other business leaders do you most admire and why?
I enjoy connecting with leaders who fly under the radar and get on with the job of running the business for the benefit of the bottom line, the people and culture and the brand. Everyone has traits that I admire and there's a lot to be said for learning from as many people as possible, particularly those who allow their brand and teams to shine in public settings.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
It's very simple, but it's a piece of advice that I fear many people disregard: Enjoy the journey that every day brings and try to make a positive difference to those around you every day.
What advice would you pass on to someone starting out in your area?
Attack opportunities in a logical and prioritised order. With every opportunity, big or small, take some time to understand what's required and what you want to achieve, then go for it. Attacking an opportunity, in this instance, means having conviction in your actions, trusting your expertise, but also not being afraid to ask for help when you need it. Whether it's a new business pitch, an exciting campaign or even to start your own business, attack the opportunity with dedication, passion and purpose.
Business In:Brief is a regular interview feature that profiles a notable business leader each month. It is also included as part of our business newsletter, which you can sign up for below.