Client Spotlight | Toni Raso – A Better Bid

Ipswich Business Portraits

Toni is the owner of A Better Bid has been a supporter of mine since I first started specialising in headshots and business portraits a little over two years ago now. I’ve absolutely loved cheering Toni on from the sidelines and watching her develop her brand with confidence and integrity. She’s my people.

Ipswich Business Portraits
Tell us a little about what you do for a living?

I help business owners to apply for tenders and grants.  When I work with a client to help them understand the way procurement works, I help them use the words they already have to prove their worth – just in a different way.

Why did you start your business?

I saw how hard it was for SMEs to tender for work. They didn’t have the resources of larger companies, so they didn’t apply for contracts they could fulfil. I step in when a company’s growing – big enough to go for larger contracts but not big enough to have dedicated internal resources to write the bids.

Ipswich Business Portraits
What has been the biggest challenge or fear you have had to overcome in business and how did you manage it?

My biggest challenge has been understanding the value of my work. Before working with a business coach, I would open my mouth and offer to work for free, at a reduced rate, or a bag of lemons. I still wrangle with pricing at times, especially since the pandemic started. 

How do you achieve balance between relationships, work and personal needs (or kids, family and time out for yourself)?

I’m very strict with my schedule and won’t work nights or weekends unless agreed in advance. I choose to enjoy healthy foods that feed my mind and body, which helps my general health and wellbeing immensely. I’m getting better at picking how – and with whom – I invest my time.

Ipswich Business Portraits

How did you prepare yourself to start your business?

I didn’t! I got made redundant, so that was the kick in the pants I needed to stop thinking about working for myself and actually do it.

How do you know when you are ready to do something?

Sometimes I know I’m ready because it feels right – there’s no emotional or cognitive dissonance.

Sometimes I don’t know but have to learn as I go.

Sometimes I don’t think I’m ready, but trusted colleagues assure me I am, so I go ahead.

In the beginning, how did you attract your first good clients?

Networking. I wish I’d had a mentor who had explained the importance of a positive and powerful network because I’d have hit the ground running. I still attract good clients through my network, including former colleagues. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

This is not the part where I tell you I rise with the dawn, meditate for 45 minutes, have a cold shower, and cure cancer – all before breakfast.

I am not a morning person. So there’s no talking before coffee. My brain works best in the late afternoon, and early evening, so I schedule my tasks accordingly.

When I’m first at my desk, I’ll spend up to 30 minutes doing admin tasks that I can easily complete. Then I’ll work on client projects, professional development activities, and client meetings. 

I do a lot of networking, so sometimes I’ll attend an evening event

Ipswich Business Portraits
What do you love most about what you do?

When my clients realise they have a lot to offer their customers, they just don’t know how to express it.

Tell us something you we may not know about you already?

I’m a plasma donor! It’s my way to thank the anonymous donors whose blood donations saved my life twice. My plasma can be given to a patient with any blood type.

Any words of wisdom to those thinking of taking the leap?

If you haven’t started building your network, do it now!

How has working with Amanda as your photographer contributed to your business?

I thought it would be vain to get my photo taken for a long time, but the importance of first impressions and web reviews meant I had to suck it up. Every headshot Amanda has taken has helped me look Like A Boss and added to my credibility.

Who are you listening to right now?

I don’t listen to podcasts. They irritate me as I can read much quicker. 

Quotes for inspiration right now?

It will all be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

What are your values?

Knowledge

Trust

Authenticity

Quality

Kindness

What’s next for you and your business?

I’m moving into helping clients with innovative projects. Grants are only one funding source. Helping clients understand their options and how to pursue them is fulfilling.

Favourite movie?

Die Hard.

Ipswich Business Portraits
Ipswich Photography Studio

Hi there! I'm Amanda Waschevski

I AM A HEADSHOT AND PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN IPSWICH, QLD. I help people be themselves in front a camera.