In 2009, Rachel Haydon’s entrepreneurial spirit led to the idea of Australian Online Courses as a home-based, solopreneur business following the birth of her twins.
As a mother of three, she had her work cut out for her in the early years.
Since then, Australian Online Courses has expanded to offer hundreds of professional development courses with students enrolled Australia-wide and internationally.
Rachel now has offices and employs staff to help in the operation of Australian Online Courses.
Here, Rachel Haydon, Managing Director of Australian Online Courses, shares the story behind the company in her own words.
Tell us about Australian Online Courses?
Australian Online Courses specialises in delivering unique professional development programs – and has been operating since early 2009. The aim was to provide a flexible and affordable training alternative, with a focus on career-targeted programs not available elsewhere.
What were you doing before you went into business for yourself?
Before starting Australian Online Courses, I worked for 10 years in the video industry. After selling my business, I started a family, (three children including twins), completed a journalism degree and began developing online courses and eLearning systems.
It was a tough period of juggling young children, looking after a sick husband, running a household, establishing a small business, studying and finding time for myself. But I was very determined and loved what I was doing.
What made you want to start your own business?
I started Australian Online Courses as I was drawn to both course writing and website development. The business allowed me to combine both interests with the flexibility to work from home with young children.
What’s the one bit of advice you would give yourself if you were starting again?
If I was starting again, I’d probably start employing people sooner. I worked on my own in the early years establishing the business, thinking I could do it all. But there’s only so far you can go on your own. To grow, you need to tap into the talents of others, and there’s nothing better than working towards goals as part of a team.
How many hours a day do you work on your business? Has this changed?
In the early days, I used to work until 3am in the morning while my young children were asleep. Once I started employing people my hours changed to regular business hours (Monday to Friday) with some hours on the weekend when needed.
Tell us about your proudest moment?
As I started my business on my dining room table, one of my proudest moments in business was when I moved into professional offices.