Samantha Robinson is an experienced nurse leader, with a passion for staff development and patient safety. With postgraduate qualifications in Health services management and Critical care has worked across both the public and private health sector as a Nurse Unit Manager over the past 10 years, before joining forces with her sister Ashleigh, a Nurse Practitioner to cofound Arnicare, Australia’s first aftercare range specifically formulated for use after cosmetic injectable procedures.
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We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Samantha Robinson: Thank you for having me. My experience is largely in the healthcare sector, having worked at a number of public and private sector leadership positions over the past 15 years, most recently as a Nurse Unit Manager at Alfred Health and then at Barwon Health. I am really passionate about innovation and ensuring patients receive the best possible outcomes. Whilst on maternity leave in 2020 I cofounded Arnicare with my sister Ashleigh who is a cosmetic Nurse Practitioner and serial entrepreneur.
Ashleigh was unable to find a product that her patients could use after lip filler to reduce commonly occurring side effects like bruising and swelling. Rather than continue sending patients to the pharmacy for traditional arnica formulations, we decided to create our own product range that was designed specifically for use in aesthetic medicine.
Our product range has grown to include a range of arnica creams, lip balms, ice packs and stress balls all aimed at improving the patient experience and results after cosmetic procedures. We are so product to be stocked in over 60 cosmetic injectable clinics, dentists and plastic surgeons across Australia.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Samantha Robinson: I have really learnt the benefit of inventory management, being ahead of the game and keeping abreast of any international news that may impact manufacturing or shipping times is crucial when running a product based business.
This is also very relevant when planning ahead for product development. We have a project underway which from week one was already delayed due to product availability, being solution focused and able to adapt to the changing landscape has kept our business moving forward.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Samantha Robinson: Our business started amongst the challenges of the pandemic so have been used to the constant chaos the arises alongside uncertain events which make it difficult to plan ahead, however one really important area of focus for us is trying to get ahead of our stock requirements.
Long shipping and manufacturing delays can really impact our business, particularly around our custom product range. Keeping open communication and forging strong relationships with our manufacturers is essential for us to thrive in 2022 and we would encourage other product base businesses to do the same.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Samantha Robinson: The pandemic has had a big impact on the industry, I think confidence in our area is down a little bit as clinics try and manage a large number of cancellations on any one day. Having to continually open and close clinics has put a lot of stress and additional workload on our clinics which can impact on their time/ability and confidence to seek out new products or innovations in the industry.
We need to continue to be dynamic and responsive to the needs of our clinics. We recently reduced our minimum opening order for wholesale stockists by half to assist with cash flow management.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Samantha Robinson: I really wish I had better insight into the flow on impacts of manufacturing, logistics and shipping issues that can arise and significantly impact a product based business. We have really focused on ensuring we have a number of high quality manufacturers for each of our product lines rather than relying on one favoured supplier.
Earlier in the pandemic one of our manufacturers was forced to close for a significant period of time to due COVID. Not only were we not able to order our products, but when we were able to finally place an order there was a long wait whilst they caught up on orders ahead of ours.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Samantha Robinson: Whilst there is a huge focus on moving online, I think it is really important to still maintain that physical presence and social interaction with our stockists. Arnicare launched during the pandemic, which meant all of our work has been done virtually. We are really looking forward to meeting and engaging with our stockists in person this year.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Samantha Robinson: Around 6-8. I find this very difficult and need to take lots of little breaks!
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Samantha Robinson: I find the most effective way of doing this in the healthcare industry is through patient experiences. Hearing first hand the differences your product has made to them and the confidence it has given them is very motivating.
Likewise, a poor experience heard first hand from a patient is more of an effective change agent than just an email follow up from a manager. Recently, we have been undertaking a “Supplier snapshot” series were we interview our current stockists to find out more about them the services they offer and how our products service their clinics. This helps us get to know our stockists on a closer level and realise the impact we can have to their business.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Samantha Robinson: One of the biggest challenges I find personally is around social media. There are so many platforms to try and be across and we really want to ensure we are providing value for our followers. Recently there have been some changes advertising of therapeutic
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Samantha Robinson: I would love to learn more about online marketing! Being in the healthcare industry again we have such little exposure to marketing, I initially spent time reading books like “marketing for dummies” however this is an area that is constantly changing and we need to be able to stay abreast of new and innovative ways to market our product range to ensure we are able to reach our target audience without feeling like we are not getting much “bang for our buck”.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Samantha Robinson: I think the pandemic has put a big strain on everyone and people have had time to identify their values and what is important to them, and for a lot of people it involves around family. As leaders we need to work with our employees to try and identify where their values lie and how we can adjust our previous ways of working to support a more robust and dynamic work environment.
One very easy thing we can do as leaders is to ensure we provide informal feedback to our staff on their performance and also ask for feedback in return, not just as part of yearly staff surveys. This ensures our staff feel “heard” and “valued” and don’t just hear from their manager with constructive feedback.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Samantha Robinson: I would definitely have a “coding” superpower. Surprisingly (or not) our healthcare system is quite behind with the application of technological advances into the system, as such I have previously had pretty limited exposure to IT. I would love to be able to be a super wiz at coding to add new elements and features to our online portal with the blink of an eye! (instead of hours spent on Youtube trying to figure things out)
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Samantha Robinson: Success for me and our team will the launch of our new TGA approved product, the first of its kind in Australia. We are excited to see our vision come to life after two years of planning. It has been a gruelling project and we will be thrilled when we can supply our clinics with this Australian first product.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Samantha Robinson for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Samantha Robinson or her company, you can do it through her – Instagram
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