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Female Founders: LJ Yacht & Commercial Services

Every month, our Female Founders blog shines a spotlight on the women leading change in our community. This month, we feature Liz Jackson, the founder of LJ Yacht & Commercial Services. Liz shares her insights on work ethic, the value of community, the hurdles often encountered by female entrepreneurs, and strategies for overcoming them.

What motivated you to start your own business in the leisure marine industry?

Having spent many vacations on my parent's sailing boat, it was always inevitable that I would venture into yachting and having worked on yachts post-university as a Stewardess, Chief Stew and Purser, it was an easy transition into setting up and establishing my own business in yachting. I am a hard-working individual brought up on my parent’s family farm, so a good work ethic is ingrained in me.

As female founders in a traditionally male-dominated sector, what specific challenges did you face, and how did you overcome these challenges?

It was certainly challenging at times to start with, but over time with great products, a strong reputation and first-class customer service, it became easier to be considered a go-to authority in my segment of the industry.

Can you highlight instances where being a female founder presented unique opportunities or advantages in the leisure marine sector?

I don’t think being a female has afforded me any advantages in the sector, what I have found has been a community of females who all have similar experiences, good and bad, and we can talk and share these and support one another. I am fortunate to have some wonderfully supportive females in the yachting sector and their encouragement and support is a huge gift.

Maintaining work-life balance is crucial for entrepreneurs. How have you managed this?

Having a work-life balance is not possible regardless of what anyone says, it’s even more challenging for female entrepreneurs, there is always one area of your life which must take priority and it’s about pivoting and moving the priority daily. The loneliness and concerns faced by an entrepreneur can at times be overbearing.  I think I must have the courage of my conviction to know I am doing my best professionally and personally, and that must be enough to ensure I don’t burden myself with guilt, we all have challenges, but I manage it to the best of my abilities. 

For women considering entrepreneurship in the leisure marine sector, what advice would you share based on your own experiences?

My advice would be to attend as many events as you can and start introducing yourself, connect with these people on social media channels and LinkedIn and immerse yourself in the industry. Be open to advice and guidance and if someone decides to take you under their wing, then let them, as you can never have too many good people within your network.

Looking ahead, what are your business plans and goals for 2024?

The goals for this year are to increase the growth in the digital eLogbooks and to focus on the elements of this which can make users' lives easier to transition from paper to digital. Digital data entry logging is more time efficient than paper but requires a mindset change which has been the biggest hurdle to overcome with clients transitioning. Likewise, we have seen huge growth in our custom livery arm of the business, with clients wanting beautiful products onboard from ring binders to menu holders, so 2024 is very much a split-pronged approach.


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