“If you’re a business owner – any type of business owner – your website and your digital presence needs to be front of mind”

Saman Uzman

Saman Uzma’s story is one that we all need to read. Not because her background is particularly extraordinary (though it is) or that she has stories that can’t be heard elsewhere (though she does), but because the advice she has to share is critical for everyone living in today’s climate. As a digital expert, Saman knows better than most just how important it is to have a considered digital presence.

“If you’re a business owner – any type of business owner – your website and your digital presence needs to be front of mind,” she says. “But even if you’re not a business owner. If you’re a job seeker, a career changer, or anyone in today’s world, you need to be mindful of your digital footprint. Because the first thing potential bosses, clients and colleagues will do is figure out who you are online. So make sure that who you are on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or your website is who you want to be.”

It’s wise words in a landscape where so many of us haphazardly post and document our daily moves. Which is why – as well as running digital consultancy Cubeight – Saman runs free workshops for new business owners and job seekers on web presence and digital footprint. As well as this community offering, Saman also offers subsidised services for social enterprises, including one of her most recent projects, Racism Not Welcome. 

“When I arrived in Australia, people helped me so much,” she says. “So I want to do the same for others.” This attitude is just part of what makes Saman so remarkable. Born and raised in India, Saman’s family believed that there were two viable career options for women – teaching or medicine. But Saman felt differently, and thankfully, her supportive father was the first to encourage her to follow her dreams. “I knew what I wanted to do, and that was technology, maths and IT. I had a very simple focus.”

That simple (or perhaps ‘focused’ is more appropriate) vision was clear to all those Saman interacted with, including her classmates who branded her with the phrase, “The greatness of this girl is in her simplicity.” Believing that the simple way is where greatness belongs, Saman applies this same focus to her work today in providing simple but effective digital solutions to emerging and established businesses. 

“The best tip I can provide to business owners is to make sure their brand and their business is represented and brought to life online. They need to know the importance of that online presence,” Saman says.

So what does that look like? Saman tells us, “Firstly, you need to make sure your website reflects your brand; your colours and your values. Secondly, your website has to be designed with your call to action in mind, so your audience acts on your site in the way you want them to. Thirdly, you need to have a site that is built to be responsive based on different screen sizes. Finally, you need to have a focus on the speed and performance of your website.” 

Despite knowing all of this, being a business owner hasn’t been a walk in the park for Saman. “I really found some of the business aspects challenging,” she says. “I knew my work, but found things like compliance and accounts to be a struggle. The best thing has been that in Australia, I have found so many people who have helped me. I was new to the culture and to the business world, and have been supported every step of the way.”

It comes as no surprise then that Saman’s advice to aspiring migrant entrepreneurs is simple. “Be persistent. And seek support.” We’ll start by taking it from Saman herself. 

Published by Amy Malpass-Hahn, Freelance writer