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5 Minutes With… Shayne Connolly

Shayne Connolly pointing at neon sign labelled "Keep It Simple Group" with vase of dried flowers also in the frame

In this latest “5 Minutes With…” we chat with Shayne Connolly, Founder and CEO of Keep It Simple Group, a local business specialising in building compliance software solutions and systems. Shayne also shares his passions outside of work, insightful learnings as an Owner/Founder, and exciting plans for KIS Group in the near future.

Tell us about yourself and Keep It Simple Group.

I started my professional life in IT with a degree in computing back in the 90s. I used that career to work in the UK for two years and travelled extensively. I loved every minute of my life travelling, and my family and I continue to travel at every  opportunity, 30 plus countries down and about 100 to go! After 10 years in IT I was burnt out and needed a change. I tried sales for a while with some success but it really just wasn’t for me, and then found my way into safety and training. I loved working with people and it was a great fit.

I found my new career direction, but also found myself frustrated with paper and bureaucracy in the companies I worked for. I always thought that safety should be simple for everyone to be involved in. Having a background in IT, I thought it was obvious that safety in a paperless world would be better for everyone. This lead to the start of our business ‘Keep It Simple Safety’, bringing safety and software together.

In the nine years we have been in business our family (four kids and a dog) has moved to Townsville, had our first grandchild and continued to explore the world when we could.

Recently we have moved to just focus on the software solution for customers with the same philosophy for building a strong foundation for success, partnering with ‘Lucidity’ and ‘Zoho’ to enhance the partnership we already had with ‘Donesafe’. We specialise in streamlining the management of compliance in business. This can be simple compliance such as WHS through to ISO level compliance for 9001, 45001 or 14001 plus others.

Now known as Keep It Simple Group, what we do might have changed, but the “Keep It Simple” philosophy remains the same.

What has been the most challenging aspect of owning Keep It Simple Group?

The loneliness and stress of it all can be difficult, people don’t often realise how lonely it can be. It is great to be in control, but the buck does stop with you and that is a hard thing to share with others, even your wife. I’m a big advocate of helping business owners talk about these things, part of the reason we started the Keep It Simple Podcast.

Finding quality staff has also been a challenge at times but we now have a great team of nine and I love them all. The rewards of these challenges far outweigh the downside though.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I love all kinds of photography, more specifically landscape photography and have some published photos on the internet. I have even planned trips overseas around beautiful locations to shoot landscape photos.

I am also just about to start on a more personal journey through my YouTube channel (Take The Next Right). I’m going to share my journey from overweight business owner to competing in the Carins Ironman Triathlon in 2024. Very scary to put out in the public but hopefully it can help others and it will keep me honest.

What is the best piece of career or business advice you ever received?

Be yourself, which means being honest and stick to your principles, these two important factors help me stay true to my brand and the business I have built from the ground up.

Sacrificing who you are for success, isn’t success. Although this can seem very difficult it does make future bigger decisions easier when you have a strong internal compass.

So, understand who you are and make it part of your brand if you want real success in life and business.

Also don’t be afraid to try new things, admit mistakes and change direction. Life is too short to stick with something that might not be working.

Going forward, what is next on the cards for Keep It Simple Group?

We have a membership site (Keep It Simple Membership), a podcast and new software coming online this year (Tradiesafe) so it’s going to be busy.

We are super excited about our new software in Lucidity and Zoho Analytics, which will allow us to reach and help even more businesses to streamline their business.

We have big plans for the future across Australia and the world, we have spent time building the right systems and team, now we are ready to scale to great heights. We are always looking for interesting business owners to talk to in our Keep It Simple podcast so please reach out to us if you want to be part of it.

“Simple systems to build a foundation for successful business” – This is our vision and we have helped hundreds of businesses build a strong foundation to grow and expand on. Follow our socials, or contact us and let us show you how we can set your business up for success in the future right now.

The Keep It Simple Podcast featured our Managing Editor, Julie Johnston

Main image – Shayne Connolly, Founder and CEO of Keep It Simple Group.

Images Credits – All images supplied.

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Compiled by the BDmag editorial team
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Compiled by the BDmag editorial team