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SSC Newspaper : January 2011
12 Strathfield Scene As someone who has run her own newsagency, Bilanja Stanojcic knows from first-hand experience the joys and challenges of owning a small business. “My background is in corporate marketing,” she says. “Then I ran my own business for seven years. It was a steep learning curve.” Stanojcic, 37, who teaches business management at the Sydney Institute of TAFE, brings her considerable expertise to Strathfield Council’s Business Mentoring program – offering practical advice on running a small business. “Many people who have a great business idea are looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses,” she says. “They are so convinced of their success that they never consider the nuts and bolts of running a business.” Five great tips For business success: 1. Do your homework – “a lot of operators fail to do basic planning.” 2. Watch your cash flow – “everyone overestimates their income.” 3. get some practical experience – “Work in a similar operation.” 4. Have a marketing plan –“people need to know you exist.” 5. Find a point of difference – “You must stand out from competitors.” tips For business survival business “Many people who have a great business idea are looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses,” says business mentor Bilanja Stanojcic. january 2011 Mentoring program a boon for small business By Mark Chipperfield Question: “How do you start a small business?” Answer: “Buy a large one and wait”. It’s an old joke. Everyone knows about the perils of owning and running a small business, but it seems few people ever manage to get the formula correct and launch a successful new enterprise. The failure rate for small business start-ups in Australia is very high. Some experts claim that up to 80 per cent of all new businesses fail within the first five years – although precise data is hard to come by. Whatever the attrition rate, it is generally accepted that too many people launch into the world of free enterprise without doing the necessary homework beforehand and lacking the essential skills needed to achieve success. It’s exactly for this reason that Strathfield Council last year launched a Business Mentoring program targeted at the municipality’s estimated 7500 registered business operators. So successful was the initial progam that it is being offered again in 2011, kicking off on March 16. The 14-week Business Mentoring program is aimed at those already running their own small businesses or about to launch one within the municipality. The course covers all the essentials of running a small business, such as sales and marketing, finance and budgeting, human resources and accounting. The evening classes are conducted by inspirational mentors drawn from the worlds of business and academia – many run their own companies or work as consultants. Nathan Pratt, Economic Development Officer at Strathfield Council, says that the mentoring program is a “one-stop-shop” for small business owners who want to cover a number of disciplines for a modest fee. Participants are equally split between those already running small businesses and people on the verge of launching a new business, but unsure about the practicalities of budgeting, marketing and basic accounting. “ There are many people out there who know their trade inside-out,” Pratt says. “But they don’t know any thing about how to run a small business.” Pratt says similar commercial courses can cost up to $1500 and do not offer an equal standard of teaching – or the free copy of MYOB Business Basics software which is included as part of the Strathfield package. “ We offer 14 weeks of face-to-face teaching, but after the program has finished, participants get a follow-up session with the marketing mentor, and also help with their financial plan,” he says. Since the majority of new jobs in Australia are created by the small to medium business sector, Strathfield Council is naturally keen to support small enterprises. “Focussing on small business is critical,” Pratt says. “ There have been various studies, but the estimates say between 60 per cent and 90 per cent of new jobs created come from small business. Growing new jobs and getting new enterprises in the area makes a lot of sense.” Tony Maroun, the mayor of Strathfield, is an enthusiastic supporter of the Business Mentoring program, which uses experienced trainers to help small business people develop skills in marketing, management and finance. “This initiative seeks to grow small business in Strathfield,” he said. The first Business Mentoring program for 2011 begins on March 16. The 14-week course costs $350 and includes a free copy of MYOB Business Basics software (worth $220). Sessions are held on Wednesday evenings, 6-9pm at the High Street Community Library, 64 High St, Strathfield. Places are limited, so please book immediately. Phone Strathfield Council’s Economic Development Officer on 9748 9999 or register at www.strathfield.nsw.gov.au. want your business to get ahead? advertise in the call janice on 9299 8697 Brays Bay Reserve 443 Concord Rd, (cross St - Mary St) RhodeS Ph. 8765 0006 www.oliveto.com.au Lunch12–3pmMon–Fri&Sun dinner 6 – 10.30pm Tues – Sat Book now for Fathers Day Open for lunch hosting a set menu Open for dinner - a la carte 12119231217642 Brays Bay Reserve 443 Concord Rd, (cross St - Mary St) RhodeS Ph. 8765 0006 www.oliveto.com.au Lunch12–3pmMon–Fri&Sun dinner6–10.30pmTues–Sat Book now for your Christmas Events Call 8765 0006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Don’t forget to book your Christmas event now! Brays Bay Reserve 443 Concord Rd, Rhodes NSW www.oliveto.com.au Ph: 8765 0006 Don’t forget to book your next event
Strathfield Scene December
SS9 February 2011