Step in the right direction
9 September 2009
When an email promoting free business assistance pinged into Bridge Road café owner Jess Hardwick's inbox, she put in a call which has helped her rediscover her enthusiasm and motivation to bring about business growth.
Kangan Batman TAFE's Right Track Help for New and Emerging Businesses program has been helping many other small businesses like Jesse's Café Azul over the past six months to address the various issues these types of enterprises often face. The program is delivered by the Institute's Business Enterprise Centre (BEC).
Jess says that initial call put her in touch with BEC assistant manager Joe Imbesi.
"When I got that email about free business consulting via the Bridge Road Traders, I wasn't entirely sure what the service entailed, but as a small business owner, I'm always keeping an eye open for any sort of opportunities which will help build the café," she says.
"Joe was really great. From just that first call, he came to visit the café, and right away I felt a lot more motivated about being in business than I had been for a while.
"It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of the business and not take time to look a bit further ahead. This program brought fresh eyes to the way Café Azul operates.
"Joe helped to guide a few key business decisions and investments which will lead to good, solid growth over the next few months - things that I wouldn't have considered."
Funded by the federal government, the Right Track Help for New and Emerging Businesses program is provided free of charge to clients in Hume, Moonee Valley, Brimbank, Yarra and Melbourne.
Joe says the program has been created to provide practical business advice and help address the problems many small business face in times of financial strain.
"This is an innovative program which allows us to deliver free business advice and referral services to help small, micro, home-based and emerging businesses across five municipalities in the greater Melbourne area," he says.
"Through the BEC and three experienced business coaches, we can offer confidential advice and support with marketing, budgeting and planning.
"We understand the time pressures on business owners, so we offer a flexible service with meeting rooms available in Broadmeadows, Essendon, Sunshine, Richmond and Docklands or a visit can be made to individual business sites."
For more information or to find out how your business can benefit from the Right Track Help for New and Emerging Businesses program, call the BEC on (03) 9094 3008 or visit Business Enterprise Centre.