I am an experienced business person, having established, owned and operated businesses in the manufacturing and construction sectors for 30 years since starting my first business through the NEIS scheme in 1986. My experiences have given me an understanding of the difficulty of commencing a business with minimal capital and the joys (and pitfalls) of running your own small business.
I developed my business facilitation skills through service on a variety of economic development and business committees, including terms as president of our local Chamber of Commerce. I worked with a team in the early days to establish our Business Chamber to give the local businesses an opportunity for networking and to open up another information avenue for them. Qualifications in Small Business Management, Community Services and Training and Assessment combined with regular participation in workshops and short courses have further enhanced my business knowledge, communication and facilitation skills.
I believe the major key to effective business facilitation and advice is to be an active and engaged listener (we have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason), which allows the client to air their concerns and views both verbally and non-verbally. Additional skills are a good knowledge of available business support services and the ability to help clients examine their business issues from a different perspective in order to find solutions that work for them.
In my position at the Hunter Region BEC I work with start-ups and established businesses, including the NEIS scheme. I am constantly inspired by the passion that people have for their businesses and I enjoy helping them regain their passion and confidence when times are tough by brainstorming with them to identify strategies to assist their recovery.