David Palmer - on the Alert for business knowledge

 

David PalmerDavid Palmer

 

After a rewarding career working with professionals and students in Performing Arts, David was looking for new challenges. He found the answer by turning his passion for motorcycle riding and teaching into a thriving small business.

“I started off working for Alert Motorcycle School, but when an opportunity came up to buy the business in 2004, I found myself in charge of a company that needed some TLC to get it back on its’ feet,” David said.

While he provided the energy and commitment the business needed to grow its customer base, attract new corporate contracts and re-establish itself in new premises, David soon realised he needed to increase his business knowledge in order to take things to the next level.

“I had no business background before buying the firm, but after I took over, it started to grow and I had to manage some pretty substantial contracts. I was fine with the skills training and people-management side of things but working out business financials and understanding the fundamentals of business planning was all new ground for me.”

Why did you come along to a BiZFiT event? What attracted you?

I went to Curtin University looking for some business courses and was soon steered in the direction of BiZFiT. I enrolled for the Extend 2-day workshop which gave an overview of what I needed to know, and then I was lucky enough to qualify for a scholarship to the BiZFiT Growth program.

The content of the Growth program is pithy and covers all bases, regardless of what type of business you’re running. In our class, we have a pharmacist, designers, beauticians, tradesmen and IT specialists, but at the end of the day, we all need the same advice on how to keep our businesses profitable.

In your view, what is unique or special about the BiZFit Growth Program?

The timing and the content of the Growth program is really well worked out. There’s time to think about the information in between the classes and to work on the concepts. It demystifies a lot of things that I’d found daunting and overall, the standard of instruction is exemplary, first class. It’s also great to be around people who have such terrific motivation and a thirst for information.

From your participation in the program, did you have any “ah-ha” moments?

When I was doing the Extend program I became acutely aware that there was so much more I needed to know. I realised that it was important to have a well structured, well run business in order to provide an enjoyable, stable place for my employees and myself to work. We all have needs and aspirations and I want to provide a workplace that meets those needs. It’s important to get the basics right.

Has your involvement in BiZFiT inspired you to make any changes in your business?

Introducing measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) has been a major change implemented since I’ve been involved with the BiZFiT program. I’m also keeping better track on my finances and the regular outgoings we need to prepare for, such as superannuation and income tax. We’re in the process of writing procedures manuals and duty statements which will also help us in the long-run.

What do you see as the next big challenge for you in your business?

Proposed changes to State Government registration requirements for motorcycles and training will present some operational challenges for my business. It will result in new training qualification requirements for instructors and getting the business accredited.

We are also keen to take our services to regional centres around the State and to introduce some new travel/training initiatives for our customers.

 

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