The small business specialists
Phone: 13 12 49
Become a media contact and help raise awareness of your achievements and challenges.
Please contact Diane Graham on (08) 6552 3218 or 0432 750 565.
We're always looking for West Australian business owners to tell their stories in the media. We have regular requests to provide local small business stories that people can relate to.
So, if you have an unusual business or a business that is doing something in an unusual way, let us know. Businesses on this register may be referred to newspaper, magazine or television journalists seeking interesting small business stories.
All of the success stories featured on our website are businesses that have accessed our services, either through our small business advisory service or one of our specialist programs. Below are some examples:
Rupert and Kim Phillips have been as busy as their bees building the House of Honey and the Sticky Spoon Cafe in Herne Hill. The result is an impressive combination of eco-friendly business practices and a unique customer experience.
Rupert's life-time experience in apiculture, coupled with Kim's Environmental Management credentials have proved a winning combination in bringing their business to fruition.
As part of their business preparations, Rupert and Kim attended an SBDC Tourism BOOST workshop early in 2012.
"When you're getting started in business, you don't always know what services are on offer to help you," Kim said.
"The Tourism BOOST workshop was very helpful in explaining who's who in the tourism industry, getting our business plan formalised and helping us plan for the future."
The House of Honey was a ten-year dream before Rupert and Kim opened their doors in 2010.
Kim says a visit to the House of Honey is designed to engage all the senses from seeing the bees and the honey, to hearing about the process of honey production, the delicious smell of honey and then tasting the product.
There is also the opportunity to watch Rupert interacting with his bees.
"Visitors can just have a relaxing time in the café, or they can learn new things through our exhibition area which includes a working hive."
The House of Honey also hosts school groups, who are fascinated by the honey making process.
Although the business is only two and a half years old, Rupert and Kim have plans to expand their product range and shop size and incorporate information workshops to encourage bee-keeping enthusiasts.
Margaret Gately is a vibrant woman with a passion for shoes, an enthusiasm to look after her clients, and the drive to grow her business.
After learning the ropes in retail fashion, Margaret decided to start up on her own, but instead of clothing, she chose to turn her knowledge and love of shoes into an exclusive shoe boutique for the discerning buyer.
"The most important thing I learned from the SBDC in those early days was to have a business plan, and do plenty of research before you get started," Margaret said.
"The SBDC workshops were also a good opportunity to network other new business starters and that helped me get the most out of the course.
"I discovered the most important marketing tip is to know who my customers are and to aim my marketing efforts at those customers, prospective and current."
Margaret has also had the support of a mentor with many years experience in the industry, and says even after six years in business, she still talks to her on most days.
"She is my friend as well as my mentor, and she has a wealth of experience to share," Margaret said.
Margaret's shop, Escalatoo, is in a leafy shopping village in Applecross and carries a range of high quality shoes, chosen by consensus by Margaret and her discerning team of staff.
Like many small businesses reliant on discretionary spending, Margaret has been challenged by the global financial crisis, and the current European economic downturn.
"Although the strong Australian dollar makes buying stock from overseas more attractive, it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy new season ranges," Margaret said.
"Where international wholesalers once brought their entire ranges to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, they are now bringing smaller ranges, and often will not bring them to Perth at all."