On 1 July 2024, Business Local became SBDC Regional. While the name has changed, we’re still here providing you with free business advice and support in your area. Find your SBDC Regional provider.

Nearly 10 years into their business, Maggie and Bryan Jacobs realised they were missing out on opportunities to expand their trade.

The owners of Geraldton Rubber & Conveyor had focused on working hard and providing great customer service since first opening in the Mid West town. But it wasn’t until happening upon RSM Business Local and seeking advice about completing a business award submission, that they really understood the potential for their family enterprise.

“We joined an information session after being nominated for a business award and just got some mentoring and help with our submission, and then realised there was so much more that Business Local could do for us,” Maggie said.

Helping businesses realise their potential

An initiative of the SBDC, Business Local is a network of skilled business advisers throughout regional WA that offers valuable advice to small business operators at no cost. RSM Business Local provides the service in Geraldton and the Mid West.

While regional business owners can seek confidential advice about a specific challenge or opportunity arising in their business, the Business Local network of advisers can provide a strategic sounding board for a wide range of topics and help business owners work on their business, as well as in it.

The network also offers group workshops on subjects ranging from marketing and business planning, as well as practical training on popular software packages.

A niche service for local industry

Geraldton Rubber & Conveyor is a niche business offering conveyor belt splicing and rubber lining, mostly used in the engineering and mining industries. In addition, the business carries out polyurea coating and corrosion protection, which is often used in utes and boats to protect against abrasion and corrosion.

“For us, it’s always been about building the business, working hard and keeping our customers happy – and not thinking about the bigger picture, which is what RSM Business Local has really helped us with,” Maggie said.

“We never realised where the shortcomings and shortfalls in our business were until we sat down and spoke to David Boyes at RSM Business Local. We realised we weren’t utilising certain opportunities that were coming our way and he guided us on how to do it better.”

Expert advice helps put development on agenda

Maggie said advice from RSM Business Local, particularly in Xero, social media and understanding business financials, had been integral to their plans to further develop Geraldton Rubber & Conveyor.

“I can ask the Business Local team anything,” she said. “They just have a way of thinking business and helping you to understand where you should be focusing more, and how you can grow the business if you do things differently.”

The Jacobs, who migrated from South Africa to build a new life in the Australia, now have a thriving business servicing the mining industry, one of Western Australia’s biggest economic generators and employers. Clients include local mine sites Illuka Resources, GMA Garnet, Shark Bay Resources and Ramelius Resources in Mount Magnet, as well as a range of Mid West engineering businesses, and the company now employs six team members.

They have opened a second premises, Tuff Line Coatings, specialising in polyurea coatings, as a part of their business expansion.

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Small business stories
12 April 2022