By his own admission, Kade Sims is adept at counting beans – the coffee variety that is, not financial figures.
So, when the owner of Beck & Call Coffee in Albany considered expanding the business model for his niche coffee roasting enterprise, he sought assistance from the Business Local network to put together a competitive grant application.
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. The Albany Business Centre is Kade’s Business Local provider in the Great Southern region.
Business Local advisers are available for one-on-one appointments, for individualised and confidential small business advice. They also offer group workshops on a range of subjects, including business planning, financial management, taxation, leasing requirements, marketing, social media and business expansion.
Get expert help for areas outside your strengths
“My strength is counting coffee beans not numbers, so when we decided to apply for an economic development grant, the first place we went was to the Albany Business Centre,” Kade said.
Kade noted that the Business Local advisory service and support from adviser Richard Keeler had been fundamental in helping the business to win a grant and ultimately expand Beck & Call Coffee.
“We were successful with the grant and now we have funding that enables us to move into our own premises and build a purpose-built roasting facility,” he said. “We’re looking forward to that transition and taking the next step for our business.”
Start up to established business
The first few years of a start up’s life can be a time when the most advice and support on business matters is needed. Beck & Call Coffee had regular access to the Business Local service by being co-located at their premises.
“We started out as a tenant at the Albany Business Centre business incubator, which is a great place for start-ups looking for business support and low-cost rent.”
After years of planning, the small-batch coffee roaster shared its wares for the first time at the ANZAC Albany Centenary celebration in 2014.
Since then, Beck & Call Coffee has grown to offer a multitude of coffee bean options, including single origin series, a range of blends and barista training courses for those wanting to fine-tune the art of coffee-making.
Ongoing assistance throughout your business life
Even when your business has made it successfully through its first years, new challenges and opportunities can mean you can still benefit from regular check ins with experienced business advisers. “I haven’t contacted Business Local every week or every month even, but just knowing they’re here when we need support and advice is reassuring,” said Kade.
“Having local experts support small business in Albany is such a gift for businesses here, and particularly start-ups.”