Buying an established business can be challenging – but it can help knowing there’s somewhere you can turn for support. Jasmine Kik from Fireplaces WA uses our SBDC services regularly and shares her story.
Fireplaces WA is a family-owned business offering a range of gas, wood, bio-ethanol, and electric fireplaces. According to the Fireplaces WA website, a fireplace should be a year-round piece of art which provides a designer impact and a relaxing ambiance even when it’s not being used.
Jasmine Kirk and her partner bought the business four years ago and have been learning about the world of small business ever since. Here are some of the insights Jasmine shared.
Every business will experience different highs and lows
All business owners deal with different challenges and opportunities, depending on their products, services, industry and circumstances. For example, while many WA businesses had to negotiate the pressures of Covid-related lockdowns and restrictions, Jasmine found fireplaces were in high demand.
“When Covid hit, no one knew what was going to happen. For us, it was not a negative thing,” she says. “A lot of people were working from home found that their homes were cold, which meant they needed a fireplace or some sort of heating. It worked well for us but with that came the struggle of being able to service those people because it was so busy.”
“One of our ongoing challenges is staffing, finding the right people and people who are available to work. So we’ve been trying to balance giving the best customer service that we can and giving our customers the product that they require.”
Track the impact of your product or service
If your small business offers a product or service which makes a visible impact, it could be worth taking inspiration from Jasmine and her team and documenting your work with ‘before and after’ photos.
“We’ve really enjoyed seeing before and after photos of people’s homes,” says Jasmine. “Where there was a blank wall, there’s now an amazing fireplace. For us that’s a win – we’ve got happy clients and an amazing fireplace.”
“Some of the other wins in our business have been meeting some amazing clients, even developing friendships with some of our clientele.”
Take a deep breath – and get advice
“We’ve owned the business for just under four years but the business has been established for about 45 years. When we bought the business, the previous owners told us about the SBDC.”
Since discovering our SBDC services, Jasmine has been in touch for advice on a range of issues. One example is when she asked what to do when a potential client presented a quote which had been issued by the previous owners from years before.
“I’ve used the business advisory service on many occasions over the years. I’ve rung the SBDC because I haven’t known the answer. It’s been really helpful to talk through some of the issues with some of the advisors and just get directions on how to approach things.”
“I was able to get advice on the steps to take, the process to follow, the words to write. You can just take a deep breath and move forward.”
You can turn to the SBDC for any small business query
Jasmine recommends turning to the SBDC when you need help with any aspect of your small business.
“If there’s one thing I would tell other business owners, it would be to always give the SBDC a call. The SBDC is available for any question or query. They will always give you the best advice they can offer. It also calms you, it helps you approach whatever situation you’re in.”
“I’m not aware of any other corporation that would be able to offer those services. I don’t know who I would have gone to otherwise.”
Find out more
If you’d like to discuss an issue you’re facing in your new or established small business, you might like to follow Jasmine’s lead and book an appointment with our free business advisory service.
To learn more about different aspects of running your business, take a look at our upcoming small business workshops.