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Owners of Viaje Coffee Hugh Nguyen and Wayne Kang.

Journey out of disruption: Viaje Coffee

With prime position in the lobby of a busy inner-city building, Viaje Coffee was thriving under the management of Hugh Nguyen and his business partner Wayne Kang.

“Before the pandemic, our business was going well,” said Hugh. “Viaje Coffee had a very loyal customer base and our business was growing. Then, COVID had a massive impact. The building was pretty much shut down and there were only about 10 per cent of the people left.”

The SBDC recognised early on that businesses like Hugh and Wayne were facing daily challenges and disruption as a result of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.

In August 2020, the SBDC launched the PIVOT program to respond to this need. Blow Your Own Mind, the SBDC’s delivery partner for the PIVOT program, helped develop the program to help other small businesses build resilience, be future focused and grow their entrepreneurial mindset to help them reconsider their business model.

Nearly 500 business owners from across Western Australia joined the free six month program, participating in live and on-demand webinars and workshops, dedicated one-on-one business coaching and networking to build collaborations and partnerships. Through the PIVOT program, Hugh and Wayne seized the opportunity to build new skills in marketing, business development and developing a mindset for business.

“The challenge with any small business really is that you're always working in the business, not on the business. With the program, what we learned was just to step back and work on the business, work on the strategy behind the business, rather than just day-to-day tasks,” they said.

“So we went from a very day-to-day business mindset to being more open to new things, open to expanding, not just only to another cafe but with new products, new areas that we’d never really thought about.”

“The most valuable thing with the program was the focus on mindset. What it demonstrated to us was that if you change what's inside, your outside is going to change.”

If you’d like to find out more about Viaje Coffee visit their Facebook page.

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Looking to expand your entrepreneurial mindset and grow your business resilience?

Read about making a personal development plan and why business owners need to embrace lifelong learning, and attend one of our interpersonal skills workshops.

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