Highlights from 2020

NSW Small Business Month supports small and medium sized businesses to succeed. In our fourth consecutive year, we are proud to share these highlights from our 2020 festival.

Deeper connections for Central Coast businesswomen Lunch event: Community and Business Women’s Network

Deeper connections for Central Coast businesswomen

Lunch event – Networking

Two sold-out luncheons at Umina Beach marked a welcome return to this network’s in-person events on the Central Coast in October 2020.

With social distancing in place, 129 local businesswomen enjoyed in-depth connections at group tables rather than mingling as a crowd.

They also picked up tips from business coach Katrena Friel of Becoming the Expert, who shared her insights on promoting a small business and the pitfalls to avoid.

The Community and Business Women’s Network reached businesswomen in the lower Central Coast region for the first time thanks to NSW Government support.

Making ‘you’ a business priority and learning to say ‘no’

Making ‘you’ a business priority and learning to say ‘no’

Online event – panel discussion

When three local women shared their insights on why we need to make ourselves a business priority, they gained a captive online audience.

‘Making YOU a priority in your business’ was so well received in the first 10 minutes organisers GRO Events shared it straight to Facebook Live.

Bec Fing of House Paddock Training and Consulting, Launchpad9’s Claire Quigley, and clinical and health psychologist Dr Amanda Jefferies were hosted by psychologist and rural strategist Dimity Smith.

The group discussed the challenges of making time to prioritise ourselves. And they inspired their audience to make perhaps the hardest change – learning to say ‘no’ more often.

Kickstarting a side hustle in 2020

Kickstarting a side hustle in 2020

Online event – webinar and panel discussion

More than 150 people learned to turn lockdown and job-loss into a booming income stream in a live panel with two successful ‘side-hustlers’.

YouTube sensation Natasha Rose and vintage t-shirt entrepreneur Lachlan Limit shared how they found their niche with QuickBooks Australia vice president, Natira Drayton.

As part of our 2020’s financial foundations theme, the two showed how QuickBooks helped them set up their finances for success.

Special guest Blake Reeson from Service NSW provided tools and advice for setting up a business in NSW.

Attendees said they learned how ordering their finances can free up time for their business and the things they’re passionate about.

Futureproof your small business website

Futureproof your small business website

Online event – webinar

Small business websites need to be ready for the unexpected and the COVID-19 pandemic showed just how crucial this is.

In this free online event Localsearch’s Head of SEO, Mike Andrew, gave tips to help any-sized business owners futureproof their sites.

Business owners learned how to use Google My Business to support a website.

They also saw how your website address – and the type and frequency of the content you post – can affect your search results.

Grateful attendees asked questions during the webinar and were encouraged to reach out if they need support after the event.

All the small business basics

All the small business basics

Online event – webinar series

Small business owners explored everything from fiscal policy to human resources and digital marketing in four practical seminars by Western Sydney University’s Dr Michelle Cull.

Attendees had the opportunity to ask pressing questions on government support and what recent policies mean for small business struggling in the short term.

They discussed how good people management can help small business build capabilities and develop a performance-based culture.

And with overviews on financial statements and digital marketing, attendees say they understand financial flexibility and are better placed to get the right messages to the right people.

Connecting industry leaders and international students

Online event – webinar series

Australia each year attracts a huge influx of talented international students who study and work in local businesses. But the Covid-19 pandemic has shown just how vulnerable this group can be.

Hosted by employability platform Student Job Australia, this webinar looked at hiring practices for international students in Australia.

It saw peak bodies responsible for influencing these practices explore these issues with corporate and international student representatives.

A marketplace of ideas to grow your business

Online event – community marketplace

Businesses were invited to navigate their unique challenges through online community marketplace SavvySME during the month-long event.

The platform provided a user-friendly way to collaborate and share ideas.

Businesses tapped into the insights and experiences of peers and influencers and implemented solutions based on feedback from owners who had faced similar challenges.

Topics included everything from starting new businesses to submitting Business Activity Statements and choosing point-of-sale systems.

Those looking for more hands-on support connected with hire service providers through the platform.

Pathways to funding business growth

Online event – webinar

Attendees heard first-hand from bankers, business leaders and angel investors on how they can navigate a changing funding landscape in this practical online session.

Jane Laverty of Business NSW shared information about the latest government grants and support during COVID-19.

Craig Barker of Southern Cross Credit Union talked about what you need in place to obtain bank funding and gave information about the Government Guarantee Scheme.

Marc Sofer of Byron Ventures and Byron Angels shared his perspective on the businesses that may suit angel investment and how to prepare for and engage with angel groups.

Creating opportunities from uncertainty

Business lunch – Lennox Head
The Ballina business community gained a little support and inspiration and passed on their support for local business at a delicious lunch event in this beautiful location.

Event host Sourdough Business Pathways gave insights on its programs that include mentoring, business skills workshops, StartUp Northern Rivers and Sourdough Business Women.

Business strategist Steve Tighe outlined how small business owners in Ballina can take advantage of opportunities and overcome the challenges in the new business paradigm emerging from the global pandemic.

Making Your Business Accessible

Online event – series of four webinars

Presented by Giovanna Lever and Jackie Hicks of Sparrowly Group this practical 20-minute webinar discussed the importance of being ‘accessible friendly’ and how businesses can become accessible to everyone.

The webinar highlighted the value of the accessible tourism sector. The sector was worth $10.8 billion to the Australian tourism industry alone in 2018, bigger than the Chinese inbound market.

The panel discussed how making a business accessible friendly should no longer be on a business owners to-do list. Ensuring a business is inclusive to people with disability is crucial, for not only your business but also for your reputation.

Build your brand on social media

Online event – two workshops

Digital marketing professional, Laura Prael led this hugely popular webinar with TAFE NSW Women in Business.

During this interactive session, Laura gave an overview of the current social media landscape, how to create a social media strategy for the business, and techniques for producing and scheduling engaging content for the customers.

The event was aired via the OnAir platform and live Q&A and polls were able to be used.

This meant the 320-strong audience was able to ask questions and gain answers in real time.

Budgeting and running a home-based business

Online event – two workshops

TAFE NSW Women in Business partnered with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in these two workshops on topics critical to small business success.

Free to Women in Business clients the workshops were presented by ATO small business expert, Linden Regina. Linden shared her first-hand experience in running a business.

In ‘Budgeting for your commitments’ attendees learnt practical ways to help plan and meet future commitments and learned a five-step process to stay on top of regular financial commitments.

In ‘Running a home-based small business’ attendees looked at the office expenses they can claim for tax deductions, and how to calculate the amounts claimable.

Website ready and social media savvy

Workshop series – Kyogle

The Business Hive, a small coworking and events space in Kyogle, partnered with Kyogle Council on three events.

At a networking event, small business owners took part in speed-meetings, practised their elevator pitch and brainstormed solutions to their biggest business challenges.

In a hands-on website workshop, they learned how to plan their website and create written and visual content to attract their ideal clients.

And in a sold-out social media workshop, they learnt how to maximise their social media content to achieve their business goals.

Workshops were facilitated by Jasmine Phillips, owner of The Business Hive and Wild Honey Creative, a Kyogle-based design and marketing studio.

‘Tech for tradies: Everything you need in your tech toolbox’

Online event – webinar

The construction industry is experiencing a digital revolution and many business owners are keen to evolve from their paper-based processes.

‘Tech for tradies: Everything you need in your tech toolbox’ was a free webinar hosted by ex-plumber and trade software expert Clinton Cowin, Director of TradiePad. Clinton guided business owners through everything they need to consider before using technology to run their operations.

Tradies learnt tips and techniques for digital adoption and how mobile devices and cloud software can help them become more productive and profitable. They left the session with a checklist of action items to begin their digital transformation.