What are your areas of expertise, and how can you apply this to help local business owners?
I have spent the past few years working at the frontline of regional WA’s innovation ecosystem. I work within fantastic networks of people all working in a common direction – the success of our whole State and recognition of the huge role regional Western Australia plays in that success. I am incredibly passionate about making sure our regions maximise and protect their incredible resources - natural, built, cultural, human and everything in between - and that innovation is a tool we use to mobilise and activate our whole community for success as we move into the fourth industrial revolution. I will call on that sense of purpose to support small businesses as we continue to navigate through the ongoing complexity ahead.
I also know first-hand what it means to be a small business owner. I understand the highs, the lows, the pride, the absolute terror and the soaring joy that comes with our wins and our struggles. My lived experience in small business gives me a level of empathy and expertise for our clients that allows me to ensure our services hit the mark. The Business Advisory team do an incredible job in supporting small businesses across the South West and Peel. My job is to ensure that the advisors are well supported too, and that they are equipped with the skills and the resources they need to navigate these incredibly challenging times.
What is your vision for the Peel region?
My vision for Peel, like all our amazing regions in Western Australia, is that our people and our communities are equipped with the skills and support needed to thrive not just economically, but socially and culturally too. I see regional economic development as something complex and interconnected – more like an ecosystem than a single-track approach. Strong, successful small businesses are absolutely fundamental to thriving communities and resilient economies. I hope to oversee advisory services in Peel that remain current, agile and flexible. That is what we’re asking of our small business sector right now, so they should be able to expect the same of the support services made available to them.
Peel has incredible resources, whether natural, built and everything in between. We need to work together in maximising and protecting them to ensure we remain resilient and able to withstand disruptions and shocks like the ones sparked by COVID 19.
What actions can businesses take to thrive and survive in the upcoming year, especially given the current uncertain climate
Know your business inside out – know how to run your operation as lean as possible, know your value, maximise what’s working and phase out what’s holding you back.
Understand what support is available – connect to business advisors or accountants if it’s all feeling too complex. Use the breadth of free, government funded programs and services available to you.
Create hybrid model if you can – focus on trading comfortably online and in person if you can, and make sure the customer experience is equally good.
Connect and communicate – You do not need to go it alone. Isolation breeds desperation and depression. Stay connected to support networks and know that others are probably feeling the same way.