Facilitator Terry O’Riordan first tasked Michelle with challenging her business modelling, using a balanced scorecard to list her priorities.
“He didn’t try to simplify my business. We put everything on paper, and he created benchmarking on three levels – property management, resort and restaurant,” says Michelle. “We’re now back at full occupancy, and we’re seeing the consumer also adapting to change.”
The exodus of tourists also hit Wonboyn Cabins and Caravan Park hard.
Luke Burch and his family moved to Wonboyn in October 2019, having enjoyed many childhood holidays in the same tourist park. The fires in January did their best to singe the Burch family dream, but Luke is now determined to be ready for any other event that comes his way.
“For us, it’s not relying on one season or one demographic. We want to diversify and create an authentic experience for our guests,” says Luke. “My plan is to open a micro-brewery on our property, to complement our on-site food van, which has provided an income through Covid-19 as well.”
Working with Luke Burch is Steve Millott, the Strengthening Business facilitator now on the ground in the Eden-Bega Valley region. 60% of the area’s workers are employed by small business, and Steve says while it’s still tough-going, he is seeing small signs of business recovery.
“If you’re a business that’s still struggling, don’t guess or self-assess,” says Steve. “We’re here to help businesses find their purpose again and make them stronger. There is strong support out there.”
Jo Lane, who runs Sea Health Products at Tilba, near Narooma, is now 6 months along in her business recovery journey, and she urges other businesses to test what the Entrepreneurs’ Programme can offer.