Message from the Manager
I had an interesting comment the other day from a tradesman who was in for a breakfast
We provide breakfast for these early morning workshops for two reasons. The first is that
it’s an early start and a lot of participants simply miss breakfast to arrive on time.
The second and most important reason is that sitting around for ten minutes having
a coffee and a bite to eat is a great way to break the ice and relax people. It means
the presenter can get started on topic pretty quickly without having to do this at
the start of the formal presentation.
I always ask attendees how they think the Darwin economy is going and what is impacting
on business conditions. As you would expect, we get a number of different responses
depending on what sector people are operating in. Some say they are as busy as, others
suggest that business could be better and they are concerned about the way things are
Back to the tradesman.... his response was that his business is really busy and he would
immediately hire extra staff if he could find the right ones. I found that interesting
as we have had others in the same trade through the BEC who report things are slow
and not looking all that positive!!
I immediately asked “why is your business so busy and why do you need extra people”?
He went on to explain in detail about how he operated the business, the high standards
he imposed on his employees and processes, the high level of service he delivered to
his clients and the way he procedureised all the activities that were required to ensure
his business remained profitable and his customers remained satisfied.
He clearly understood why his business was succeeding, what it took to ensure it continued
to succeed and how recognising and understanding this differentiated his business from
Clearly his customers also recognised and appreciated this as well because he was busy
when others weren’t!!
Do you have a clear understanding of what makes your business tick, why customers choose
you over your competitors and the importance of continually reinforcing these attributes
in your business model?
Let me know what you think!!
Farming Success at Food Futures Conference 2016
The Northern Australia Food Futures conference being held in Darwin 11-13 April 2016
features successful northern farmers from the Northern Territory, North Western
Australia and North West Queensland. Failure haunts our past in northern agriculture
however these farmers demonstrate success in northern agriculture is possible,
if we get the thinking right. Successful farmers have been operating in the north
for many years, with gross value of production over $200 million from NT and Ord
Key thinkers from around Australia and internationally will participate in panel discussions
and share their experiences and knowledge with delegates.
For a full list of speakers and to register to attend the Conference visit the Food Futures website.
Australian Small Business Advisory Service Programme
BEC Darwin is a proud provider of low cost business advisory services as part of the ASBAS program.
The ASBAS program includes online and face to face business consultations, mentoring
with an expert business advisor, completion of a business diagnostic tool, delivery
of relevant small business workshops and seminars and access to a panel of professional
business advisors, all designed and coordinated to assist businesses improve profits
and reduce costs.
Our workshops cover five streams of assistance:
1. Funding avenues and financial analysis
2. Building your business
3. Making the most of your talent and team
4. Management capabilities
5. Digital engagement implementation
All workshops run for 2 hours from 7.30am – 9.30am and cost only $55 to attend. Further
workshops will be scheduled shortly and you will be able to register for them in
the coming weeks on our website.
Terrific Tips from Jurek Leon
Jurek Leon’s Terrific Tips e-newsletter that is packed with anecdotes, ideas and examples on service excellence, customer focused selling, motivation and marketing.
As a speaker, trainer and retail consultant Jurek Leon provides entertaining, energising
seminars and workshops are filled with practical tips, ideas and down-to-earth
examples on word-of-mouth marketing, motivation, customer focused selling and designing
and managing the customer experience.
The March edition is filled with more great advice and tips including the spreading the word and
benefiting customers, the sign of a bad manager and how the culture you foster
influences your results.
Sign up for your monthly dose of Jurek style inspiration, and let us know what you think.
BEC Small Business Workshop
Make 2016 the year you kick-start your own small business. We can help you with our FREE Small Business Workshops introducing you to five specific and important areas of business including business structures and tax, marketing and bookkeeping.
Venue: Quest, 18 The Boulevard, Palmerston
Dates: 4-6 April
Venue: Katherine Regional Training Centre, 19 Second Street, Katherine
Dates: 19-20 April
Venue: BEC Darwin, 20 Catterthun Street, Winnellie (Lower Level)
Dates: 26-28 April, 23-25 May
Venue: QUEST, 9-10 South Terrace, The Gap, Alice Springs
Dates: 5-6 May
Bookings are essential, register online.
Cutting Red Tape
Unnecessary red tape across the Territory’s tourism and hospitality sector is about to get the chop.
After being formed late last year, the Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) is conducting
a review of red tape issues in the industry.
The council has ten members from across the NT, charged with identifying unnecessary
red tape, which can reduce productivity, consume substantial resources in compliance
activity and stifle innovation.
The TAC has engaged Deloitte to survey businesses, operators and service providers
in the NT tourism and hospitality sector.
The Tourism Advisory Council will make its final recommendations on regulatory requirements
and administrative processes by 30 April 2016. This is your opportunity to have
your say to identify and reduce red tape issues affecting your business and your
Complete the online survey, all responses are confidential.
A new program of events called Open Territory will be driven by the Northern Territory Government’s Department of Business in 2016.
Open Territory will provide NT businesses, including small to medium enterprises (SMEs),
with new means to enhance their national and international profiles. From March
– May 2016 the program will include expos, guest speakers, conferences, and sporting
and cultural events across the Territory.
Visit the website for more information.
Nominations Open for NT Training Awards
Do you know someone doing exceptional things with training?
Nominations for the 2016 NT Training Awards are now open until Tuesday 3 May 2016.
The NT Training Awards are the Department of Business annual premier event recognising
training excellence and achievements by Territory businesses, training organisations,
apprentices, trainees, trainers and students. The awards are an official recognition
of excellence and achievements in gaining the highest standards of knowledge and
skills, in contributing to high standards of training, and for personal achievement
in the vocational education and training (VET) sector.
There are 12 awards in total encompassing both individual and organisational awards.
10 Simple Microsoft Excel Tricks, Shortcuts and Hacks That Can Make You an Expert
Microsoft Excel is an integral part of most businesses. Some people relish the capabilities
of Excel, finding it a useful tool that allows them to easily manage, report on
and illustrate tables of data.
QuickBooks has a list of 10 easy tricks, shortcuts and hacks that will put you on the
path to being an Excel super user.
View article online.
Better Business Habits Darwin Networking Breakfast
The Better Business Habits Darwin Networking Breakfast brings businesses together that
are looking to grow their businesses through referrals, and word of mouth marketing.
Every member present is interested not only in generating new business for themselves,
but also helping to support other members to generate business. Add this to the
social aspect of creating relationships with people that you previously did not
associate with – and it starts to make great business sense.
For information on how to come along as a guest or to find out about membership email
President Sarah Roberts, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website.
ATO Small Business Newsroom
BISI Innovation Grants - Round 3 Open
Innovation grants under the Business Innovation Support Initiatives (BISI) program
are now open via a competitive application process. The BISI grants provide up
to 50% support for eligible projects, with a limited number of grants worth up
to $60 000.
Open from Monday 15 February 2016 to 15 May 2016, this is a great opportunity for businesses
to gain assistance with an innovative project to support their business.
Businesses may also apply for the Innovation voucher scheme which is open all year
round, and provides up to 60% support for eligible projects, with each voucher
worth up to $25 000.
Read and download the full guidelines and apply online.
'INSIDE SMALL BUSINESS' MAGAZINE
The voice of micro and small business - supporting the BEC network across Australia