Start Right Business Course
Posted: 5 January 2024
With almost 50 percent of businesses failing within their first four years the Townsville Chamber of Commerce says that it is crucial for people starting a business to understand the basics, and to help they have created a one-day course.
President of the Townsville Chamber of Commerce Miranda Mears says the Chamber is eager to do what they can to ensure new business owners have the best opportunity for success and avoid costly mistakes.
“In Queensland we are seeing unprecedented small business closures so if you are thinking of starting a new venture understanding the basics from the outset is critical,” said Mears.
“Innovation can be a buzz word, but for your business to thrive you will need to think strategically about how your business will work and how you will turn a profit,” said Mears.
In her volunteer role as President of the Townsville Chamber of Commerce Mears has created and will deliver the inaugural Start Right Business Course, a 1-day program designed to guide participants through the early stages of entrepreneurship and setting participants up for success.
“During the course we will go through fundamental topics such as, business structures, compliance requirements and responsibilities of business ownership, financial basics and knowing your numbers, business planning and strategy, marketing, digital strategy, cyber security and more,” said Mears.
“Applying for an ABN is the easy part, but things can unravel quickly if the business owner doesn’t have an understanding of business fundamentals, and this course will give people that,” said Mears.
“We have limited this opportunity to ensure personalised attention and networking within the group, there will also be a one-on-one mentoring session for each participant, and a full year of membership to the Townsville Chamber of Commerce to help them to connect with the wider business community.
“In business having a network that you can connect into as a sounding board, support or collaboration is a powerful tool for business owners this is why we absolutely wanted to include a membership as part of the program.
“When I first came to Townsville, I had no business network and the Townsville Chamber of Commerce was my first port of call, so it is my honour and privilege as a volunteer board member and now President to give my time and business expertise to support business owners taking that first big step to help them start right.”
The Townsville Chamber of Commerce Start Right Business Course will be held on Wednesday 31st January.
- Business Structures
- Compliance requirements and responsibilities of business ownership
- Financial basics and Knowing your numbers
- Effective Business Planning and Strategy
- Marketing and Branding
- Digital Strategy and Cyber Security
- Balancing Work and Life
- The importance of Support networks
- Being Agile and Adaptable in Business
For more information and to register CLICK HERE
Due to an impressive demand since we announced our partnership with TAFE Queensland, we are happy to announce that we will be hosting a second cohort of TAFE Queensland’s Small Business Solutions program the Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business (BSB40320) delivered by specialised industry mentorsThe new cohort will start on Wednesday 6 March, with 3 fortnightly sessions and individual mentoring. Numbers are limited so click here to register your interest. Key Highlights of the Course: Accredited Training: Recognise your skills and knowledge with a formal qualification in Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business (BSB40320). For course details please click here. Business Management Expertise: Tailored for small business owners, start-up leaders, and aspiring entrepreneurs, this program focuses on honing essential business management skills. From financial proficiency to legal and risk management, marketing strategies, and crafting persuasive business proposals, you'll gain a well-rounded foundation. Personalised Mentorship: As a student, you will benefit from the guidance of an experienced mentor from the business community. Through face-to-face or virtual sessions, together you will develop a business plan customised to propel your venture towards success. Fee-Free TAFE: Some or all course costs will be covered by the Australian and Queensland Governments for eligible students. Please refer here for eligibility requirements. Students who successfully complete this course will have access to ongoing support and mentorship from the Townsville Chamber of Commerce. Spaces are limited, for more information and to secure your place click here
We joined sustainable fuels technology company LanzaJet and Australian bioenergy company (Chamber member) Jet Zero Australia today with partners Airbus Qantas and the Queensland Government to sign a “first-of-a-kind” Licence and Engineering Agreement for that will progress the development of an NQ based Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) project that uses LanzaJet’s Alcohol-to-Jet (ATJ) technology to convert bioethanol into SAF and renewable diesel. Fantastic to learn more about this Australian first project and the opportunities it presents for skilled employment in our region. Click HERE to read more
I’m often asked what the Chamber of Commerce is and what we do, and I have come across some confusion recently from surprising places. In the coming weeks you will start to see messaging increase around what we do. In marketing activating your advocates is a key part of building a brand and so as someone close to the Townsville Chamber of Commerce I encourage you Ross to read on and ask us any questions you might have by replying to this email. THE ELEVATOR PITCH The Townsville Chamber of Commerce is a business membership organisation that for over 141 years has been an independent voice for the business community, to CONNECT, INFORM and ADVOCATE for our members. We bring together local businesses to promote economic growth, provide networking opportunities, business education, and marketing support to help businesses in our region thrive and grow. TOP 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT TOWNSVILLE CHAMBER Since 1882 we have represented the business community as an INDEPENDENT VOICE advocating on the behalf of our members. Our almost 400 members are BIG and SMALL BUSINESSES – From multinational businesses right through to sole traders and start-up businesses. We have 3 clear pillars to support our members through CONNECTING, INFORMING and ADVOCATING. We CONNECT MEMBERS by hosting regular networking events, connect businesses with each other when we see common ground and make business introductions. We INFORM and EDUCATE members through regular emails, workshops and events to help elevate members and encourage best practice. We LISTEN to members and are an INDEPENDENT COLLECTIVE VOICE FOR THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, advocating for policies and initiatives that benefit our members and the overall economic climate in our region. We are NOT GOVERNMENT FUNDED (This surprises people, we are funded by our membership fees) Our members elect a board of businesspeople (volunteers) who hire a CEO and operational team (all paid) to lead and run the organisation. The VOLUNTEER PRESIDENT has a 2-year term, your current President is experienced business professional Miranda Mears. We are a diverse, welcoming, and supportive community that anyone can be part of starting from just $220 +GST. Find out more about membership HERE. THE HISTORY OF CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE The concept of a Chamber of Commerce is not new, and there are Chambers of Commerce in every corner of the world. We are not officially connected with each other, but we all have the same goal to further the interests of businesses. I have spoken to many other Chamber CEOs already as we have common ground. The first Chamber of Commerce began in 1599 in Marseilles France with businesses joining together in a mutual effort to increase commerce in Marseilles. The idea caught on across Europe and in 1826 the first Chamber in Australia was formed in Sydney, Brisbane in 1868 and then in 1882 the Townsville Chamber of Commerce was formed. So, before Australia became a nation the Townsville Chamber of Commerce existed. Things have changed since then, but chambers of commerce still play a crucial role in supporting and strengthening the local business community and economy.
THANK - YOU! The Townsville Chamber Executive and Board passes on its sincere gratitude and thanks to our Treasurer Kate Smith for her tireless efforts over the past three years. Kate has been a fierce advocate for our region and its businesses and has spent countless hours in her volunteer role on the Chamber Board. We would like to take this opportunity to announce Chamber Board Member Chris Volpi to the role of Treasurer.
Our FREE fortnightly chamber coffee events are having a refresh in 2024. We will continue to host FREE fortnightly coffee events, the twist is that one fortnight this will be in Townsville Bulletin Square, CBD and the next fortnight will be an “Alternative Coffee” in a different location. This presents a range of opportunities to learn and connect with businesses across the region. Thursday 18th January 8-9am - CBD Coffee Townsville Bulletin Square. Thursday 1st February 8-930am – Alternative coffee will be a Behind the Scenes visit to Star FM & Power FM. Thursday 15th February 8-9am – CBD Coffee Townsville Bulletin Square. To be amongst the first to hear about our latest events join our mailing list by clicking HERE
Our office will be closed from tomorrow afternoon and Amanda and I will return refreshed and ready for 2024 on Tuesday 2nd January. On behalf of our Board, Amanda and myself I would like to thank you for your support in 2023 and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy, successful 2024. Heidi
What is advocacy and how will it reduce my insurance premiums...? Since starting this role seven weeks ago many people have asked me what the Chamber does, so I explain our three core pillars - CONNECTING, INFORMING, and ADVOCATING for businesses in our region which often leads to the question - What does advocating mean? Advocacy can be defined as any action that speaks in favour of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports, or defends and pleads on behalf of others. At Chamber we have clear focus areas where we do all the above as the only independent voice of businesses in our region. Reducing red tape - Simplifying processes to enable businesses to thrive with ease. We understand the challenges of navigating bureaucracy, and we're dedicated to making it smoother for businesses to operate, innovate, and grow. Reducing Inequitable Costs - Championing fair economic conditions in regional North Queensland. We strive to level the playing field, reducing costs that disproportionately affect our businesses, and ensuring that every enterprise, regardless of size, has a fair chance to succeed. Reducing Workforce Challenges - Addressing employment hurdles head-on. From skill shortages to recruitment challenges, we are proactive in finding solutions that help businesses find and retain the talent they need to excel. Raising the Region - Beyond business, we aim to uplift the overall quality of life in Townsville. Tackling social issues like crime and enhancing liveability, particularly in central Flinders Street, is integral to our vision. A thriving community fosters a thriving economy. But how could that reduce my insurance premiums? Insurance is an area where businesses in Northern Australia are disproportionally impacted with higher premiums that the rest of Australia. Thanks to the tireless advocacy of past CEO Ross McLennan, past Presidents Michele Falconieri and Chris Rockemer, and many others, around reducing insurance premiums the Cyclone Reinsurance Pool Corporation was created in 2022 with a $10 billion guarantee from the Federal Government. The goal is to reduce the cost of insurance premiums in areas at high risk of cyclones by providing reinsurance to insurers. This enables insurers to transfer their risk for cyclones and cyclone-related flood damage for homes, contents, residential strata and small business insurance throughout Australia up to a sum insured of $5m. The Corporation is in a transition phase with 11 insurers currently signed up, and large insurers required to join the pool by the end of this year, while smaller insurers are required to sign up by the end of 2024. We have already heard from members with reduced premiums on residential cover and with the bigger insurers and banks having to sign up this year we hope to see reductions coming through on more local policies in 2024. The ACCC is tasked with monitoring this transition to ensure reductions are passed on by insurers, and to provide a report each year. The second annual report has been issued recently. You can read more about that HERE. Plans for 2024 We are excited about our plans for 2024 and have included a taster below with some of the initiatives that will CONNECT, INFORM, ADVOCATE for you. Chamber Cost of Crime Survey Start Right Business Course for people starting a business or new to business. Have a great weekend Heidi
With Tropical Cyclone Jasper on the radar, it is easy to get caught up in frenzied buying and the “What if” media reports. Remember no one cyclone is the same and they are unpredictable, so it is important to remain informed, prepare your home and ensure you have a business continuity plan in place detailing how you will maintain essential functions during and after a disaster. Our city has been diligently planning and preparing for these types of events, just last month we were part of the Townsville City Council’s Local Area Disaster Management Exercise ‘Exercise Atlantis” which simulated a severe tropical cyclone and the response plan for each agency across a range of different situations. The Local Disaster Coordinator and team are experienced and will be in regular contact with BoM, the District Disaster Management Group and other relevant agencies about TC Jasper over the coming days. We have been advised by the Local Disaster Coordinator that at this stage TC Jasper is still well out to sea and BoM advise it is unlikely that we would receive a “Watch” advice till Sunday afternoon at the earliest. Cyclones as we know can be unpredictable which means accessing trusted accurate information is vitally important. The good news is that Council’s Emergency & Disaster dashboard has been upgraded so that the BoM Cyclone Track Maps are automatically uploaded to the dashboard every time the BoM issues them. We encourage you to check Council’s Emergency & Disaster dashboard for updated trusted information, support friends and neighbours in their preparations, especially if they are new to the area. Have a great weekend Heidi, CEO There is some useful information about Business Continuity planning here >> https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/natural-disaster/disaster-hub/small-business/natural-disasters/cyclone-storm-surge
I've had the pleasure of attending some really insightful and inspiring events over the last two weeks, such as the QLD State Development quarterly industry breakfast. Great event, thank you James Doyle and Amy Savage. Connecting with our members at the Townsville Chamber of Commerce and Townsville Young Chamber Christmas drinks - possibly too much Xmas cheer but if there is no photographic evidence it didn’t happen! Chamber hosted the Queensland Small Business Commissioner Dominique Lamb for a lunch at the recently renovated A Touch of Salt (you guys nailed it). And this week I am in Brisbane representing two cohorts of Queensland Connects. One for simulation in North Queensland and one with resilience and connectivity. Somewhere amongst this I was also a mum, wife, completed some income generating activity and got my appendix out! (No that’s the real reel!) I truly value these opportunities to connect and the amazing people that make doing business in North Queensland so rewarding and I am proud in my own small way to contribute. So many positive initiatives and things to be positive about, yet to be honest I’ve been sad and frustrated too. There is mighty chasm between “innovation initiatives “and policy support for fundamental concepts of reducing costs and red tape that support small business at a policy level. This is crippling. I talked to the Small Business Commissioner on Friday about reduction of red tape and the need for councils that have committed to the Business-Friendly Council Charter to be transparent with metrics and outcomes rather than motherhood statements. Last weekend Townsville Bulletin reported on the move of the traditional Christmas tree from flinders street central (I will no longer be calling it CBD), to the Strand. I will not go into the pros and cons of this, but not collaborating with city traders or the Chamber of Commerce was an interesting response. I appreciate there is no malice intended, but it doesn’t stop it being the wrong approach for a Business-Friendly Council. There are way too many small businesses Queensland and Townsville struggling. Are we missing in policy, grants and support levers at the basic foundations such as reasonable costs, lack of options for electricity, rising industrial relations costs, crime, and anti-social behaviour? Yes, I feel we are. As a business owner that has been really close several times to shutting the doors, I feel for businesses making challenging yet probably really sensible choices on closing businesses right now…… but there are no cool social media photo opportunities for this reality of regional business so maybe it just isn’t happening! Social washing is a thing. We cannot forget the significance of small business to our economy in the push for building the region. Collectively small business employs 98% of all employees in Australia and contribute 1/3 of GDP. Let’s not forget that. Have a great weekend.Miranda, President.
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