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Boosting Local Business Growth: Lessons from Seasoned Professionals

By Shannon Bourke

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, local businesses face numerous challenges, from competition to changing consumer preferences. To thrive, they need to continuously innovate and adapt. Fortunately, Business Innovation Programs are providing invaluable opportunities for business owners to learn from highly experienced professionals.

Here are 4 key ways lessons from professionals can fuel the growth of local businesses:

1. Access to Expertise

One of the most significant advantages of business innovation programs is the access they provide to seasoned professionals. These professionals have a wealth of knowledge and experience gained through years of trial and error. By tapping into their expertise, local businesses can learn how to navigate challenges more effectively.

As part of the 2023-24 May Budget, the Australian Government has announced a new $392.4 million Industry Growth Program for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups. The program connects businesses with industry experts who provide insights into various aspects of business growth, such as innovation and commercialisation. According to the Department of Industry, Science and Resources 22,000 companies in the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme since 2014 have been positively impacted, with an average of 3.5 new jobs created across businesses as well as $1.47 million in turnover.

2. Networking Opportunities

Local Australian businesses often struggle to expand their networks beyond their immediate community. Business innovation programs facilitate connections with mentors, investors, and other entrepreneurs. This expanded network can lead to partnerships, collaborations, and funding opportunities.

A recent report from the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council highly endorses mentoring, coaching, and business networking programs for their economic contributions, both in metropolitan and rural regions.

3. Risk Mitigation

Experienced professionals can also teach local businesses how to mitigate risks effectively. They provide insights into potential pitfalls, enabling businesses to make informed decisions. This knowledge can prevent costly mistakes that often derail small businesses.

For example, the “Business Connect” program in New South Wales (NSW) offers access to business advisors with decades of Australian experience. The program is a powerful tool, with advisors having assisted more than 28,000 businesses over the past three years, providing advice and skills training, including risk mitigation for participating businesses.

4. Innovation and Adaptation

Local businesses must innovate to stay competitive. Learning from professionals who have successfully navigated disruptive changes can be a game-changer. These mentors can guide businesses on how to embrace technology, streamline operations, and create new value propositions.

The Australian Small Business Advisory Services ‘Digital Solutions’ program has helped numerous businesses adapt and innovate. Minister for Small Business, Julie Collins, said “Digitalisation is the key to unlocking productivity gains, creating efficiencies and better connecting small businesses with their customers. We know just how critical this is as more and more Australians connect with small businesses online.”

Learn how our Future Growth Inc program can boost local business growth here. And to discuss how this program can be tailored to suit your region’s specific needs, schedule a meeting with us directly.

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