There has to be more to success than simply being in the right place at the right time as art teacher turned entrepreneur, expert networker and government consultant, Barbara Gabogrecan of Micro Biz Navigator maintains!
When Barb stopped teaching she asked herself what would the market buy of her art? Exhibitions certainly wouldn’t pay the bills. The answer was tourism and wearable art – silk scarves painted with Australian flora and fauna, which success translated into various sizes and shapes. When she sold a licence for her award winning designs, coasters, key rings, bags etc were manufactured.
As a successful small businessowner Barb started mentoring in the Victorian Government’s New Enterprise Initiative Scheme (NEIS) but when she looked for a support organsiation for her 12 ‘mentees’ and couldn’t find one, she started up the Micro Business Network 1n 1995. The idea was for practical support to businesses employing less than 5. She coined the phrase ‘micro business’ that the Howard Government, when it came to power, also used. Is this luck?? She ended up sitting on government small business committees and consulting to local government on Home-Based Business (HBB) strategies.
She has always asked ‘How can I help?” She has a strong community bent and was helpful – and therefore successful – because she was at the level of all her mentees – she connected and made sense!
Barb has recently had a hip replacement and moved to Drouin, in country Victoria, but you can’t keep this ‘lucky woman’ down. She has developed www.micronavigator.com.au an accreditation program for micro/home-based business.
At first glance the website looks very attractive, but on investigation it can seem daunting because of the time needed to create your business’s ‘procedural manual’, (this is how you score the points to reach an accredited 1-5 star rating). But then, for me, the ‘penny dropped’ that if you put yourself through the process, you would be so organised, efficient and aware of your market’s needs you would have a competitive edge.
The whole process is something HBBs probably think they’ll do ‘one day’. Here is an incentive – gain a star rating for your business as a promotional tool as well as a fine tuning tool!
CONTACT Barb Ph: 03 5625 5195 Mobile: 0418 106 133