We sat down recently to speak with Adelaide Hills Business Centre owner and manager Gordon Kay.
First, some background details about the Adelaide Hills Business Centre
Three years of service and the Adelaide Hills Business Centre has gained the trust and support of hundreds of business owners throughout the hills region.
For anyone going into business these days, they need to be across so many areas, from technology to marketing and finances to name a few, while at the same time, have the ability to navigate through the government red tape and regulations. It’s not an easy path and this is where the business centre comes into its own.
The centre assists people starting their first business to learn the basics, about minimising costs and to reduce risk to them, their family and assets. For more established businesses, the focus moves to business systems and about developing employees to step up. Then there are the next generation succession businesses. The centre also plays a vital role in connecting local business owners to collaborate, share resources and grow together.
The Adelaide Hills Business Centre offers a diverse range of products and services including coworking space (an office space away from home), private meeting rooms, a YouTube quality recording studio, larger presentation spaces with the latest in display technology, registrations of business names, companies and trademarks, along with sound business advice.
Table Talks are also very popular for our members and their staff. It’s a great way to learn new skills in just 90 minutes on a wide range of topics covered by the centre and our members. And the list of benefits just goes on with business referrals, events and support to name a few.
Once you join as a member, your email address and supplied access code become your key to the centre and it’s online services. This is how the centre can provide a diverse range of cost effective services and facilities.
What is your greatest business learning?
Never assume, and expect the unexpected! Doing the same thing year after year is a practice of yesteryear. Today’s businesses need to respond quickly. Technology driven Uber certainly took the Taxi industry by surprise and the Amazon juggernaut lands in Australia next year with 93,000 square metres (About Five Adelaide Ovals) of stock moving in and out every week.
What is your greatest business success?
When your vision comes to life. Seeing people use, engage and benefit from our unique business centre concept is the reward.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
Going solar and greener on day one. The centre is located in a 1850’s bungalow which was refitted before opening to include high tech lighting and energy preserving insulation, however we are only now working towards zero demand on external power and emissions.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest business information and trends?
It’s important that we make time to get out to events and to hear what people in the know have to say. Learning new skills and keeping up to date with how technology is changing our environment is critical. While it’s impossible to be across all areas, this is where networking helps and the ability to call a friend.
Where have you sought business advice?
While we run the business centre, we learn lots by just talking to our members. After all, they are experts in their own field of expertise. Also catching up with business friends, attending events and networking are both enjoyable and informative too. Rarely do we rely on government information as it is normally dated or politicalised.
What financial factors should be considered when wanting to grow a business?
Before taking on a growth strategy, ensure your business is operating like a well oiled machine. Ensure systems are in place, that everyone knows their role and have “Buy In” to drive the growth. Ensure cash flow matches the investment time frames and expect the unexpected. So many great businesses come to a grinding stop because of financial reserves being underestimated.
What value do you place in business plans?
Any journey needs a plan. What to pack, timetable, transport etc. A business plan is so important for many reasons. It gives you permission to take time out and work on your business. It allows you to see beyond the NOW and consider the future, what you can do better, when and how. For any business with employees, it adds a new dimension with input from others and “Buy In” by your team.
What three things should someone consider before starting a business?
- Visualise your new business idea, how people will engage with your business and what it will mean to them. If you can’t See it! Feel it! Hear it! Taste it! Smell it!, then you are not ready. Give it time, the Vision needs to exist to start and then you can plan it.
- Admit that you don’t know it all and talk to a business adviser, coach or mentor before you start. They will challenge your current reality and share what they know with you. You’ll be amazed what a regular catch up will do for you and your business.
- Learn how to read a P&L, Balance Sheet and Cashflow report and don’t leave it up to your accountant or bookkeeper. Master this, and it’s easy to make sound and informed decisions and address issues before they become problems. A must do, otherwise the enjoyment in what you do can quickly sour.