Business West February 2012

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CAUGHT IN THE WEB Husband and wife web design team


FUNDS AND FELINES Cat-only boarding a winner


BEING THE BOSS Leadership feature




Award-winning optical retail


TWO MUMS, ONE DREAM Turning kids’ clothes to cash


‘NO’ TO BULLYING Champion for the little guy


A WINNER IN THE WEST Hotel a shining light


MEN OF METAL Experts in extrusion


FINE FINGERPRINTS Home business on the up



NEWS Driving forward


EDITOR Tim Doutré


EDITORIAL Charlene Gatt

When it first started happening, I didn’t recognise it, it was my colleague who said ‘you’re being bullied... SHEILA FREEMAN



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ALL ACTION ON THE WESTERN FRONT THE WEST OF MELBOURNE is a dynamic region. Melbourne’s West is now Australia’s population growth hot spot and its set to be that way for at least the next 20 years. It’s estimated that we “Westies’ number about three-quarters of a million now and we’ll be a million strong in the early 2020s. This rapid population growth in Melbourne’s West brings with it both challenges and opportunities.

Formed four years ago, LeadWest is a regional advocacy organisation for Melbourne’s West. Our objective is to foster and undertake actions that will support sustainable growth and development of the region. LeadWest assists organisations and communities in Melbourne’s West address our region’s challenges, capitalise on its significant advantages and make the most of the opportunities.

relationships with both the Australian Government and Victorian Government, campaigned strongly for major investment in vital infrastructure projects, such as the Regional Rail Link and WestLink, and secured significant funding to support advances in the health of our region’s population.

Much has been achieved under the leadership of LeadWest’s inaugural Independent Chair, the Hon Ralph Willis AO. He has retired from the role after successfully guiding LeadWest through its establishment phase in which he led a Board that has effectively positioned LeadWest at the forefront in advocating for our region’s needs.

Now, after a comprehensive search and selection process, former Werribee Citizen of the Year Mr Barry Harvey AM has been appointed as the second Independent Chair of the Board of LeadWest. He has been actively involved in identifying and implementing solutions for the sustainable development of Melbourne’s west and is a current member of the Western Melbourne RDA Committee. He had also been an active member of the Wyndham Industrial Liaison Development (WILD) committee since 1989 and its Chair from 1992 until recently.

With Mr Willis at the helm, LeadWest built effective

Barry Harvey, who left school at 13 and started a

butcher’s apprenticeship at RJ Mercers Pty Ltd in Yarraville, is a passionate advocate for opportunity through education and skills development. He’s particularly keen to enhance the opportunities for this region’s young people and has been the Chair of the Committee of Management for the WynBay Local Learning and Employment Network since its inception. A leading business identity in Melbourne’s West, having founded and grown the cold storage company AustCo Enterprises Pty Ltd into a thriving business, Barry Harvey was also national chairman of the Refrigerator Warehouse and Transport Association. From teenage apprentice at the butcher’s shop in Anderson Street Yarraville, Barry went on at age 20 to open his own butcher’s shop. Later he worked for a decade in senior marketing and production roles with

ADVERTISEMENT Canada Packers’ Australian business, Mayfair (Ham & Bacon) where he was instrumental in introducing the ‘new fashioned pork’ concept to Australia in conjunction with Safeway supermarkets across Victoria. When Mayfair was taken over in 1984, Barry Harvey started up AustCo Enterprises Pty Ltd, built the business to be amongst the best in the cold storage industry with an enviable reputation for providing quality services, and along the way became nationally recognised as one of the foremost experts in meat refrigeration and pork processing.


In 2001, Barry Harvey was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the meat industry, particularly in the areas of processing, storage and export, and to

the community of Wyndham through organisations concerned with industrial development, urban beautification and transport. Now, as Chair of LeadWest’s Board, Barry Harvey will lead the development of the new strategic action plan for Melbourne’s west. A key focus for this updated Western Agenda, as was highlighted at LeadWest’s recent Strategic Forum for Melbourne’s West, is the broadening of economic opportunity in the region. Enhancing economic opportunity in Melbourne’s west will involve action to secure optimal benefit from ‘hard’ infrastructure investment in the region, such as the building of the Regional Rail Link and associated stations. It will also involve action to attract

greater investment in ‘soft’ infrastructure, such as educational opportunities that close the skills gap and further enable creation of ‘suburban jobs’ within the region in advanced manufacturing and the faster growing service sectors. “We’ve got huge growth in population – 10,000 a year alone in Wyndham – big parcels of manufacturing land, the people for the employment, and a young population that needs to be trained and educated,” Barry Harvey explains. “We’re not the downtrodden West anymore; we’re a shining light. We need to bring opportunities to young people, to give them hope for the future.” “Melbourne’s West needs to act now and seize the

opportunities that are currently available. It’s not just about the big roads, we need to invest in schools and childcare. We need to invest in youth training and employment, invest in skills training.” “We need to act now and invest in community infrastructure, building on the great store of wealth in social capital we have in this region.” In the first quarter of 2012, LeadWest will be working with stakeholders across the region to develop the second iteration of the Western Agenda. Barry Harvey and the Board of LeadWest invite you to participate in this process, working with us to plan the actions that will see Melbourne’s West further advance as a successful region.

FROM THE EDITOR Promote your business or service in BUSiNESS WEST… BUSiNESS WEST offers your business the opportunity to be seen by your target market; key business decision makers in the West! Stay tuned for the next edition of BUSiNESS WEST: coming out in March. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to promote your business or service to the business world of the West, call Charles Ferraro now on 9933 4800 to reserve your space. Advertising for the March edition of BUSiNESS WEST is now open. To register for BUSiNESS WEST visit: ISSN 1837-9869

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111 011 201 ER 2011 ISSUE 13 NOVEMBBER





NEW YEAR, NEW GOALS WELCOME back to Business West for 2012. The start of a new year always holds a lot of promise with the potential for you to take your business to the next level. It’s no different for the team here at Business West. We are refreshed and ready to tackle another year. We hope to bring you more stories of inspiration, education and triumph from our neck of the woods. The majority of Business West magazines are delivered right to the door of some of the most influential decision makers in Melbourne’s West. In short, the boss reads this magazine. This edition we take a look at management and what it takes to be the person in charge. Business West reporter Charlene Gatt goes one-on-one with three business leaders who are in charge of organisations with varying numbers of staff, levels of turnover, and different products and services. It is interesting to see the different approaches people take when it comes to managing 10 people or managing 100 people. For me, leadership is not something you are born with it is something learned over time (largely through trial and error). You need to take in to account the business, the staff and your own personal attitude when it comes to defining yourself as a leader. Ask yourself what sort of boss do you want to be? Do you lead with the iron fist, command respect but are secretly despised? Or are you Mr Nice Guy, everyone’s buddy but struggle when it comes to dishing out orders? A combination of the two is seemingly the best way to go, but that is easier said than done.

Ultimately, the best advice I have ever been given, when it comes to leading a team, co-ordinating a project or being the boss, is: “never think you have all the answers”. If only I could remember where I heard it. Let’s hope it wasn’t in a bad romantic comedy. Anyway, as we dive in to our first publication of the New Year I would like to take this opportunity to remind readers of the unique position Business West has in the publishing world. We are the only niche business publication dedicated solely to the western suburbs of Melbourne. We take the time to know you and your business and put your story directly in to the hands of your fellow business leaders and customers. Printing 5000 copies every six weeks we are committed to highlighting the stories that make the West great; the beginners, the battlers and the masters of their crafts. If you haven’t signed up then do it now and if you have a story to tell then let us know. [BW]

Tim Doutré

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Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

LEARN TO LEAD BY CHARLENE GATT ARE you the next big thing in the West? The Committee for Wyndham and Victoria University has joined forces to start up the Future Leaders of the West Development program, a 10-month pilot program that will run in Wyndham this year. Future Leaders of the West is designed to enhance the quality of future leaders across the West and will bring together some of the West’s up and coming leaders to nurture their understanding and influence of the social, economic and environmental factors affecting their communities. The program will include seminars, readings, electronic forum discussions, a professional development plan, leadership mentoring and coaching. Starting this month, Future Leaders of the West will run monthly workshops held in Wyndham, plus online workshops every second month.




The workshops will canvass subjects including: Sustainability and Sustainable Living; Be a Leader in the Community and Business; Creating a Workplace Learning Environment; Networking in your Community; and Cultural Diversity. Participants will receive a Diploma of Management after finishing the program. If successful, the program will be rolled out across the West. In a message from program patron Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister firmly states her belief that no one is born to lead. “Rather it develops as people grow, as they respond to the changes and challenges presented by life, and as we learn to balance our personal convictions with the art of compromise,” she continued. “I know that Melbourne’s West is fertile soil from which future leaders will grow.” For more information on the Future Leaders of the West program, call Sarah Miller on 9919 6209 or email [BW]

Hi name is Paula Spargo, I am the Fleet Specialist at Melton Toyota . I am very excited about the NEW GENERATION CAMR for the 4cylinder passenger car. A couple of new inclus Y range , once again Toyota has set the new benchmark ions I thought I should share; This vehicle now comes standard with 7 airbags, increa sed power and better fuel efficiency. And a quieter ride. Capped prices on standard servicing on NEW GENERATI (whichever comes first) Speak to me to see if your busine ON CAMRY IS NOW 4YEARS/75,000KMS* ss qualifies. I invite you to book a test drive with me to truly apprec iate what this vehicle has to offer contact me for a full brochure As a fleet specialist I am trained by Toyota Motor Corpor ation Australia to advise in this to offer your business my professional assistance I am here in making the right choice of vehicle. Fromfield. the zippy Yaris through to the Hilux 4x4 range we have the wides t range of vehicl es in Austra lia and lets not forget the Quality, Durability and Reliability of every Toyota vehicl e Whether you have 3 or 300 vehicles I can tailor a packa ge and provide your business with solutions to minimize fleet ownership costs includ yee leasing options and including fully • Competitive purchase prices • Low runniingngemplo ained leases. costs • High resale value • Great whole -of-lifemaint value Control servicing costs with Toyota Service Advantage • Capped prices on standard scheduled servicing over 3 years or 60,000kms (whichever comes first)* - speak to me to see if your business qualifies. • Toyota trained technicians using Toyota Genui ne Parts-to keep your Toyota all Toyota . If the only fleet cost you want to manage is fuel, consid er the comprehensive products and services provided myself, your local fleet professional. by Melton Toyota Fleet: Better Business Sense for your busine ss. Yours sincerely, Paula Spargo - Fleet Specialist

*Maximum payable for standard scheduled (normal operating conditions)until rst of 3 years or 60,000km services for all remaining vehicles). *Maximuservicing s (up to the first 4 services, Hybrid m payable for standard scheduled servicing fi(normal and Aurion, and 6 first 5 services ) Excludes Government and Rental conditions)until first of 4 years 75,000kmCamry vehicles. Contact Melton Toyota or go to advantageoperating s (New Generation Camry to the .au for other exclusions and oreligibility.

Customer and Service Excellence Winners Presidents Awards Winner Melton Business Excellence Awards Best Business 2007 2008 2009

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Grant Harrison



2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009



Caught in the BY CHARLENE GATT IN 2002, Marquez and Nancy Comelab started up a web design business that struggled to gain momentum. No matter how hard they tried, most businesses owners did not see the point of aligning their company with a website. The Comelabs conceded defeat. A decade on, the husband and wife team have come full circle and their web design business, Oranges and Lime, is flourishing. Marquez is convinced the difference between their first failed attempt and now is simply a matter of timing. “(In 2002), it started to become apparent that websites and the internet was the future,” Marquez said. “I had just finished uni and was working as a graduate accountant and I had the entrepreneur

bug, so I resigned and we started our first business, a web design business.” “We were knocking on doors, telling people ‘don’t get left behind, have a website’. “In retrospect, we were probably too early, it hadn’t really caught on yet.” Instead, the Taylors Hill pair started selling their artwork online. “Eventually, other artists from around the world started asking us if we could sell their art as well, so we started bringing in other artists, and afterwards it evolved into a portfolio site,” Marquez said.

A couple of years later the pair sold the magazine and decided to give web design another try. Focusing on small and start-up businesses, the couple, who have been married for 10 years, work out of his and her offices in their Taylors Hill home. “We still work together, but it gives us a little bit of autonomy so we can do our own thing,” Nancy said. The business name symbolises creativity, thinking outside the square and staying grounded.

“Then, as the internet evolved it became easy for artists to have their own website, so portfolios weren’t really something that they were willing to pay for.”

“We’d been exposed to the challenges of what fellow entrepreneurs go through to do business online, so we thought, let’s help them out,” Marquez said.

The pair then started creating digital scrapbooks and purchased the rights to an online digital artist magazine.

“We’d like to evolve more as an IT department for the small operators out there who can’t afford to have an in-house IT department.

business news west

What’s new in the business community?

Hobsons Bay Hotel in Williamstown. For more details, or to If you run a business in Hobsons Bay, then why not list your book your place, contact Vicki Lauder on 9397 7780. business for free on the Council’s online business directory. Hobsons Bay Business Workshops Visit to The Council’s first business workshop for 2012 is on register your business today. Wednesday, 22nd February. If you are thinking of starting your own small business, it’s important to make sure you Did you know that the Council operates an accredited have all the facts before you embark on your journey. Visitor Information Centre in Williamstown that sees more Starting Your Business is a comprehensive workshop that than 50,000 visitors a year, and that you can display your will help you consider whether starting a business is right brochures there? for you and will provide the essentials for turning your dream If you want to stay across current issues and network with into a successful business. fellow business colleagues, join a local business group. There For more information, or to register, contact Sally Curtis are four recognised traders’ associations in Hobsons Bay and on 9932 1000. many business networks in the area. These groups are all like-minded business people whose focus is on marketing Newsletter/e-Update your area and addressing local issues affecting your business The Council publishes a free quarterly business newsletter and the region. Why not join one today? titled Business Works. You can register to receive this and Don’t forget Hobsons Bay Business Connections will be our regular electronic e-Update by simply sending an email running their first event for the year, Business Excellence to the address below, and if you have an idea for an article, Award winners Panel, on Thursday, 7th March at the we’d also love to hear from you. Subscribe today!

For more information please call Sally Curtis, Business and Tourism Officer on 9932 1000 or email




Calling all business operators!

BUSiNESS PROFILE “Most people say there’s a lot of competition in the IT industry, but I don’t think there is. “There’s so many types of website jobs, so many needs, so many clients, that as a web designer you have to know your niche. “It’s a bit like calling all doctors: ‘doctors’, but they actually do different things and they specialise in different things, and it’s the same in web design.” The pair may no longer need to explain why a business needs a website, but the challenge now is to get businesses to realise the need to work on the website as an essential branch of the business, not an optional add-on. “Having a website is not enough. It’s bit like opening a store, but if no-on knows about it, no one will come,” Marquez said. This year, the Comelabs will focus on getting clients to drive customers to their websites through Search Engine Optimisation, social media and other methods. They will also design websites for iPads and iPhones. “The media platform is rapidly changing, so you can’t plan too much ahead because technology advances so quickly and you have to stay on top of it and adjust what we do to whatever is wanted or needed at the moment,” Nancy said. [BW]

Oranges and Lime’s Nancy and Marquez Comelab. Picture: DAMJAN JANEVSKI


Once you have a website, put the URL on all advertising and marketing material Use pay per click advertising Have a blog where you can announce the latest company news. Keep it up to date Create a lot of fresh, unique content for your website.




Melton Toyota’s Grant Harrison. Picture: DAMJAN JANEVSKI



FORWARD BY CHARLENE GATT MELTON Toyota is beefing up its lot in 2012, introducing a luxury range of American Chevrolets that are being driven away before the next fleet comes in. The business finished 2011 on a high, announcing a deal as the sole Victorian agent for Performax International – a Queensland company that imports and converts American Performance vehicles to Australian standards. The partnership means Melton Toyota can now sell Chevrolet Silverados, a truck/ute that appeals to trades people, motorsport enthusiasts, equine enthusiasts and travelling retirees. Melton Toyota managing director Grant Harrison described the Chevrolet Silverado – which boasts a leather interior and satellite navigation – as a luxury vehicle in a truck. The vehicles retail from $120,000. Mr Harrison told Business West that Melton Toyota sold three vehicles in the fortnight after the product launch and sold out its first fleet by mid-December, with at least five people on a waiting list for the next shipment of vehicles. Mr Harrison said they would expand the

fleet over the next 12 months and introduce new vehicles if current demand continues. Mr Harrison is also exploring the possibility of expanding the business and opening a dedicated Performax showroom. “It’s a very small market, we’re just dipping our toes in,” he said. “We had a demonstrator on and I didn’t think we’d sell it, but we did. It’s not like a Toyota or Nissan or Holden… we can order them, but order can take up to four or five months.” The second-generation Melton Toyota brand is thriving as Melbourne’s oldest single-owner car dealer, with the business celebrating its 40th birthday this year. What started off as a small dealership with five staff, a workshop and spare parts area has turned into a thriving five-acre business with 42 employees. The dealership sells over a thousand new cars a year, 400 used cars and does about 400 direct deliveries to car rental companies. It also supplies fleet vehicles for Victoria Police, the State Government, Australia Post and Hertz.

Meanwhile, Ford workers can rest easier knowing that their jobs are secure for at least the next four years, with the Falcon to be produced at the Broadmeadows Assembly Plant until the end of 2016 and possibly beyond. The announcement came last month, with the Federal and State Government set to contribute $34 million towards a total of more than $103 million to increase fuel efficiency and emissions performance in Falcon and Territory models produced in Australia. Federal Minister for Manufacturing Senator Kim Carr made the announcement at the Detroit Motor Show in the United States along with Ford Australia President and CEO Bob Graziano and Ford Asia Pacific and Africa President Joe Hinrichs. “We are working with the company to ensure its future in Australia - this announcement is an important step in our ongoing commitment to strengthen the sector,” Senator Carr said. The State Government will also provide funding for Ford’s 2014 upgrade project, which is set to deliver a new Falcon and strengthen Geelong’s position as a major automotive hub. [BW]

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WYNBAY LLEN Inc Partnership Brokers – Together We Can

WynBay LLEN brokers strategic partnerships which ensure that all young people in Wyndham and Hobsons Bay have opportunities to reach their full potential. To achieve this, we are increasing our business and industry partnerships, seeking new business and industry partners to develop outcomes that address local skill shortages, community engagement, and workforce development needs of the region. To learn how your business can benefit from the partnerships brokered by the WynBay LLEN please contact Dallian D’Cruz, CEO on (03) 9394 6330, 0439 116 279 or dallian@

Who makes up the WynBay LLEN WynBay LLEN is an independent, incorporated association of members drawn from four stakeholder groups: • business and industry • education and training providers • parents and families • community. Becoming a member of WynBay LLEN • Membership is free and is open to any individual, organisation or business with an interest in education, training and employment in the Wyndham and Hobsons Bay regions. For more details and for a membership form please contact WynBay LLEN on (03) 9394 6331 or visit our website www. WynBay LLEN benefits and assists businesses by: • Assisting in facilitating multi-sector stakeholder initiatives • Building capacity within communities • Brokering corporate social responsibility initiatives • Developing economic and social capital. Benefits for Business and Industry working with WynBay LLEN: • Enhanced profile through creating relationships with local educational institutions • Influence delivery and content of training courses • Contribute to skilling-up young people in areas where there are specific skill shortages • Improved public perception with visible demonstration of business values • Easier recruitment, as well as having access to a better informed pool of potential employees.

For further information please visit our website,



Standing L–R: Darryl Wilson, Director Economic Development - Wyndham City; Barry Harvey AM, Chair – WynBay LLEN; John Aitken, Human Resources Manager – Qenos; Cr Bill Tehan – City of Hobsons Bay; Dallian D’Cruz, Chief Executive Officer – WynBay LLEN



Cat Napping Suburban Retreat’s Ebony Centazzo. Picture: DAMJAN JANEVSKI

BY CHARLENE GATT EBONY Centazzo is looking like the cat that got the cream after opening Wyndham’s first cat-only boarding facility less than six months ago. Cat Napping Suburban Retreat is offering pampered felines a retreat of their own while their owners are away.

FUNDS&FELiNES Ms Centazzo, 28, was keen to combine her joint passions for travel and pets in a business venture. She ticked the first box working as a travel agent, but yearned to be her own boss. “I’ve always wanted to have my own business – I think because my dad had his own business – and it was just a matter of

trying to find something I was happy with,” Ms Centazzo said. “My two passions are travel and pets, so I started researching different kinds of businesses, from pet sitting to dog boarding and that type of thing, and I just stumbled across a cattery around Collingwood and Brunswick that ran out of a warehouse.

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BUSiNESS PROFILE “I went and visited all them and stole ideas from all of them and then made my own.” Ms Centazzo found her gender and age worked against her at first – especially when trying to find the right premises. “A lot of people didn’t take me seriously, one person even laughed in my face,” she said.

featured in a front-page Star News Group article, which she says kicked off business activity. Ms Centazzo also placed newspaper ads, set up her website, did letterbox drops, visited vet clinics and pet shops and dropped off fliers and offered coupons for two free nights to get the Cat Napping brand out.

Swallowing her pride, she brought her fiancé and parents along on meetings with real estate agents in a bid to get her voice heard and eventually decided on a 300 square metre warehouse along Old Geelong Rd in Hoppers Crossing.

Before long, she had to buy another 20 cat retreats to accommodate the 55 cats staying over the Christmas period.

The premises was $10,000 more per year than she had originally wanted to pay, but Ms Centazzo soon discovered that having a prominent location paid off in other ways.

Ms Centazzo is also still working three times a week at a travel agent, and while she is booking her clients for trips around the world, she also offering to look after their furry little friends.

“The day the sign went up here, people were stopping – so I think the location helps. “I now think if I had got somewhere in one of the back streets I was looking at, no-one would have found it.” Ms Centazzo launched the business at the end of September with 23 retreats – which feature elevated sleeping quarters, a dining area, bathroom on the ground level and their very own scratching posts. The retreats come in three sizes, starting at $15 a night. As a cat owner herself (Ms Centazzo owns felines Mop and Bucket), she understands the anxiety people can get when leaving their pets. She aims to minimise this by sending emails and photo message updates on their cat’s visit. One week into the business, Ms Centazzo

A lot of people didn’t take me seriously, one person even laughed in my face.”

The cattery can hold about 80 felines. It is also a cat foster carer for the Lort Smith Animal Hospital.

Ms Centazzo plans to employ some staff by the end of the year and phase out her travel role, but she does not want to give it up entirely. “I love the freedom and the business side of things,” she said. “The actual cleaning, I don’t (like), but I’m going to have employees soon and since I’ve opened the business I’ve had so many people sending in their resumes, so I don’t think I’ll have much trouble finding employees. “But the marketing, building the business, trying to work out ways to bring more business in and that type of thing – I love it. “Next Christmas I’ve learned to have a minimum night’s stay, because I’d sold some few nighters then people would bring cats in for two weeks, so I need to be a bit smarter for this year.” [BW]

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BEiNG THE BOSS LOVE them or hate them, everyone has a boss. But what’s it like to actually hold the top position? What are the stresses involved? What are the perks? BUSiNESS WEST talks to three bosses in the West to find out.

I believe in communicating regularly and effectively with my staff to ensure that we are all working towards the same goal… MONIQUE MILENKOVIC

MONIQUE MILENKOVIC The Cupcake Queens MONIQUE Milenkovic started The Cupcake Queens as an online store with a commercial bakery in Collingwood seven years ago after struggling to find a cake store that would make cupcakes for her wedding. The business steadily gained momentum over the next few years, prompting Ms Milenkovic to open up her first store in Douglas Parade in May 2010. She has since expanded and opened two more stores in Albert Park and Armadale. “I manage 10 staff across three retail stores (Albert Park, Armadale and Williamstown) as well as a Head Office,” she told Business West.



“Being the boss of my own business which I started from the ground up is a rewarding position to be in. “I enjoy delegating, training, developing, encouraging and motivating my staff. I believe in communicating regularly and effectively with my staff to ensure that we are all working towards the same goal.” Ms Milenkovic said managing people required a unique approach tailored to the individual and the situation. “For example, with inexperienced employees I use a management style that involves a high level of task instruction and close supervision.

“I find this support and supervision builds their confidence. For more experienced employees who are comfortable with the work, I delegate the task and encourage them to come to me if they need help as I have trust in their ability to do the job on their own.” As far as delegating is concerned, Ms Milenkovic ranked it as a “very important” management skill. “It is an effective means of being organised. However it is also critical to develop the skills of my employees, to ensure they, and I, feel comfortable in delegating the specific task.” But it can be tough being the boss, according to the mother of one. “Managing staff across three retail stores in Albert Park, Armadale and Williamstown as well as our Head Office and bakery can be challenging, however, we make the most of technology wherever possible, and ensure the communication lines are always open. “Managing staff and a business in a constantly changing and highly competitive retail environment can sometimes be difficult, however, as a business we find it important to adapt to the retail environment and listen to our customers.” And when it comes to conflict resolution, getting all the facts is an important tool to providing a resolution. “It is important to gather the information and listen to each side. From there, we agree the problem and brainstorm possible solutions and then negotiate a solution for all parties involved.”

SIMON GARLICK Western Bulldogs SIMON Garlick’s AFL career spanned 181 games with Sydney and the Western Bulldogs but while he was kicking goals on the field he was also kicking them off it. During his playing career he completed an MBA at Victoria University. After retiring from football he spent five years working for LeasePlan Australia and then joined the Western Bulldogs Board of Directors in 2007 as Football Director. In 2010 he was promoted to Chief Commercial Officer of the club and became CEO last year after Campbell Rose tendered his resignation. Now Mr Garlick oversees a staff of 123, including part-time and casual employees, and an Executive Management team of seven. He said his role representing the interests of Western Bulldogs members and fans was an “honour and a privilege”. “Whilst the responsibilities and scrutiny is intense, it is an immensely satisfying role,” he said. “The greatest level of satisfaction comes from working closely with our great people (on and off the field) in achieving our stated aims and objectives.” His personal approach or philosophy when it comes to managing revolves around recruiting the right people. “A general philosophy prior to managing staff is ensuring you recruit and retain team members who are closely aligned and consistent with the values of the organisation. If this occurs, the management process is infinitely


The greatest level of satisfaction comes from working closely with our great people (on and off the field) in achieving our stated aims and objectives… SIMON GARLICK

easier in terms of management philosophy. I would suggest mine is open, accessible and inclusive.” Time management skills are essential for his specific role but was also the most challenging aspect, Mr Garlick said. “Managing the competing demands for time is part of the job but often challenging. Otherwise I am fortunate in that there is not a great deal else that I find unreasonably difficult.” When it came to conflict resolution Mr Garlick summed up his method in one word: communication. “Communication is the key. Gaining all relevant information and dealing with any given issue in a logical, methodical manner whilst remaining aware of any relevant sensitivity will generally result in a satisfactory resolution.” He described delegation as a “critical element” in any successful business. “Not only to ensure the load is spread, but appropriate delegation is an important and effective method of developing staff and increasing levels of satisfaction and engagement. It also ensures there is a greater spread of knowledge and capability across the business.”

MADELON WILLEMSEN Werribee Open Range Zoo MADELON Willemsen has spent her career taming some of the world’s most fascinating creatures but taming staff can be an equally difficult task. She started out as a Behavioural Biologist at Artis Zoo in 1999, before holding various roles at DutchFood and the Taronga Conservation Society Australia. She joined Werribee Open Range Zoo (WORZ) in 2010 as the curator of Life Sciences and is currently the Acting Director. In her Acting Director role she oversees six “direct reports” (all senior management team members) who along with their supervisors manage the WORZ team of 180 full-time employees and casuals. “In my ‘normal’ job as Curator of Life Sciences, I manage our vet team and, together with two supervisors, a team of 25 keepers,” she said. “Being boss in a zoo definitely has its perks – it is expected that the boss does all the close-up experiences with the animals. It is amazing to have the opportunity to touch a rhino, pat an Easternbarred Bandicoot and feed the giraffes.

“As a boss it is my responsibility to work closely with the senior management team to ensure we are prepared and to prioritise projects and funding for the best outcomes (in both positions of Acting Director and Curator of Life Sciences). When it came to managing staff she said it was more about “self-reflecting” than actually directing or managing staff. “If you are able to self-reflect on your own behaviours and management style, you can then lead the team or individuals to outcomes. I am forever learning and hoping to further improve through this self-reflecting process. Being the boss can be challenging for various reasons, according to Ms Willemsen, including making the tough decisions and ensuring staff are acknowledged for their hard work. “As a boss you have to make tough decisions at times and I think it helps to not want to be liked by your staff necessarily, but rather aim to create respect by making good informed decisions and relaying them to staff in a timely manner. “People that work in a zoo are always very passionate, they love their work. WORZ has a fantastic team of people and most of them have great ideas on how to further improve the zoo.

“It is definitely a challenge to ensure they receive acknowledgement for their ideas but sometimes I have to explain to them that we will have to take another direction/decision and then try to generate their buy-in.” According to Ms Willemsen, conflict within the organisation is not always a negative thing it can result in a “good discussion resulting in good ideas and solutions”. “I think conflicts also demonstrate that your team stays away from ‘group think’. A team that respectfully challenges each other on ideas and directions comes up with great solutions. “I work on a calm and open body language, I focus on listening and making sure I am asking questions, to ensure I fully understand the person or situation. We don’t have to agree with each other all the time, as long as all points are heard and considered.” Ms Willemsen rated delegation as an “extremely important” task for a variety of reasons. “First of all, it is a great training opportunity with the right support and it provides areas where staff can take responsibility with the opportunity to grow. Secondly, by delegating to staff more work can be done – one can’t do everything by themselves.

Aim to create respect by making good informed decisions and relaying them to staff in a timely manner… MADELON WILLEMSEN







You can be a small place and still be competitive in a very competitive market against much bigger competitors with much bigger resources…


BY CHARLENE GATT JIM Papas has an eye for detail. It is that characteristic that has seen the qualified optometrist turn his vision for an independent optical retail store into an awardwinning reality. His business, eyeclarity, recently scooped the pool at the 2011 Australian Retailer Awards, taking out Victorian Independent Retailer of the Year and the Australian Retail Innovator of the Year. The latter award recognised new software developed by eyeclarity that helps assess a client’s needs and requirements and recommends the best product for them. Mr Papas told Business West he was looking at licensing the software, which could also be adapted to general retail. “We’ve developed it for our industry specifically because there’s a lot of permutations and technical requirements for selling eyewear, you need the product knowledge and the fitting characteristics – and that’s worked extremely well in our industry,” he said. Award sponsor Kate Gorman from Field Agent added: “eyeclarity is a pioneer in the future of optical retailing by implementing a business model which seamlessly integrates customer service, product innovation and technology to make for a truly amazing shopping experience.” It’s the icing on the cake for the business that started 26 years ago in a small arcade store in Melton. Mr Papas, whose lifelong dream had been to run his own business, ran the store on his own when starting out. He now has four other stores – in Sunbury, Bacchus Marsh, Hoppers

Crossing and Taylors Lakes – and hires about 25 staff. “I started from zero, so it was slow beginnings, but it steadily grew from there,” he said. “At the time, there was a need in the community there, it wasn’t being serviced properly. Melton had a growing community and was a family-type location. “I started off with a small store in an arcade, then took over the road to a bigger store, then we broke out to a second store and a third store and progressively got bigger. “We grew as the business grew. (The other store locations) were a natural progression from where our existing location is – I wanted to service the surrounding locations so it meant that if patients moved between the suburbs they could easily find our brand.” Mr Papas also experimented with a store along South Gate, but found the location didn’t fit the eyeclarity brand. Today, Mr Papas has gone from being the only employee in his store to working on the business, and is keeping an eye out for more growth opportunities. “We’re looking at growth, although this is a difficult market to be in, so it just depends on the opportunities that present themselves,” he said. “In our industry, businesses are either retail focused or are very clinically-minded. “Our differentiating point is we provide excellent patient care and also have best practice in retail – we’ve won a number of awards on that. We’re pretty much looking at being the experts in eyewear, making sure they get the right fit, comfort and product.” And if the awards flooding in are anything to go by, they’re doing just that.




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?? Apart from the Australian Retailers Association awards, eyeclarity was also named a Retail Business Hero by the State Government last year, won the Hume City Council Innovation award for 2011, was BRW Retailer of the Year for Best Use of Technology and was a Melton Business Excellence Award finalist. Mr Papas said the awards were a great validation of his work. “Sometimes when you’re running your own business it’s a lonely affair, and you’re driving towards your vision and goals and to have other people recognise that is good, because it’s like an independent confirmation that we’re innovative,” he said. “I think what’s encouraging about the awards is that you can be a small place and still be competitive in a very competitive market against much bigger competitors with much bigger resources. “It’s encouraging for other businesses as well. If they have an idea and they work towards that, they can make quite a difference.”

Eyeclarity Managing Director Jim Papas. Picture: JOE MASTROIANNI

Business breakfast: Turning passion into profit Celebrate International Women’s Day and be inspired by entrepreneur Janine Allis,

2012 Powercor Melton Business Excellence Awards

founder and CEO of Boost Juice. Networking is a given, as is the opportunity for men and women alike to hone their business skills and hear Janine’s amazing story. Date:

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$55 (incl GST) p/p

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Is your business a WINNER? Celebrating the achievements and enterprising spirit of businesses across the Shire of Melton. Winners will be announced on 27 April 2012 at the Awards Presentation Gala held at the Witchmount Estate Winery. Nominations for the 2012 Powercor Melton Business Excellence Awards are now open and close 2nd March 2012. To obtain a copy of the nomination form go to: www.

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TWO MUMS, BY CHARLENE GAT GATT THEY’RE the two E Essendon mums proving motherhood can cha change your career for the better. Tina Hebden and Anna Artemiou are the faces behind Max & Me Agencies, a stylish distributor of some o of the latest kids fashion brands. Th i who h met at a mother’s group, The pair, started up the business last year in an office behind Tullamarine’s Melrose Receptions and already have seven brands to their name. The business name symbolises the women’s common denominator – both have a son named Max. “We came across how this industry works by accident,” Ms Hebden admitted. “Everything is based around the seasons and obviously having two children that are still quite young, we wanted to do something that was flexible and allow us to spend time with our kids, and we became passionate about children’s wear since having our own. “It was really just going out on a limb. We looked at our wish list of companies to approach and if it comes off, then great – and that’s how we started.” Max & Me started off with one brand, SOOKIbaby, and attended trade shows to get their name out there. The hard work started paying off when they were approached by a couple of brands. One big stumbling block was the lack of a permanent showroom during their first season.

Max & Me Agencies’ Tina Hebden and Anna Artemiou. Picture: JOE MASTROIANNI

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ONE DREAM “ Receptions that they had to pack up every Friday and restock every Monday.

Now they have their own space to show their wares. “It’s been great,” Ms Hebden said.

“Obviously the first season was really about finding our feet and trying to work out the best way to do things and the most efficient way to do things. “It was really about trying to establish rapport with retailers as well, because we were a new business and we hadn’t met anybody before and we needed to build up people’s trust.

regroups and tries to streamline their processes, plus completes their sales figures and reports. It’s also a time to work on the business, rather than in the business. “Max and Me could go anywhere,” Ms Artemiou said.

“We just want to continue improving and getting different brands, overseas brands. One day it would be great to import a brand, but that’s down the track – we’re not looking at that in the short-term. “It was stressful in the beginning, but I think

You have to take a leap of faith. If you think the concept is feasible, it probably is… – Anna Artemiou the most important thing is to just have fun. “Now that we’ve started it, we realise that you really can do anything if you set your mind to it. It was very daunting, even the idea of our own business, but you have to take a leap of faith. If you think the concept is feasible, it probably is.” Ms Hebden added: “I think the main aim with the business was to keep the number of brands to a minimum so that we could still provide good customer service. We want to be able to show each range and give each range the time.” [BW]

“We had a permanent showroom for the second season, so we felt a lot more at ease and confident and customers new we were already around and they knew where to contact us and they were expecting to hear from us, so that was a nice change. Now it’s about building on that.” Ms Artemiou added: “You just don’t stop thinking about the business. The laptop is always on, and you’re continually thinking about what to do next.” Both women work across all aspects of the business and have allocated working days during the week. “Because we both have children, we both need to know how to do everything because when one can’t do it, the other one steps in,” Ms Hebden said. The nature of the industry means every season provides a two week busy period. In between the busy periods, the pair 401232-MD6-12

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AGAINSTBULLIES BY CHARLENE GATT BRODIE Panlock had been working as a waitress in Hawthorn. Over 2005 and 2006, her co-workers spat on her, called her fat and ugly, poured fish oil over her hair and clothes, and told her to take rat poison. In September 2006 the 19-yearold jumped to her death. The three men who were implicated in the physical and emotional bullying pleaded guilty to workplace charges and were each fined $80,000. The owner of the café was fined $250,000 for failing to provide a healthy and safe working environment for Brodie.

It was a case of extreme workplace bullying, and the State Government sat up and took notice. Since June 2011, Brodie’s Law has changed the Crimes Acts so that workplace bullying can now be considered a crime. It’s an everyday occurrence Sheila Freeman is all too familiar with. The Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and workplace mediator specialises in creating bully-free workplaces. Ms Freeman, who is part of Dispute Mediation Services Australia and Sheila Freeman Consulting, also conducts investigations into the workplace and holds seminars on workplace bullying.

Ms Freeman told Business West that workplace bullying was one of the biggest Occupational Health and Safety issues facing Australian businesses, with one in five employees bullied at work. Many of those are too embarrassed or ashamed to come forward and admit they’re being bullied at work, and many choose to leave their jobs rather than deal head-on with the issue. “There’s a difference between bullying and management,” she said. “You can tell the difference between managing styles and plain, outright bullying. “It’s when people get isolated, they’re being put down – and usually it’s behind closed doors, which makes it very hard to prove.” With Brodie, that was criminal assault, a lot of the stuff she suffered. “We look more at the psychological bullying, which she also did suffer, which unfortunately meant the end of her life. “If you feel you’re being bullied, the only way to do it is document it, and you’ve got to be able to see a pattern of behaviour. “If you’re not doing your job correctly, well that can easily be identified through what has been written.”

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Ms Freeman speaks from both professional and personal experience. “There was two of us. “(The business) wanted to outsource our department, so they tried to bully us. It was isolation – isolating you from meetings, taking away your chair, taking away the keys to your filing cabinet, it was a whole lot of different issues that sort of came through.

new career path for Ms Freeman, who now focuses on workplace bullying. She is also a Justice of the Peace and a Bail Justice. “Bullying isn’t just the boss to the employee, it can be the employee to the boss, it can be downwards, it can be sideways as well – one colleague to another colleague,� she said.

“When it first started happening, I didn’t recognise it, it was my colleague who said ‘you’re being bullied’.

“They usually bully for a reason. They want to get rid of you, they may feel threatened by you, they just may be a poor manager.

“It was very subtle, little sticky notes and emails and it’s only when you start documenting that you can see a pattern. You can understand why people get suicidal.

“The only way it is going to be eliminated is information and training – not just the Brodies, but everyone.�

“You don’t want to go to work, you dread going to work, just getting up in the morning and getting there is hard. “I lost a career out of bullying, and it’s not going to happen again.�

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Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner Sheila Freeman. Picture: DAMJAN JANEVSKI









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The bullying continued for about six to 12 months, ending when the business settled on a WorkCover claim.






A WiNNER IN THE IT’S the complex being touted as a city-style venue in the West. WestWaters Hotel and Entertainment Complex in Caroline Springs has just celebrated its first birthday and is looking to tighten its grip on the Melbourne market now that the training wheels are off. Tattersalls first pitched the concept to brothers Eddie and Joe Gauci and the Hawthorn Football Club five years ago. The idea immediately appealed to the Gaucis, who opened the Sugargum Hotel in Sydenham in 1998 and ran the business for six years. “We understood the area very well and saw the need for something different,” Eddie said. “The community at large could use this venue in a variety of ways.

“We wanted a variety of offers for people to utilise the venue in a casual manner, a semi-casual manner and a dining offer for an occasion and for functions. “We understood our location needed a significant amount of exposure, and we used lots of channels in the marketing area, which we stepped up to another level, I think, in the industry in how the venue’s been promoted.” Overlooking Lake Caroline, WestWaters boasts a bistro, café and lounge bar, sports bar and TAB, function spaces for corporate events and weddings, kids play area and bottle shop.

“We actually hadn’t completed the entire building until April (2011), so in the interim, the accommodation hadn’t been opened and the exterior hadn’t been completed, the car parks hadn’t been completed,” Mr Gauci said. “It was just the food, beverage. (When it all opened in April) it was at that point that we could really say the business had started. Between June and December was where our growth has really taken place. “It was a rocky road, but it certainly has come through with flying colours.”

There is also a hotel under the Accor group, boasting 58 rooms, a pool, spa and gym.

Mr Gauci credits WestWaters’ early success to sales and marketing manager Belinda Lee, who has employed a range to tactics to give the complex maximum exposure.

Mr Gauci described the first year as a rollercoaster, starting from the day the business opened its doors in December 2010.

“Online’s been a very big focus for us, so things like Facebook, our website, it’s very much about getting people in to experience the venue,” Ms Lee said.

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WEST “Other things include leveraging off our relationship with Accor and utilising their global outreach to market the accommodation. “It’s very much word of mouth, it’s very much about community, supporting the local community, working with the local schools and sporting groups.” Eddie added: “Our catchment was really a broader area than just Caroline Springs. We really targeted all the West, being Sydenham, Taylors Lakes, Keilor, Kealba, St Albans, Sunshine, and Melton proper, and in that area was more than enough people to draw into. “Our second stage of exposure will be the North, which will cover the areas of Essendon, Pascoe Vale, Fawkner, and as the road links develop, we’ll be able to draw into a broader market again as far as Werribee.” Mr Gauci describes the bistro, headed by executive chef David Carnovale, as his favourite part of the complex.

WestWater Hotel and Entertainment Complex’s Eddie Gauci. Picture: JOE MASTROIANNI

And it seems other people think so too. The bistro took out the Outstanding Bistro Metropolitan award at the 2011 Australian Hotels Association state awards for excellence. WestWaters also received the Highly Commended Mayoral Achievement Award at the 2011 Powercor Melton Business Excellence awards. Now in its second year of business WestWaters continues to excel as a beacon of hospitality in the West. [BW]

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BY CHARLENE GATT IT’S the kind of growth business owners dream of. Extrusions Australia took the plunge last year and invested $13 million to relocate to Truganina in a purpose-built office and warehouse that is 33 per cent larger than its original site in Laverton North. The new site includes new state-of-the-art equipment to speed up production and remain competitive in the current market. The business, which produces aluminium profiles and is the only independent extrusion plant in Australia, supplies to businesses such as Aluminium Industries, Southern Star Windows and Jayco Caravans. Managing Director Rod Fiddes predicts it will take about four to five years to pay back the investment made on the new premises, but he is confident the move was the right one.


“We’ve bought state-of-the-art equipment this time, and the productivity is 30-35 per cent more for the same amount of time, same people. “We wanted to get our cost per kilo down and became more competitive because overseas suppliers are getting cheaper and cheaper all the time.”

Extrusions Australia Managing Director Rod Fiddes. Picture: DAMJAN JANEVSKI

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“We sort of realised if we had of kept going as we were, the business probably would have only had another two or three years’ life in it before it became uncompetitive, so it was a matter of doing what we did or giving up,” Mr Fiddes said.

BUSiNESS PROFILE The business started seven years ago and incorporated his dad Alan and brother Rhett’s existing business, Sunshine Extrusion Dye Companies.

“More customers are buying locally because of the relationship people have with overseas suppliers and the hidden costs,” Mr Fiddes said.

Starting off with one press, the business expanded three years later with a second, more modern press.

“Businesses were used to holding lots of stock, because it can take three months to come from China, but if they buy from local suppliers they don’t need to have any stock, so it frees up cash for them.

It was turning point for the business. “One of the failings of having one press is what’s in your potential customers mind’what if it fails? “We realised we needed to get a second press for that reason as well as because the old press couldn’t produce enough for the time and money you spent, so we needed to get a modern press to reduce our cost production. “The new press has allowed us to have a wider product range, which is important.

“One new customer is enjoying us because we give them the material packed differently, without timber bases, without paper, without all this extra packaging… they were buying from overseas, and every piece was wrapped in paper, so they had to unwrap it all, so our way boosts production for them.”

It was a matter of doing what we did or giving up…

About 92 per cent of Extrusion’s business is in Victoria, the rest is spread across South Australia and New South Wales. [BW]

“The old press has different alloys, soft alloys, that are for windows and doors. “Hard alloys are used in the transport industry and structural and machining work, and you need special equipment for that, so we bought equipment so that we can make hard alloys, so that opens up some more doors with customers like Blue Scope and One Steel.” Despite less customer demand since the Global Financial Crisis, Extrusions Australia has twice as many customers now as they did two years ago. Their prices have also gone down by 25 per cent over the past four years to keep competitive with overseas markets, particularly China.

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Secondary Smallprint’s Claudette Guedelha. Picture: JOE MASTROIANNI


required training to set up their own Smallprint from home. Ms Guedelha launched the business in October with a Sugar and Spice afternoon tea, door prizes, a range of Smallprint jewellery on display and a jumping castle for the kids to enjoy.

FiNE FINGERPRiNTS BY CHARLENE GATT TAYLORS Hill mum-preneur Claudette Guedelha is quickly turning her new business, Smallprint, into a big deal. Like many first-time mums, Ms Guedelha, 30, was looking for a more family-friendly career after the birth of her son Logan. As luck would have it, fate intervened for the software transition consultant. “I first came across Smallprint when I was looking for something special to celebrate my first Mother’s Day,” Ms Guedelha said. “It’s just such an original and fantastic idea.”

Smallprint specialises in the production of handcrafted jewellery that captures a child’s fingerprint in polished silver. It can also imprint an adult’s fingerprint, drawing or name. Ms Guedelha found the business online and had to travel to Port Melbourne to pick up the bangle that she had ordered. While there, she spoke to the franchisee and discovered there was no Smallprint franchise in the West. She then called Smallprint headquarters and her and husband Fernando completed the

She sells the products at fetes and markets across Melbourne, online and in her home showroom, while working her old job two days a week from home. “I’d always wanted to start my own business but I thought it would be too hard,” Ms Guedelha said. “This franchise is like a pre-packaged business. “I have been looking for something flexible for some time and Smallprint offers just that, but what makes it even better is that I get to spend my days doing something that makes a lot of people very happy. “It (the jewellery) is capturing a moment.” Ms Guedelha has also added to her own Smallprint collection since buying that first bracelet, with her favourite piece of jewellery a necklace with her’s, Fernando’s and Logan’s fingerprints. She hopes to turn the business, which is in the heart of a growing family area, into a fulltime job. [BW]

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WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB, AND WHAT SKILLS DID IT GIVE YOU TO GET YOU WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? Making coffees, sweeping hair and rinsing perms at my mum’s hairdressing salon, Lidia’s Hair Salon in Footscray. Whilst it seems a world away from accounting, I learnt the importance of customer service and going that extra mile when looking after clients. HOW DID YOU BECOME A PARTNER AT COLLINS & CO?

Dick Smith – favourite Australian entrepreneur, who has a broader perspective on business than just maximising profit, and always considers the interests of the wider community. Sepp Blatter – FIFA President, arguably the world’s most powerful man. We would together negotiate terms of Australia getting the next World Cup. HOW WOULD YOU SELL THE WEST TO A POTENTIAL INVESTOR?

I focused on working hard both inside and outside the office, developing specialist skills in taxation and business valuations through various studies and accreditations. After 13 years of hard work, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time when I was invited into the partnership. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT OF YOUR WORKING LIFE? From a personal level, obtaining my Masters of Taxation Law from the University of Melbourne. This involved six years of work and study and not much else (apart from getting married, moving house, starting a family and becoming a partner). From a professional level, helping a client sell his business and set up his retirement after only two years prior contemplating walking away with nothing. IF YOU HAD TO INVITE FIVE PEOPLE TO A BUSINESS LUNCHEON, WHO WOULD IT BE? Peter Costello – former Federal Treasurer, who brought in groundbreaking reform to Superannuation. Paul Keating – favourite Australian Prime Minister, who would keep Peter Costello in line and make everyone laugh in the process. Tim Costello – CEO of World Vision Australia for being the voice of social conscience, and would also keep Peter in line.

One of the West’s greatest attributes is its diversity. With diversity comes an exceptional amount of unique ways of thinking and getting things done. There is also exponential growth opportunity, with Melbourne’s West now the fastest growing region in Australia. Such rapid population growth as predicted brings the demand for social infrastructure spending on houses, shops, schools, roads, medical centres and sporting grounds. This combined with a large corporate presence in the West, means this area will only continue to grow over the next 20 years. The opportunity to be part of the West is now. WHAT WERE YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR 2012, AND HAVE YOU STUCK WITH THEM SO FAR? Every year my New Year’s resolution is to be a little bit smarter, happier, richer, slimmer, faster and stronger than the previous year. So far so good, but we are only a month in. If you’re not constantly improving yourself, you are going backwards! WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TWO TAX TIPS FOR BUSINESSES? 1. Use the cash flow in your business to build wealth and save tax by negatively gearing in property. 2. Maximise your super contributions each and every year and consider buying a property through your own Self-Managed Super Fund.

Ascend Public Relations and Communications Improve your business communications and engage customers, clients and staff. We can help you with: • Media • Social media • Brochures • Newsletters • Corporate Social Responsibility • Campaigns • Submissions and applications Small and large business, not-for profits and government organisations In Melbourne’s west and Central Victoria M: 0408 218 954 E: W: envision, engage, enable, ascend BUSINESS WEST


Fabio Cammarano – Collins & Co

Fabio Cammarano is a partner at Collins & Co and heads up the Business Valuations & Forensic Accounting division. He is a fellow of CPA Australia with a Masters of Taxation and has almost 20 years’ experience in public practice, providing tax and business advice to his clients. Having joined Collins & Co as a graduate, Fabio climbed the corporate ladder, where he now advises small to medium sized businesses ranging in turnover from $500k to $100m. Fabio is Treasurer of the Footscray Traders Association, Treasurer of the Business Network International - Yarra Chapter, and also co-chairs the Western Region Business Club.





THE State Government’s new Multicultural Business Ministerial Council has met for the first time to assist in developing new business opportunities and strengthening export capacity for Victoria. Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher said the new council would help facilitate business opportunities that take advantage of Victoria’s cultural and linguistic resources. “The Coalition Government believes multicultural diversity is one of Victoria’s greatest strengths and defining features,” she said. “The diversity of our population is a great social and economic asset, and is a valuable resource in understanding overseas markets. “The council will promote Victoria as a culturally diverse business centre in recognition of the fact our multicultural business communities are a key business investment attraction that can contribute significantly to the state’s growth and development.” Members of the Multicultural Business Ministerial Council include representatives of the Korean, Italian and Greek Chambers of Commerce, the Australia-Chinese Business Council, the Australia-Russia Business Council and the Federation of Indian Association of Victoria.

AUSTRALIAN business owners have vowed to strengthen customer relationships and expand business development activity in 2012. An MYOB Business Monitor survey has found that 49 per cent of small to medium business owners are aiming for client/revenue growth in 2012 (an increase of three percentage points on the prior year). Meanwhile, 32 per cent hope to simply maintain their current levels and 13 per cent are focused on minimising losses in these areas. The remainder are unsure of their goal.

A FAIR Work Ombudsman’s report on Australian retail has revealed that despite very challenging trading conditions and declining sales, retailers are treating their staff right. The National Retail Industry Campaign 2010–11 Report was based on audits of 1866 retailers and revealed that 74 per cent of employers were compliant with the Fair Work System introduced in 2009. Gary Black, executive director of the National Retail Association, echoed the Ombudsman’s conclusions. “As the Fair Work Ombudsman recognised in its report, when the audits commenced, retailers in each state were undergoing a period of significant change in adjusting to the national Modern Retail Award under the Fair Work system,” Mr Black said “Yet despite the difficulty and complexities of transitional provisions, most retailers are getting it right. “In terms of non-compliance, 36.5 per cent of the issues were technical or minor breaches related to time and wage records or pay slip requirements. Only half of non-compliance cases involved employees being underpaid. The report highlighted the need for employer education on how the Modern Retail Award works, including information on transitioning from the state award, calculating junior rates, casual and penalty rates, as well as rostering and meal breaks.



Small businesses are the backbone of our national economy...

MYOB CEO Tim Reed said: “Customers will understandably remain the core focus for Australian SMEs in maintaining and strengthening their business health in 2012, with our research finding more than one third of businesses are set to increase activity around attracting customers’ attention and building their loyalty. “It also makes sense for SMEs to broaden their horizons into new markets, and to compete on a global scale where possible, providing their business with access to larger, more diverse audiences.” “This is something the internet and cloud computing can easily facilitate if business owners have the right tools and resources at their disposal. “We’re seeing more and more operators benefit from getting their business online with a website.”

WEST LAND RELEASE THE Investa Property Group is releasing industrial land in the West that is set to stand out from the competition. With a good range of sizes available, competitive pricing and flexible settlement terms, the land at Paramount Industrial Estate is being brought to market with the needs of small business owners in mind. Paul O’Brien from Investa said industrial land suited to small users was becoming increasingly difficult to find in the West, despite being one of Australia’s largest growth corridors. “If you are a small business looking to locate your business in the West, and require land between 1000 to 1700 square metres, you will find it increasingly difficult due to tight supply of small lot subdivisions and increasing demand from the growth in the surrounding residential catchment,” Mr O’Brien said. Paramount Industrial Estate is over 85 per cent sold and has consistently sold 25 hectares of industrial land per annum for the last six years - more than any other industrial estate in Melbourne’s West. Land prices start at $95 per square metre.




A FACEBOOK app has been launched in Australia to help small business owners take advantage of the increased popularity of online shopping. Brisbane-based start-up aradium developed the shopping app to enable businesses to run an online e-commerce store without the need for an investment in a traditional website. The new app aims to help small business owners reverse recent downward trends in consumer sentiment and spending. “Small businesses are the backbone of our national economy,” aradium founder Ryan Mills said. “We wanted to develop an app that would help small businesses reach out, connect and engage with their Facebook followers, leading to more interactions and sales.” The app allows Australian users to buy directly from the brands they follow on Facebook. Customers can Like, Share and Comment on a brand’s products as well as receive fan-only discounts and keep up to date with special offers from within Facebook. For information visit aradium

THE Western Bulldogs have launched a new membership campaign, centred around the release of a short film which highlights their strong links to the west. The team recently launched ‘The Western Front’ video at the iconic Sun Theatre in Yarraville. The film features a specially created soundtrack by rock singer Mark Seymour and is narrated by Bulldogs player Luke Darcy. Western Bulldogs Chief Executive Simon Garlick said that the film captured the essence of the Bulldogs while celebrating the changing face of the West. “As we head into next year we are calling on all of our Members and Fans to be a part of the Western Front as we strive to ‘Win the West’ and tackle our competitors head on,” Garlick said. He said the Bulldogs have put in place a five year plan aimed at capitalising on the massive urban growth taking place in the West with 20,000 new residents expected to move into the area every year for the next two decades.

MORE than 750 retail workers throughout Australia have received an unexpected bonus of over half a million dollars in backpay. The underpayments were discovered following random audits of almost 2000 retail employers by the Fair Work Ombudsman. A targeted education and compliance campaign has recovered $585,000 for 755 retail staff who were unknowingly underpaid. The Fair Work Ombudsman has recouped $153,820 for 187 staff members in Victoria. The retail sector was earmarked for a national campaign after generating the highest number of complaints of any sector in 2008-09. The extensive awareness campaign introduced the random auditing of employer records. 1866 retail employers have been audited so far with 492 employers recording a total of 653 contraventions. These contraventions primarily related to the underpayment of wages, failure to conform with payslip requirements and failure to adhere to time and wage requirements. A further 224 businesses remain under investigation.

RETAIL BUSINESS HEADS OVERSEAS AUSTRALIAN Bureau of Statistics figures show large swathes of the retail industry are being transferred off shore, placing local jobs and businesses at risk. National Retail Association executive director Gary Black said strong results for fresh and packaged food compared with weak results for other retail categories showed the damage being done by tax-free imports bought on the internet. “(The) figures continue the trend which has been evident since August last year. The food category continues to show strong activity, with growth of almost five per cent, seasonally adjusted, in the year to November 2011,” Mr Black said. “However, once the food factor is removed, other retail trade continues to barely reach positive territory. “For example, clothing, footwear and personal accessories were down 3.5 per cent over the year, and department stores were down 4 per cent. “While household goods has lifted out of negative growth, the annual rate of growth could be described as anaemic at best.” Mr Black said the statistics was further evidence that the tax-free status enjoyed by overseas retailers – at the expense of local businesses – was causing significant damage to the retail sector.




HOME TRUTHS IN OUR modern age of communications, more people are enjoying the flexibility of working from home. Previously the realm of freelance writers and designers, home-based businesses now incorporate anything from consulting engineers to beauticians, web-based retailers and everything in between. Working from home offers many benefits but also many challenges, Ania Hampton writes. ONE of the biggest challenges when creating a new business is the start-up costs. Many of these can be avoided by working from home. You can avoid rent and locked-in leases, and depending on your business, new equipment and expensive fit-out costs. If your business is a consulting one, the start-up costs can be minimal, reducing your risk and outlay. Working from home also gives you the ability to start small and grow your business at your own pace. Those who succeed working from home all share one trait - motivation. In an office, surrounded by co-workers and with the boss peering over your shoulder, staying focussed on the task at hand can be a lot easier. If you are easily distracted, the lure of the TV, Facebook, a shelf of comics or housework may be your downfall. On the other hand, if you are a self-motivated person, the lack of distractions that come with a busy office can improve your productivity several times over. KEY TIPS FOR SUCCESSFULLY WORKING FROM HOME: 1. Have a quiet, dedicated place to work. Make your office a place you can leave for the night. Don’t try to work from the kitchen table – your business will rule your home. Similarly, if your bedroom is somewhere your brain associates with work, you will have trouble sleeping. 2. Implement strategies to enable you to switch off. Working from home means you don’t leave the office which can quickly lead to burn out so schedule trips to the gym,

an art class or even just a walk around the block. It is important that these activities get you out of the house and into the rest of the world. 3. Consider professionalism. Many people opt to work from home for the flexibility it offers family, but do your clients really want to hear your children fighting in the background when they ring? A virtual office, with a receptionist to answer and screen your calls, can give the impression of a smooth, professional operation and let you return that important sales call when it suits you, not in the middle of a play date. Similarly, many virtual offices offer meeting rooms for hire, giving you somewhere clean, tidy and professional to host clients. 4. Security is an important concern, particularly with small children in the house. If you deal with stock, make sure you have somewhere secure to store it – a toddler can ruin thousands of dollars of product while you are in the bathroom. Insurance is vital: most home and contents insurance will not cover business activities and not disclosing that you work from home may nullify your existing policy. 5. One of the biggest challenges of working from home can be the lack of social interaction. If your business doesn’t have you dealing with clients face to face on a regular basis, the lack of human interaction can become depressing. While social networking internet sites are a good way to keep in touch with friends and family, they are no substitute for physical contact.

Business networks, such as Women in Business or those organised by most councils are a wonderful way to meet and interact with like-minded people, as well as expanding your business contacts. Similarly, joining a sports team or musical ensemble is a great way to ensure regular contact with people. 6. Productivity is the key to any successful business. Improve yours by ensuring you have dedicated work hours – put the kids in childcare or explain to your family that today is a work day – treat me as though I am not here. The constant distractions of a running house can destroy concentration and productivity. 7. Improving work-life balance is a key reason many people opt to work from home. However, it can often be the opposite. It is easy to become a workaholic when your office is just down the hall. You can find yourself using every spare moment to “get some work done”, at the expense of recreation or family time. When children are playing quietly, avoid the impulse to sneak off to the office and remember why you chose to work from home in the first place – to spend more time with them. Working from home can be a wonderfully rewarding experience, allowing you to grow your own business while spending more time with your family. Setting ground rules and sticking to them will ensure your business does not take over your life and your whole family benefits.

ANIA HAMPTON B.Eng(Mech)(Hons), M.AIRAH,, is director of Hampton Sustainability, a sustainable building design consultancy. Ania is an Accredited Green Star Professional, NABERS and CBD Assessor and House Energy Rater. She is the Star News Group’s Business Woman of the Year and won the Professional Services category at the Hobsons Bay Business Excellence Awards 2011. ■ Ph: 9077 8798 ■ E: ■





The real power of social media is in opening the shop or factory walls, and letting the customers in – making them part of the business…

THIS edition we take our third and final step into the world of Social Media, with a look at the rapidly expanding world of Facebook. There are now more than 800 million active Facebook members, according to Facebook’s own statistics. If Facebook was a country, it would be the third largest in the world. More than half of these citizens log in to Facebook daily. reports that just over half of the Australian population use Facebook – and half of these members are aged 18 to 34. These are numbers that we cannot ignore. Unlike Twitter, Facebook is symmetrical – you can only connect to friends when they agree, and then the connection is mutual. People may thus have a smaller network on Facebook than Twitter, but it will tend to be a closer, more trusted network. Facebook also reports that the average member has 130 friends. All this gives the platform a powerful “word of mouth” capability. As stated in the first article in this series, the real power of social media is in opening the shop or factory walls, and letting the customers in – making them part of the business. Here’s where Facebook and its trusted networks can help.

The IKEA fans web site reported a successful campaign in Malmö, Sweden, using Facebook. The store manager established a personal Facebook profile, with uploaded photos of showrooms. His Facebook friends could then “tag” items in the photos to win the product. This was then shared over both Facebook and Twitter, creating a very successful, low-cost campaign. The low cost base can yield an impressive Return on Investment. Erik Qualman, the author of Socialnomics, reported a Burger King Facebook promotion in the USA that generated a return of USD $400,000 for an investment of less than $50,000. This isn’t only for large corporates, either. Last year, Pagemodo found that around half of the small businesses they surveyed were using Facebook pages. These businesses reported that their Facebook pages were generating traffic; both to the page itself, as well as sending traffic to their websites. Further, almost half of those surveyed reported that a portion of the new visitors were converted to paying customers. Facebook also gives your business an entirely new front door with the “Like” button. This allows people to connect with your business even when they are not using Facebook. When Facebook members click on a “Like” button on your website, this informs all of their friends about your business. Visitors to your site also get to see which of their friends like the page already. A final reminder – if you start to open your door to your customers via social media, you must do it properly. Don’t try to hold the door half-open. As mentioned in each article in this series, this is all about openness and honest engagement. Things must be what they seem, and you must deliver what you promise.

To start with, your business can have an additional online presence with a Facebook ‘page’. You can use this to showcase your business with news updates, photos and even videos. More importantly, you can use this to engage with your customers and potential customers. Listen to what they say to you via wall posts, and engage them in competitions, events and activities. Tell stories, solve problems and ask questions.

A study by marketing company Exact Target reveals that to ensure your customers continue to like you, don’t just use your social media presence to pump out a continual stream of repetitive marketing messages. On the flip-side, make sure that you put out enough special offers and deals to make your customers want to keep coming back, and most importantly, make sure that you allow your customers to talk back to you and truly engage. As Brian Solis, the author of The End of Business as Usual has said, “If you’re not sure what customers want – ask!”

KEITH DE LA RUE works as an educator and independent consultant in knowledge management, communication, learning and social media. He is a regular presenter and speaker at conferences in Australia and overseas, and a parttime staff member at three universities in Melbourne. He has researched and written about communication, conversation, celebrities, cognition, communities – and cats. He has contributed to a range of books and publications, and his work has also been translated into Portuguese. Keith is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators, and of Mensa, and has appeared on radio and in quiz programs on TV. He blogs at, is married with three children, and lives in Pascoe Vale.



BW NETWORK Business West Network – a growing directory of local businesses ready to do business with you. You can join the Business West Network by registering online at to make sure you receive your personal copy of Business West AND receive a free onetime 30-word listing for your business in a future edition. 1ST CHOICE FIRST-AID PTY LTD PO Box 8175, Tarneit, Victoria 1300 884 190 We train all people in all aspects of First Aid. From CPR to advanced First-aid, including anaphylaxis and asthma. Can do it on your site or public classes. AGNOSCO TRAINING AND COACHING 6 Johnson Ave, Hoppers Crossing, Victoria 9749 2487 We help our clients to love who they are and choose who they want to be, so they can live life at 100%, with nothing held back and no regrets. AMBER G KENNEDY – CIVIL CELEBRANT 46 Kathleen Cres, Hoppers Crossing, Victoria 0408 813 661 A modern, fresh and energetic celebrant. AUS LOCK AND SAFE COMPANY PTY LTD Fact 16 47/51 Little Boundary Rd, Laverton North, Victoria 9318 9711 Keys, Locks and Safes. We specialise in the security needs for retail, commercial and industrial organisations. We provide a prompt 24/7 mobile onsite service to secure your business against burglary. BABYGURU 20 Calypso Cres, Point Cook, Victoria 0412 780 359; an online portal, resource and directory for everything baby and kids including reviews, monthly newsletter, e-zine, blog, forum, competitions and more. BEYOND BUSINESS SUCCESS WILLIAMSTOWN 50 Merrett Dve, Williamstown, Victoria 0417 733 717 Beyond Business Success coaches combine mindset, skillset and accountability to help you achieve the business and lifestyle you set out to achieve! BGT 3 Alexandra St, Melton, Victoria 1800 643 593 BGT are the apprenticeship and traineeship experts. BGT employ the people so businesses have all the productivity advanatages without the stresses of managing and employing staff. BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS MELBOURNE Showgrounds Village-P1, 320-380 Epsom Rd, Flemington, Victoria 93472655 With a 30 year history in Melbourne, BBBS is a preventative program that creates and supports friendships between a vulnerable young person and a screened and trained adult volunteer.



BONZA PRODUCT & DESIGN PO Box 45, Werribee, Victoria 0402 078 866 Graphic and product designer with nearly thirty years experience who knows the true value of graphic design. Working directly with business owners, entrepreneurs, corporate business, sporting clubs and councils.

ENTERPRISING PARTNERSHIPS PO Box 5127, South Melbourne, Victoria 0414 392 323 Enterprising Partnerships: a nationally recognised change agency bringing together teams of expertise and excellence to drive growth through innovation, leadership and collaboration in your business, industry sector or organisation

CAS PERSONNEL PO Box 771, Moonee Ponds, Victoria 9337 4682 Extensive experience in generalist corporate recruitment, ranging from operations through to board level,which is founded on passion for excellent customer service by establishing strong and long lasting stakeholder relationships.

EUROPCAR 4 Cheriton Dve, Riddells Creek, Victoria 0430 511 055 Europcar is a global car hire supplier. We provide both commercial and passenger vehicles at approximately 150 locations around Australia.

CAT NAPPING SUBURBAN RETREAT 455 Old Geelong Rd, Hoppers Crossing, Victoria 0419 346 475 Long/short term cat boarding and retail shop.

FIPA RISK SERVICES PTY LTD 2 Caldwell Crt, Sunshine West, Victoria 9390 0413 Fipa Risk Services Pty Ltd provides consultancy and training services on risk management,quality, OHS and environmental management.

CPN COMMERCIAL GROUP 33 Military Rd, Avondale Heights, Victoria 9318 2233 CPN Commercial Group is an industry specialist dedicated to commercial and industrial sales, leasing and management. Located in Melbourne’s northwest, their service extends to clients Melbourne wide.

GREEN LIGHT PR PO Box 753, Williamstown, Victoria 0412 513 412 Green Light PR is a results driven boutique public relations agency with a diverse range of clients from industries such as retail, tourism, events, education and not for profit.

DATAFLOW SOLUTIONS PTY LTD C5, Level 1, 2 Main St, Point Cook, Victoria 1300 484 335 We provide IT Support to Small and Medium Size Business. Our Services are: Network Support Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2011, Virus and SPAM Solutions, Computer and Laptop Repair Wireless Setup.

HIP POCKET WORKWEAR & SAFETY – LAVERTON 1/47-51 little Boundary Rd, laverton North, Victoria 9314 3030 At Hip Pocket Workwear & Safety we pride ourselves on offering you quality value and service backed up by national buying power we will save you time and money

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT PO Box 2797 , Melbourne, Victoria Operations Branch of the Department of Transport. DERRIMUT ROAD HEALTH CLINIC 412 Derrimut Rd, Tarneit, Victoria 8742 2088 New bulk billing medical clinic in Tarneit. Female Doctor available. Childhood immunisations, travel vaccinations, diabetes management, asthma plans, women’s health, men’s health. Intpreter service available. EDWARD BUINOWICZ 29 John-Paul Dve, Hillside, Victoria 9449 1834 B2B Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering Advice. ELLE & STUART 89 Pier St, Altona, Victoria 9398 1224 We are a ladies fashion retailer, stocking sizes 8-24. We also provide an in-house clothing alteration service for garments purchased from us or elsewhere.

INVENIO ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS PTY. LTD. Level 4/ 7 - 41 Prospect St, Box Hill, Victoria 0406 250 385 Invenio works to develop innovative and trendsetting ideas and solutions. We focus on unconventional, ‘big picture’ thinking, while remaining firmly-grounded in practical reality always delivering more than is expected. JEUNESSE GLOBAL 5 Pyramus Pl, Altona Meadows, Victoria 0425 772 501 Jeunesse is one of a kind focusing exclusively on anti-aging products - providing exceptional antiaging products for both men and women to help them look and feel years younger everyday. JLD RECRUITMENT SOLUTIONS 66 Wattle Ave, Werribee, Victoria 0439 742 441 My website explains all my details of work and how long I have been a consultant in the industry. I also do Workplace Training (also listed).

BW NETWORK LACHLAN PARTNERS Level 35, 360 Collins St, Melbourne, Victoria 9605 9200 Lachlan Partners are a financial services firm with service lines in Wealth Management, Accounting, Tax, Audit, Business Advisory, Personal and Business Insurance and Property Advocacy and Management. Mel/Syd/Bne LASER ELECTRICAL WERRIBEE 4A Loop Rd, Werribee, Victoria 9974 2648 laserelectricalwerribee.street-directory. Laser Electrical Werribee is a local team of electricians servicing Wyndham and surrounding areas and has been established for over 25 years. LEADWISE PO Box 789, Niddrie, Victoria 0402 616 822 Leadwise Consulting offers leadership and management development to businesses from different industries. We also assist in organisational development, HR, performance management, Communication, Team Building, Sales, OHS and Customer Service training. LIFE MATTERS: COUNSELLING & WELLNESS SOLUTIONS 12 Greville St, Caroline Springs, Victoria 0415 845 937 Professional and Holistic Counselling for men, women and children individually and couples. Low Cost Counselling for High School and Uni Students, Single mums and dads and Seniors. MANGO 7 Electric St, Richmond , Victoria 9254 3602 Mango is a PR, experiential and events company like no other. Masters of brand management, brand activation, events, experiential activity, sponsorship and social media, we inform, inspire, engage and entertain. MANHEIM Gord Luck Ave, Altona North, Victoria 0400 875 686 Automotive Remarketing. MASTER HR SOLUTIONS PO Box 317, Williamstown, Victoria 0404 211 104 We are business coaches with a focus on people. More specifically, we link your people to your business strategy to create the results your business needs. MIRABELLA INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD PO Box 319, Tullamarine, Victoria 9335 3633 Mirabella International is a market leader in the lighting industry providing lighting products and globes to Australians. Mirabella is an importer, distributor and wholesaler servicing major retailers and supermarket.

MULTIPAC SYSTEMS PTY. LTD. 20 Jackman Cres, Keilor, Victoria 9310 5664 Paper Fibre Drum manufacture based in Echuca, Auckland NZ and under construction in California USA. Product pacckingrange from 15lt to 2000lt for Dairy, Fruit Food and various Chemicals. NOSTIMA FOODS AND CATERING SERVICES 4 Krambruk St, Sunshine, Victoria 0411 762 941 We cater to your needs. You only need to ask, no matter what the occasion. Finger foods a speciality. Christenings, Birthdays, Corporate, Wakes, etc. You won’t be disappointed. POLYFRAME UPVC DOUBLE GLAZED WINDOWS AND DOORS 26 Bindowan Dve, Hoppers Crossing, Victoria 0411 876 992 We supply and professionally install quality uPVC double glazed windows and doors. Trade priced double glazing; superior uPVC frames and styles; high thermal resistance; acoustic control; and low maintenance! PRODRIVE AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGY 4/40 Glenbarry Rd, Campbellfield, Victoria 9300 7411 Automotive engineering and design/CAD services to large Automotive OEM’s, globally. The Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) is the peak body for employers in Victoria, informing and servicing more than 15,000 members, customers and clients around the State. QLM LABEL MAKERS Unit 27B, Level 2 80 Keilor Rd, Essendon North, Victoria 0413 617 016 QLM Label Makers Pty Ltd is a proudly Australian owned business that has grown to become one of the Australia’s leading innovative and service driven label and tag manufacturers. QUEST SERVICED APARTMENTS Level 5/102 Albert Rd, South Melbourne, Victoria 0466 016 702 A Quest serviced apartment is your home away from home, complete with separate living, dining and sleeping areas, separate work stations and fully equipped kitchens and laundry facilities. SAVVY APPOINTMENTS PO Box 8088, Tarneit, Victoria 0437 005 116 Savvy Appointments utilises best practice recruitment methodology, thoroughly assessing each candidate’s skills, abilities, knowledge, experience, qualifications, culture fit and potential - ensuring positive impact to your goals, reputation and growth. SCOPE 14-16 Williamson Rd, Maribyrnong, Victoria 9318 6366 Packing and labellling for general industry (including food) for all sectors carried out by people with disabilities (NPO).

SIMPLICITY IT SOLUTIONS PO Box 426, Wendouree, Victoria 0407 686 730 Simplicity IT is all about keeping IT simple and trouble free. We provide excpetional IT support and consulting for business, schools and home. TELSTRA BUSINESS CENTRE OUTER WEST MELBOURNE Level 2, 445 Keilor Rd, Niddrie, Victoria 1300 548 700 Melbourne%20Outer%20West We are passionate about helping local businesses with their communications and have worked in the local area since 2005. Drop in or call us and we’ll come to you. THE ART OF EXCELLENCE 13 Ford Ave, Sunshine North, Victoria 1300 790 920 The Art of Excellence provides entertainment and Photo/Video production for a variety of purposes, including Weddings, Corporate functions and conferences. Video services include TV Advertisements, Corporate Profiling via Youtube and more. THE BUSINESS INGREDIENT 1/33 Esplanade, Seaholme, Victoria 0412 624 118 Having worked in the corporate arena for many years I am offfering my extensive administrative, project management skills to Small and Medium SME’s TRACY GROUP 45 Bakery Sq, Melton, Victoria 8746 0400 We help both employers and jobseekers with all their education and recruitment needs; our specialised placement service ensures that we source the most appropriate candidate for the local employer. VICTORIAN EMPLOYERS’ CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY Suite 18, 11-17 Pearcedale Pde, Broadmeadows, Victoria 8662 5333 VICTORIA LAW SCHOOL 295 Queen St, Melbourne, Victoria 9919 6178 Occasional contributor (law/legal matters) to Strategies section of Business West. WESTERN REGION TAX & ACCOUNTING SOLUTIONS C5, Level 1, 2 Main St, Point Cook, Victoria 9394 6396 We offer Accounting Services to Small Businesses inclusive of Financial Statement Preparation, Income Tax Planning, ASIC Compliance and Income Tax Advice. You can expect outstanding and reliable service at affordable prices. WYNDHAM COUNCIL Wyndham Cultural Centre, 177 Watton St, Werribee, Victoria 9742 0906 wyndham__tourism The Werribee Visitor Information Centre is located at the Wyndham Cultural Centre, 177 Watton Street, Werribee 3030. It is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm.



OUT OF HOURS WESTERN REGION BUSiNESS CLUB’S CHRISTMAS FUNCTION It wasn’t a white Christmas for the Western Region Business Club’s Christmas function in December last year. It was actually a red, white and blue Christmas, with the event being held at Whitten Oval’s Pound Cafe and former Bulldogs spearhead Barry Hall the guest speaker.





1 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


Collins & Co’s Paul Kelly. Collins & Co Marketing manager Michelle Nichols, former AFL star Barry Hall and Collins & Co partner Michael Hollowood. LeadWise Consulting’s Albert Haddad, left, Berry Family Law’s Ben Smith and Harvey Ashton. Employment Services Youth Projects George Tsetinis, left, and Invenio’s Zak Zakarian. Hi-Fliers Distribution’s Rick O’Connor.


OUT OF HOURS Brimbank City Council’s Business Breakfast was held in December last year at the Sunshine Golf Club. The crowd of Brimbank’s brightest tucked in to breakfast as they listened to guest speaker and author Leslie Cannold (pictured).






1. Tracy Group’s Marlene Cassar. 2. Brimbank City Council Administrator Meredith Sussex. 3. The Selmar Institute’s Hussein Milhem, left, E Plastics’ Anthony Spiteri and K Partners Tony Borello tucked in to breakfast over a few copies of Business West. 4. K Partners Warrick Borello and Melbourne Mortgage Solutions’ Rosemary McKenzie.



GREATER MELTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CHRISTMAS FUNCTION 1. Get Printed’s Tom Dickson. 2. Melton Shire Council’s Joseph Tobacco.

The Greater Melton Chamber of Commerce hosted its Christmas function at TabCorp Park in December last year. The harness racing made for an exciting event. BUSINESS WEST


Looking forward

2012 PHILIPPA BAKES advises businesses throughout Western Victoria. She facilitates their strategic planning process with a structured approach, and helps with start-ups and business deals. Philippa can be contacted at WHK on 5224 7790.



WITH uncertainty in the global economy, turbulent stock markets and the uncertain impact of the carbon tax, we could be forgiven for looking forward at 2012 through a negative lens. I believe that, to some extent, you make your own luck. It’s all a matter of attitude, and how you look at what life throws your way. If life, after all, gives you lemons, make lemonade. Here are some of the positive things that 2012 may hold in store. LOWER INTEREST RATES? The consensus amongst the major banks appears to be that interest rates will continue to fall in 2012 – making it a great time to review your home loan. Equally it may be a good time to consider leveraging your business – many local companies have reduced their debt levels during the past few years as the GFC caused borrowing costs to sky rocket. Wholesale costs incurred by the banks have come down and they should be in a position to make it easier for SMEs to fund investment or expansion. A BUSINESS BUYER’S MARKET The baby boomers’ generation are approaching retirement and wanting out. There is pent up over-supply of businesses whose

owners want to move onto other things in life, yet have not been able to find a buyer whilst debt has been in tight supply. It seems a great time if you find yourself with some spare funds and the energy to take on an acquisition. GOOD DAYS FOR IMPORTERS AND TRAVELLERS If the Aussie dollar continues near parity with the greenback, take advantage of the situation and look at importing. It need not be physical goods being acquired, it may just be a good time to take an overseas trip, to visit customers or simply to enjoy yourself and relax. NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION The effect of the carbon tax on SMEs is yet to be seen, and many of our clients don’t know what to expect. What we can be sure of is that if businesses see profits being squeezed, they find ways to innovate their way around it – whether by inventing new products to respond in the green economy, or by finding new ways of doing what they do. When people really need to do something, they will figure out a way to do it, and SMEs are amongst the most innovative in the business arena. At WHK we’re looking forward to helping our clients make great things happen in 2012 – we’re hope you’re amongst them.


better advice for a better life

Is 2012 going to be profitable for your business? L1, 18 Synnot Street Werribee Vic 3030 T: 9742 8444

Don’t leave it to chance, plan now. Our business advisers can conduct a health check on your business to identify areas of risk and issues impacting on profitability.

So call Peter or Maureen for business advice.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation other than for the acts or omissions of Âżnancial services licensees :+. Pty Ltd $%1



Peter Mayall and Maureen Puopolo






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