Potential for growth
Food For Health’s products have been well received in Australia and overseas. They are stocked in major supermarkets, in Costco’s Australian stores and on Virgin’s domestic and international routes. The business supplies a number of independent retailers and also exports to 14 countries in the Middle East, South-East Asia and other regions.
Narelle attributes some of that success to outsourcing non-core activities. Instead, her five-person team focuses on strategy and managing outsource partners and suppliers to ensure Food for Health continues to realise its growth potential.
Managing competing demands
Narelle says Telstra’s services have helped her manage the competing demands of work and motherhood. “I have only been back in the business for a few months after having my daughter,” she says. “Before that, I spent six months at home with her, but continued to drop into the office daily to find out what was happening and see if there was anything I needed to action.”
Technology has made it possible for Narelle to work from different locations and assisted her team to keep building the business in her absence.
Among the products Narelle uses are DOT™ (Digital Office Technology) with an added business mobile plan from Telstra, and a home bundle incorporating a mobile, priority number, Wi-Fi internet and landline.
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A proactive supplier
Narelle has forged a close relationship with the Telstra Business Centre in Mentone. A dedicated account manager calls her team regularly to recommend modifications to plans and packages to minimise costs. “While I was at home with my daughter, I spent a lot of time on my phone and tablet,” Narelle says.
“One of the Telstra team contacted us because they realised our data package wasn’t adequate for my increased usage,” she adds. “This ended up saving us about $200 per month, and that adds up per year.”
The reliable performance of Telstra’s mobile network also helped Narelle escape embarrassment – and potentially more serious consequences – in a meeting with one of her largest customers.
“About 12 months ago, I was in a review meeting with Woolworths and five minutes before I was due to go in, I was still waiting for critical sales information,” Narelle recalls. “Coles and Woolworths are very much data-driven. My team eventually received the information from an external supplier, collaborated to pull it together and sent it to me by email. I was able to access it on my phone a couple of minutes before the meeting started,” she recalls. “I was able to read and present well, and the review went very well for the business.”
A dependable network
Narelle’s ambition is to expand Food for Health further into international markets, but to do that she needs easy access to information. When she attends trade shows [within Australia], she relies on Telstra’s network to download data on pricing strategies, which she believes “can be the difference between getting a deal done and not getting a deal done” in a new market.
“If people from China come to me, for example, and say: ‘We’re looking at bringing your products into our market, what is the best price you can give me?’ I need to be able to quickly access data prepared by my team to provide a response. Telstra [helps you] to access live, real data and make the right decisions for your business,” she says.
Insights from Telstra
“Small business owners and employees need to focus on strategy, vision and execution of business plans, not worry about the reliability, performance and coverage of telecommunications services. Telstra can offer these businesses dedicated advice and service, ongoing support, a reliable network, and a single bill. Most importantly, our professional advisers look to the business owner’s medium and longer term ambitions when considering suitable technologies.”
Andy Giles-Knopp, Executive Director of Telstra Business – Small Business