In the end, our biggest and best milestones were achieved on the laptop.
1. Say “yes” to every promotional activity
We’re very active in our industry and always agree to media interviews, talks at restaurants and conferences. Although neither of us were comfortable getting in front of a camera, doing radio interviews, or public speaking, it’s something both Dad and I have learned and now find fun.
2. Personal development goes hand in hand with business success
Since we’ve started farming I’ve completed two leaderships courses. I’m also a 2012 Nuffield Australia Farming Scholar and am looking into the strategic direction for the NSW oyster industry. Dad and I are also halfway through an eight-day holistic management course.
3. Reward your best people by making them their own boss
I do this by giving my staff acknowledgement and more responsibility. Kate, our oyster bar manager, has only just turned 21-years-old, but since she's been given the reins the business has grown by 25 per cent.
4. Hire a financial professional to see where you cut down on costs
My mum who was looking after our books was inexpensive, but we needed a professional to really work it. Our bookkeeper saved us $2000 in the first week and has been invaluable ever since. Weekly reports track the performance of the farm and the oyster bar, so we can run a really tight ship.
5. Look to see where technology can help you save time and money
Our first big goal was to completely modernise our farm. Traditional oyster farming is very labour intensive and boring as hell and we weren’t interested in that kind of job. As a young guy of 24 years of age, I really thought if I just physically worked super hard on the farm we could achieve our goals. In the end, our biggest and best milestones were achieved on the laptop. We tracked down and won business grants, developed a professional business plan and built cash flows forecasts that gave us access to more finance to let us to grow.