1. Inspiration meets circumstance
Inspiration can be borne from many things: passion, necessity, frustration, a pursuit of something challenging or wanting to make a difference. Yet circumstance is often the mother of bright ideas.
For Barossa Fine Foods, landing in Adelaide with a desire to run a small family business led to taking over a market stall. The business evolved from its owners making the best decisions for their family, based on circumstance. The result is a multi-generational award winning business with products in demand from delis across Australia.
Tyro Payments, an EFTPOS provider competing with the big banks, saw the opportunity to succeed following unprecedented deregulation in the sector. As a result, CEO Jost Stollmann credits a large part of the business’ success and inspiration to taking advantage of circumstance.
“[The business] wouldn’t be possible if the Reserve Bank hadn’t, at a certain point in time, said we want non-banks to compete. And funnily enough the only ones who showed up was us,” Stollmann says.
2. The tough push through
Successful small businesses are required to make difficult decisions, as raw inspiration evolves into day-to-day business activity. From encountering issues out of your control to sacrificing social lives, making your dream a reality is, as Wagga Wagga-based 365 Cups co-founder Mars Stankiewicz describes it, “a roller-coaster ride”.
In a sentiment that will be shared by many small businesses, Mars says he and his co-founder have often been “sitting there with their hands in the air”. But persistence prevails, and difficult decisions often reap the sweetest rewards.
Such was the experience of Western Australian rural health service provider TeleMed. When a piece of medical equipment was damaged in transit from Germany, founder Peter Tually faced a monumental hurdle, describing it as feeling like “he was sunk”.
But his resolve was unaffected: “I just had to persevere, that I would find the money in some ways and start seeing some patients so we could start paying off some debt”.
Throughout these challenges, it’s inspiration that has driven these tough decisions. In Peter’s words, “Find something you love and then back yourself.”
3. Values matter
The videos show a business built on strong moral foundations, and the conviction that comes with knowing you’re doing the right thing, will produce more rewards than profit alone. Many of Australia’s most successful small businesses have been built upon values first, not business nous.
Whether it’s a challenging market or a difficult business decision, having the right guiding principles are integral – not just for business success, but for personal happiness.
For Tasmanian artisan cheese producers, Bruny Island Cheese Co., raising a family, having control of their lifestyle, making a quality product and blazing their own path were all key considerations in starting their business. It’s these values that hold true to this day, with founder Nick Haddow encouraging small business owners to stay true to their inspiration first and foremost:
“Be true to your dream; don’t let your dream become corrupted. Set out to do something you set out to do, make the product you wanted to make or do the thing you wanted to do.
“That’s what’s going to make you successful ultimately, rather than trying to mould yourself into something that other people think you should be.”
Above all, The Inspirational Journey is about more than just good ideas. It’s about business philosophies, passion and the process of taking an idea and running with it. The series is about celebrating every step in the process of starting a business and making it your own.