From the President - January 2024

February 15, 2024

Happy New year!

I hope that you had the opportunity to start the year off with a bang and are now raring to get going with 2024. Make this your year to shine! Have you done a Business Plan for 2024? I find many small to medium business owners don’t have a business plan and I have to admit up until a few years ago neither did I. Many business owners are so busy doing business from day to day, week to week, year to year that they don’t think to plan for what they would like to achieve. We are so busy working IN our business that we don’t work “ON” our business. I like to make the analogy of business compared to a sports team. Let me explain…

In sports to achieve and keep going they need to train but prior to the training they have a plan of what they would like to achieve in the season. This plan is not set in stone and can be amended/changed when things don’t work the same as our business plan should. Without a plan in place the end goal is not clear, and the team aren’t sure of what their training needs to comprise of. In business we need to be also sharpening and practising our skills. Keep up with the changes for example in marketing, being able to pivot with changes in consumer behaviours, understand the financials and not just rely on our accountants. Being able to explain our business practices to financial institutions when we go for a loan and keeping up with changes in legislation and staff practices as these come into place (and there were a few of these in December with more to follow).

As a business owner we also worry and have a fear of failure. Let me tell you there is no such thing as failure, it is just a learning opportunity. We assess the situation and work out what did and didn’t work, learn from it and adjust our direction. Like sports team, they don’t loose a game and say that’s it, the season is over! They go back and train for the next game, assess the weaknesses, improve and go out there again. Sometimes with wins and sometimes with loses. But at the end of the day what was it that they wanted to achieve? It wasn’t all about that one game, it was a stepping stone as to where they wanted to be at a set time. In this case it is usually to make a grand final. In that team the players also have their own personal goals that they would like to achieve. Maybe it is to be player of the match, maybe just to step up a level but as a team they come together to achieve the big goal. Have you discussed the bigger goals with your team? For them to help the business achieve this, we need to know what their personal goals are and help them to achieve these too. Break it all down into smaller achievable goals.

Yes, at times things get hard in business. We feel that we are banging our heads against a brick wall with extra challenges like fuel prices, electricity, wages, interest rates and CPI, but what was the dream we had that propelled us to start or buy our own business?

With sport teams they may not make the semi finals or the grand final but that doesn’t stop them coming back again next year and trying again. They regroup, replan and head off again. Even for the team that won the grand final, they have to start all over again in the new season with the added expectation and pressure to uphold their previous performances.

You see we all chase a goal, but what happens when you achieve that goal? We don’t stop do we? No, by then we have set new goals and are striving for them. So, whether you win or lose, the following step is the same and that is the next step we take. When we were learning to walk, we fell many times, but it didn’t stop us, we persevered and kept going until we could walk. Then once we had achieved that, it was run, jump, skip and climb. We are still on that protectory. What will your next step be?

At Business Port Macquarie we are there to support you on your journey. We provide opportunities for you to meet and form alliances with other businesses, educational events and also access to HR and legal responsibilities. We love being part of, and hearing about your journey and watching you shine. We hope that you can join us to kick off the 2024 with our Networking evening cocktail party 23rd January at Sunset Framing and Gallery. A great opportunity to network and hear what we have planned for the first half of the year. To register go to We’d also love to hear what your needs are and what information you would like us to deliver. When we work together as a team, we can achieve more wins for all.

Also mark your calendar for 6th February where we will be launching the 2024Coastline Credit Union Greater Port Macquarie Business Awards. Entering the awards is a great opportunity to reward yourself and your staff for the amazing job you do. It’s your time to shine! I hope to see you at the launch, and again at the Gala dinner on the 18th of May.

Until next month. Dream Big and make a plan!