Nhulunbuy event leads with key messages for local business

October Business Month (OBM) kicked off in Nhulunbuy with a range of vital information for growing businesses, economic outlooks for the East Arnhem region and inspiring success stories from local businesses.

Thursday morning was a wealth of news and information on funding for major projects in the region from roads to rocket launches. The changing economic landscape of East Arnhem was highlighted with a fresh focus on tourist facilities and cultural experiences in conjunction with Yolŋu communities.

Practical and real-world tips for starting and growing your business were delivered from Phillip Loader from Business Enterprise Centre NT. Many themes from Phil’s presentation were echoed through the two days, such as the dangers of pitching your business to a low price point, rather than differentiating yourself from others in the market based on your other points of difference.

When Tamika Galea from Outlook Psychology hit the stage and started to collect everyone’s mobile phones, we knew something special would happen. This moment without distractions allowed us all to take time to discuss the less obvious signs of depression, anxiety and overwhelm in our staff and colleagues. This was a special moment that brought together business owners and operators from diverse backgrounds and industries to share honest thoughts about their own struggles and how it shaped a new priority on mental health at work.

The digital world was represented by Ryley Heap from Developing East Arnhem Ltd and Dante St James from Treeti Business Consulting. We were shown the big differences between the way people used search engines and social media early in 2020 and how they’re using it right now. This led to an interesting look at a free Google tool that too few Territory businesses take advantage of and some interesting insights on using Facebook and Instagram for those in tourism and regional businesses.

Friday was all about grants, tenders and making sure that you are putting everything into your grant and tender responses that need to be there. The biggest takeaway messages here were ‘don’t gild the lily’ and ‘ask for help’. A timely reminder to be real, honest and get the assistance that is on offer from the dispersing government agencies.

Throughout the two days on the Gove Peninsula, we were treated to two inspirational success stories.

The phenomenal impact on both communities and business from Manapan Furniture based at Miligimbi has been recognised in design awards, international acclaim and in having major installations of Manapan work in the board rooms and corporate offices of ANZ Bank, Austrade and many other places. The story of community development, business self-sufficiency and the impact of Jobkeeper reminded us that running a business around core principles of impact and sustainability leads to ongoing success.

Our final success story from local entrepreneur Dave Neenan of Gove Rentals and Mechanical and GRM Panel and Paint showed how good business processes, a core principle of quality work, placement plus investment in great people and, seeking assistance when you’re ready to grow, can take a good little family business to a key employer and contributor to economic stability in a regional community.

Key takeaways from Nhulunbuy:

  • retention of young people is vital to the future of remote towns
  • there is assistance available, just reach out and ask
  • being the cheapest in town isn’t as great as being the best in town
  • create the right message for the right people at the right time
  • no matter how busy you are, take time to work on your business

OBM is heading to Tennant Creek from Wednesday 7 to Friday 9 October.

Join our wide range of exhibitors at the OBM B2B Expo at the Karguru Training Centre, meet 1:1 with experts and specialist from across industry, government and other organisations. And be inspired by local success stories, learn new ways of growing your business and hear about what economic factors will affect the future of the Barkly region.

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