Working together the big theme of OBM Alice Springs

The October Business Month Territory Grown Roadshow arrived in Central Australia last week for 4 days of insights, inspiration and new information for businesses of all sizes.

From the very start, the message was clear from all presenters, the rebound is happening, and those businesses who are positioned to take advantage of it first will be those who have the most to gain. And this very Roadshow is where businesses will get firsthand information on the programs, the assistance and the projects that will lead the recovery.

Day 1 launched with a rousing call to action from Australian Industry and Defence Network CEO, Kerryn Smith, who encouraged SMEs to join with other SMEs to form consortia to bid for upcoming defence projects across the Territory.

This theme continued with John Boyle from AJ Services, who reiterated the message of working together to achieve more, especially with his core team of employees who he credits as being the secret to his success as a Territory business.

The same tender writing and response sessions that were so well attended in Nhulunbuy and Alice Springs continue to attract local businesses who were keen to find out the inside story on how to secure lucrative government contracts. This session was repeated across the week, and all sessions were well-attended, showing that local business was hungry for this excellent information from Leigh Harris and Sally Morris.

Tourism and it’s upcoming recovery was a big theme across all four days with Tourism NT’s Tourism Connect session attracting new and existing operators. This was backed up by a busy Expo stand from Tourism Central Australia and a special tourism session from Facebook & Instagram hosted by Dante St James.
Arafura Resources session on the Nolan’s Mine project attracted a full house with local businesses and contractors seeking information on how they can benefit from this and the other 5 mines that are opening across Central Australia. This diversification of regional revenue was welcomed by attendees.

Chamber of Commerce NT’s Business at Sunset event on Wednesday night was very well-attended, with Chamber President, Karen Sheldon in attendance along with representatives of all levels of government, industry and small business. This was an invaluable opportunity for networking between local businesses and the Territory-wide organisations that were there to meet them.

The closing half of OBM 2020 in Alice Springs featured Business Basics from the Business Enterprise Centre, where Phil Loader took enthusiastic audiences through the process of planning for cashflow and understanding what your figures truly mean. Bronwyn Clee’s Emotional Fitness session reminded us all that good businesses only run well when we are also well. Attendees were left with plenty to consider with sessions from Megan Lawton on reading the fine print of contracts, knowing what our “Brand” truly is from Anna Goat, understanding the importance of General Awareness Training from Mates in Construction and a thoroughly inspirational message on resilience and diversity from Adam Drake of the New Balanced Choice program.

Key Takeaways from Alice Springs:

  1. Working together grows our capability
  2. Respect for each other grows our ability to move forward
  3. New opportunities for Central Australia require new thinking
  4. Tourism will recover, and there are many avenues of assistance for operators
  5. Knowing who you are, what your business does and communicating this well is the key to attracting new business.
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