02 February 2022
Helping small businesses turn a setback into a comeback
Right now, millions of Australian business owners are struggling to stay alive. “Survive & Thrive” - in partnership with NRMA Insurance, is a new video series, where business guru and entrepreneur Mark Bouris mentors small business owners and provides tools and advice to not just survive but to truly thrive.
Q1. Right now, Aussie businesses are doing it tough. What’s been the biggest challenge for small businesses over the past two years?
The biggest challenge for small businesses is that they haven’t been heard.
They’ve been whacked around like nothing else the last two years, and need every bit of support, celebration, and empathy to make sure they bounce back even stronger.
Q2. We are so excited to be partnering with ‘Survive & Thrive’ - tell us what inspired you to create this video series?
At Mentored, we’ve always shared the stories of Aussie businesses great and small, new and old. Survive & Thrive is a first for us, expanding beyond our normal domain of podcasts, into producing an original, long-form series that at its core; is about helping businesses go from where they are, to where they want to go to next.
To get there, they can’t keep doing what they’ve always done. They need to take off the blinders and identify and address what’s blocking them.
It’s about showcasing the stories of Australian entrepreneurs and trying to help them figure out for themselves, what’s their barrier to going to the next level, and what’s going to get them past that.
There are hundreds of thousands of good, solid businesses out there in this great country of ours. But we never really talk about them.
We’re always talking about the Apple’s or the Atlassians of the world, and not talking enough about those businesses that are integral parts of their community, have put up with some of the toughest business environments these last two years, and despite that, have the potential to be even better.
That’s what Survive & Thrive is all about.
Q3. In the first episode, you speak to Rhys Gordon, a tattoo artist from Surry Hills, in Sydney, about planning a ‘hackathon’. Can you explain what that is and why it’s so important?
Rhys has got a great business, but even great businesses need to bring their people together and “hack” through what’s going on.
A “hackathon” is pretty simple. It’s a structured time for all the stakeholders in your business to come together and solve problems, generate ideas, and most importantly, give energy and forward momentum to your business. By the way, I really mean all stakeholders, not just your business partners or your employees. Involve some of your customers, your suppliers. The more points of view, the less blind spots.
The critical thing with putting on a hackathon, is that you must create the right environment for people to feel comfortable saying what’s really on their mind. You can’t be talking over people or dismissing their ideas. If you don’t create an environment conducive to collaboration, then you may as well call it off.
There’s hundreds of thousands of business owners out there who’ve done well for themselves. They’ve built up something to be proud of, but they just might’ve hit a wall.
Q4. What are your ‘top tips’ to help small businesses thrive in 2022?
To thrive in today’s world, you’ve got to get your story out there. You’ve got to be active and vocal in your community - both the local, and the global one.
Be more honest and open with your communications. Share the heartbreak, shout the wins loudly and proudly. Do that, do it prolifically, and that’s the most important thing you can do to help your business thrive in 2022.
Q5. With everything going on in the world, how can insurance play a role and help Aussie businesses?
Well, the only predictable thing these days is unpredictability. Cliche as it is to say, it’s right.
You’ve got to play defensively in business and part of that is making sure that you’re insured against the things that could put your business out of action.
Ask yourself, what is the most likely way that I’ll go out of business in the next year? It’s a tough question, but it’s better to know the answer to it beforehand than have it realised for you. Prepare for the worst outcomes, actually plan for them to happen, and take every action to mitigate them.
Season One of Survive & Thrive launches Wednesday 2nd February at 6pm on Mark Bouris’ YouTube Channel. From hairdressers to tradies to retailers, hospitality and more - make sure you’re covered with NRMA Small Business Insurance.