Issue 20 May 2014
Economic Development update
Welcome to the May edition of Connect, your business development newsletter. I have had a number of conversations with business owners and received some great feedback recently. This edition, as a result of those conversations focuses on some practical ways to grow your business. We have strengthened our focus on training and workshops for the remainder of the financial year and hope that you take advantage of the information and knowledge to help support you in your business.
This edition also includes, for the first time a celebration of entrepreneurs that have chosen Moonee Valley as the perfect place to open a business. As one of our new business owners suggests ‘Moonee Valley has a wonderful soul’. This, along with the vibrant shopping precincts and amazing parks and gardens make Moonee Valley a great place to live and work - where else would you want to do business?
Events such as the recent Women in Business celebration, confirm that Moonee Valley is leading the way for local business. With over 320 people attending, the networking and collaboration on the day, with the inspiration of Jane Caro’s journey made the event a huge success. It is a reminder that our business community is connected and willing to work together.
I hope you enjoy this latest edition and look forward to seeing you at the Business Gala event on Friday 25 July, 2014 for another opportunity to work together.
Cr Jan Chantry
Mayor Moonee Valley City Council
Plans announced to support businesses in Airport West
On Wednesday, 19 March, the Minister for Planning, the Hon. Matthew Guy MLC, along with representatives from the Metropolitan Planning Authority, Essendon Fields and Council, launched a vision for an urban renewal precinct -Essendon Fields and Airport West Employment Precinct.
At the launch, the Mayor highlighted the significance of this plan to the City, attracting more jobs and economic activity, along with the rejuvenation of Matthews Avenue. To support the plan, Council will provide guidance through the Economic Development Strategy and Airport West Structure Plan.
The initiative is a great example of how different levels of government can work together with business and the community to achieve positive outcomes that will benefit many families, both locally and in the north west of Melbourne.
To view the video ‘A vision for Essendon Fields and Airport West’ visit our YouTube channel Youtube.com/mooneevalleycc
For more information email or phone 9243 8866.
Women in Business Wrap Up
The annual Women in Business lunch was recently celebrated by our business community with the wonderfully entertaining and very wise Jane Caro as guest speaker. Over 320 people attended the event at Flemington and apart from all the fabulous networking that was going on in the room, Jane provided us with some thought provoking words and lessons that she has learned along the way.
For those that missed it here’s a few of Jane’s tops tips...
- Grow or shrink – you can’t stand still.
- Men and women are of equal value – not the same but just as valuable.
- Energy is everything – success is a reward not a goal .
- People like you for your weaknesses, it’s your strengths they can’t stand.
- Give as good as you get.
- Say YES to everything!
The event lived up to its reputation as an excellent opportunity for local business owners to network, make new contacts, enjoy lunch and share some laughs. Don’t forget our next business event is on July 25th, so don’t miss out book your tickets today!
Getting your business mobile ready
Wednesday 18 June, 11am – 1pm
Moonee Valley City Council
View what your website looks like to mobile users and compare with a mobile friendly site. In this workshop you will learn:
- the key features of mobile ready websites
- how to install and use Google Analytics to review the impact of mobile traffic
- create and use QR codes
- how to leverage from social media traffic.
Operating an online business
Wednesday 16 July, 11am – 1pm
Moonee Valley City Council
This workshop will give you the tools and tips to effectively operate your online business and develop your website. It will focus on the practical aspects such as shopping cart, payment processing and shipping as well as using social media and hosting for marketing.
This workshop is aimed at home and micro businesses. For bookings visit mvcc.vic.gov.au/businessevents
Save the date
Gala Business Lunch
Friday, 25 July
12 noon – 2.30pm
The Peak, Flemington – The Event Centre
How to grow your business
Ever wonder why some businesses are so successful and others fail? Is there a magic formula for success? Well here are our top 5 tips to help grow your business!
- Plan plan plan!
Planning is critical to the ongoing success of any business. Whether you are a sole trader operating a florist or the CEO of a large call centre, planning is a must. These should include business, marketing, risk management, succession and recovery plans to name just a few.
Plans should include strategies and actions to effectively manage your business and engage your target market. Ensure they are used and stay relevant and they don’t become door stoppers! Plans should evolve as the business grows. Don’t be overwhelmed by the task of planning, the value is in the thought and conversations, not elaborate documents.
The old saying still rings true for any business owner, “fail to plan = plan to fail”.
- Stay alert, stay up to date
Can you ever have too much information as a business owner? Some would argue in this day and age that operators are bombarded with too much information and sometimes the good stuff slips through the cracks.
Therefore it’s really important that you know what is going on in your industry. A number of ways to do this are:
- stay abreast of current issues and developments
- monitor trends in your sector
- attend conferences/seminars/workshops
- sign up to industry specific newsletters
- undertake research
- get on social media forums liked LinkedIn groups.
In this current economic climate it’s important to keep one step ahead of your competitors. One way to do this and grow your business is to continually improve through innovation.
Think outside the square, look for ways to diversify your product. Whilst there is something to be said about not reinventing the wheel, originality is a great way to attract and retain customers and give you that competitive edge.
And in the wise words of our recent Women in Business guest speaker Jane Caro, ‘we live in an era where we are very much about trying to avoid failure instead of trying to seek success – you can’t control the world so take risks!
- People power
Ever heard that saying ‘you’re only as good as your weakest link’? That definitely applies when it comes to your staff. Many believe that staff are your number one asset.
Finding and retaining great staff is also critical to your business success and growth.
Recruit a great team. Look for a great attitude, it’s undoubtedly the most important feature a staff member can possess, you can always train and up skill people, but it’s much harder to teach them to smile!
Invest in your people, develop them both personally and professionally and the rewards will come back two fold to your business. Take them on the journey with you, empower them so that your business is the ultimate winner.
- Know your point of difference
Point of difference (POD), is a typical marketing term often referred to by marketers in strategies and plans, but understanding them as a business owner is another critical success factor to ensure your business growth.
Put simply, it’s all about differentiation. What edge does your business have over others?
Firstly, you must work out what is your POD? Do you even have one? There are many angles to choose when working out your POD.
Examples of a possible angle for your POD could be technology, customer experience, award winning, unique story, first of its kind, accessibility, cultural, instructional, value add or sustainable.
Many large companies are well known for their POD, but you too can create your own POD based on their principles. Some great examples of clear, consistent and repetitive reinforcement of their POD are:Business / POD / Example
Hungry Jacks / Quality / The burgers are better at Hungry Jacks
IGA / Local / How the locals like it
AAMI / Customer experience / Guarantee to speak to a person on the first call
APIA / Niche market / Only for the over 55’s
Bunnings / Price / Lowest prices guaranteed
VISA / Accessibility / Acceptability and convenience everywhere
So, how does that translate to a small business? A great example is of the local women’s retailer in a local shopping precinct. She needed something unique to her business to make her stand out. So apart from great service, employing a visual merchandiser to dress her windows regularly and exclusive VIP nights, her POD is that she offers free alterations to any garment purchased at her shop. This is highlighted in the store and online and repeated throughout all her marketing campaigns. And let me tell you she is on a winner!
Don’t forget - market your POD simply, consistently and as frequently as possible.
Break out box:
Moonee Valley is a great place to do business
Our population is growing and is currently around 118,000. It is expected to increase by around 14 per cent to 135,000 in 2031. By far the greatest growth by suburb over this time is expected to be in Moonee Ponds, followed by Avondale Heights and Essendon-Essendon North. This presents an exciting opportunity for businesses to tap into the growing customer base.
Did you know health care and social assistance, professional services and retail are our biggest employers? (This info is based on resident surveys not employers).
Look out for opportunities in these industries to grow your business.
For more information vist:
Supporting New Businesses in Moonee Valley
1057 Mt Alexander Rd Essendon 3040
Boccone is a one of a kind gourmet foodstore and cafe situated in the North Essendon shopping strip. The owners were attracted to the lively, diverse, ‘community feel’ of the area to establish their fresh approach to food and retailing.
Boccone is overflowing with gourmet delights such as artisan cheeses and smallgoods, speciality groceries, gifting and boutique wine and beers. It also offers a contemporary breakfast and lunch menu through the owners’ philosophy of honest food and market produce availability. The batch roasted coffee, from one of Melbourne’s oldest roasters, Cottle Coffee, is a must!
Boccone’s owner, Peter, sees his main challenge as maintaining the high level of quality and consistency in all aspects while continuing to refine the concept and grow the business.
Level 1, 10 Margaret St Moonee Ponds 3039
New Moonee Ponds local, Sheena Vaughan, is also a new local small business owner! Sheena’s love of the area, its shopping, dining and “wonderful soul” attracted her to open Qi Medicine in Margaret Street.
Qi Medicine provides specialised treatments in facial rejuvenation and cosmetic acupuncture. It offers women (and men) a completely natural, painless and effective way to look and feel younger. Sheena has many years of experience in traditional medicine, including having worked in China to further hone her skills.
Qi Medicine is achieving great results for its customers and Sheena sees her future in Moonee Ponds, in a larger studio, to keep up with the demand for this specialty treatment!
48 Wingara Avenue Keilor East 3033
Unwind Cafe is like stepping back in time, a place to have a cuppa with like-minded people, enjoy home baked food and make or buy handmade items - it is a place to be inspired and unwind!
As a lover of craft, owner Robyn, wanted to offer quality handmade goods for people looking for something different from the mass produced whilst at the same time supporting local designers and businesses such as Bendigo Woollen Mills.
Quality and individuality are key words when describing what Unwind has to offer. Robyn sees her opportunities in people wanting to connect in meaningful ways. At Unwind they can meet friends for a coffee, learn new skills, feed their creativity, support local and build new friendships! Robyn hopes to see more Unwind Craft cafes tucked away in local neighbourhoods in the future!
If you are an new business in Moonee Valley and would like to tell us why you chose this great city please email us at
Council news in brief
Are you maximising your trading space? A permit to trade on the footpath can help you grow your business by allowing you to use footpaths and public spaces for commercial and advertising purposes. This includes tables and chairs for customers to use outside or displaying advertising, menu boards and even interactive sculptures and stands so people stop in front of your shop.
If you would like to take advantage of this policy, you must apply for a Footpath Trading Permit. Permits are renewed annually on 30 June each year.
2014/15 draft Council budget
In the draft budget, Council has allocated $385,000 for upgrading and improving shopping strips, including $80,000 on improvements to the smaller business precincts. These changes aim to enhance existing streetscapes and improve business outcomes. Look out for opportunities to get involved.
For more information or to view the budget document visit mvcc.vic.gov.au/budget
Building a learning community!
Council is looking for business representatives to get involved with the Learning Community Board. The board supports and encourages different styles of learning within the community leading to increased employment opportunities.
The board is an independent committee of leading practitioners from the community, government, education and business sectors. To participate or for further information email or contact Council’s Community Support and Development Officer on 9243 8888.
Moonee Valley is a community committed to lifelong learning!
Calendar of Events
Wednesday 28Get Found in Google6pm-8pmFree
Thursday 22Small Business Mentoring10.30am-2.45pmFree
Wednesday 18Getting your business mobile ready 11am–1pm$20
Thursday 26Small Business Mentoring10.30am-2.45pmFree
Wednesday 16Operating an online business10am – 1pm$20
Thursday 24Small Business Mentoring10.30am-2.45pmFree
Friday 25Gala Business Lunch12noon–2.30pm$79
Wednesday 6Business growth blueprint6pm-9pmFree
Thursday 21Small Business Mentoring 10.30am-2.45pmFree
Wednesday 27Marketing Basics11am – 1pm$20
Thursday 25Small Business Mentoring10.30am-2.45pmFree
Tuesday 14Visual merchandising6pm - 8pm$10
Thursday 23Small Business Mentoring10.30am-2.45pmFree
To book any of the above workshops or events visit mvcc.vic.gov.au/businessevents. For more information email or phone 9243 8866