Smart business tips help the Saddle Camp

There were 13 young royals at the Saddle Camp on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, thanks to support services for small business offered by the Office of Regional Development.

Saddle Camp’s owner, Helen Faulkner, credits the idea to the retail expert who advised her as part of support services for local businesses run by the Office of Regional Development. She cannot speak highly enough of the support for local businesses they offer.

After providing her business details to the council after the merger, Mrs Faulkner began to receive emails inviting her to business seminars.

They seemed relevant, and were free, so she went along to check them out. In doing so she has been empowered and re-energised to plan and run her business. She’s even in the process of completing a Certificate IV in retail with her young staff through the workshops run by the council through the Office of Regional Development and the Australian Retailers Association Retail Institute.

“I just can’t get over how serious an effort QPRC put in,” Mrs Faulkner said. “They’re really serious and usable seminars that are being put on.”

The workshops have also helped her to provide training pathways for her young staff. With her employees Laura King and Sarah Hannaford, Mrs Faulkner is completing a Certificate IV in Retail Management, giving them a widely applicable qualification along with their experience working for her.

But, back to the royals. After advice from the retail experts, Mrs Faulkner realised she needed to run special events to attract customers and improve her planning lead times, so she could market her business more effectively.

The result? A weekend in which 13 girls enjoyed all things royal at the Saddle Camp site on Bombay Road.

The girls aged 7-13 participated in a special Queen’s Birthday Saddle Camp, in which every activity had a royal twist. They tried their hand at side-saddle riding, enjoyed a banquet and a royal show.

“It gave me a lot of confidence,” Mrs Faulkner said. Previously she had struggled to gain traction with her ideas, but the training equipped her to maximise opportunities for her business.

Courses have been run by the Office of Regional Development help equip those running small businesses locally, says Martin Darcy, QPRC’s manager of Economic Development and Business Liasion.

“It’s just about getting some expertise in,” Mr Darcy said. Courses run through the key topics that affect small businesses, with expert advice and real life examples. 

Programs are supported with funding from Smart and Skilled NSW.

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