Imagine if your working life involved spending your whole day indulging in what you love. For Tom Irvine-Brown, that dream became a reality when he turned his passion for skateboarding into a viable business, Abfract Skateboards.
To assist his business to be profitable, Tom sought support from the Australian Government’s Workforce Australia Self Employment Assistance program. BUSY At Work is contracted to deliver the fully funded program in North Queensland and Sunshine Coast regions. Under this no-cost program, which involves individualised training and coaching support, participants can:
- Learn about and consider being self-employed;
- Work on a business idea and assess its commercial potential;
- Develop a business plan;
- Get a business up and running;
- Adjust their existing business to keep it viable.
Tom’s former career was in nursing before he began working on turning his love for skateboarding into a business. As Tom puts it, “Abfract Skateboards started as a passion, I live and breathe it. Abfract Skateboards – it’s a ‘skateway’ drug!
“Coming from a background of nursing and not selling, the biggest challenge was building the confidence to sell something.”
Like Tom, many small business owners are not necessarily sales or business savvy, they simply believe in their product or service.
Andy Jeffrey, Small Business Coordinator at BUSY At Work, worked one-on-one as a coach for Tom to increase his sales confidence as well as increasing profitability in the business by exploring different sales avenues.
Tom said of the program, “The support I receive from BUSY At Work is positive mentorship and information regarding things that were unanswered for myself in terms of small business. It got to this point where I was like, that’s as much as I know!”
Andy said, “It’s so rewarding taking people from a business idea to a successful, commercially profitable business that just improves their lives, the lives of their families – and the community.
“Sometimes when you start out on your own, it’s tricky when it’s just you and you need someone to bounce ideas off, someone to share the journey with. If you’re someone who is interested in starting your own business, give us a call – we’d love to help you too!”
As for Tom, “I need to skate at the end of the day to say, ‘days over’! Breeze in my face, yeah, that’s the best part!”
Find out more about Self Employment Assistance program.
Watch more about Tom’s experience with the Self Employment Assistance program.