Allianz Australia took some time to speak with a couple of Aussie businesses that are ‘doing it for themselves’. The owner-operators of Naturally Gifted spoke with us about what it’s like running a micro-business.
Businesses that choose to create and provide locally made or locally sold products and services continue to shape not only the Australian economy but also the Australian way of life. Whether it’s the freshly made jam sold at the farmers market that’s sourced from locally grown fruits, or the hand-made jewellery boutique selling to customers in their area, this vibrant community of micro- and small businesses rely on home grown products and home based markets to boost their sales.
With an environmental focus, Naturally Gifted is a 100% Australian owned company, run by the daughter and father team, Justine and Paul Rudston-Brown. Based in Lisarow, NSW, they sell a large range of gift hampers for the environmentally friendly and socially conscious consumer through their website. Their commitment to reducing the ‘food miles’ travelled between supplier and seller is part of the company’s vision to support local business and reduce their carbon footprint. As part of this, they source many of the products that they use in their hampers from local farmers markets and communities.
Naturally Gifted sources many of the products that they use in their hampers from local farmers markets and communities.
Justine and Paul took over the business in mid-2013 and have since then encountered various difficulties with a good dose of success too. Speaking with Paul, he said that a key requirement of their business’ success was the ability and willingness to be flexible – even if it means they’re packing gift hampers at midnight. Maintaining the business has taken a lot of perseverance but it’s worth it. He says that they ‘source their products from excellent small suppliers of locally grown food and wine’ and that these networks within the industry have been an excellent source of support and wisdom. Plus, there are the loyal customers who religiously use their service, especially within the telecommunications and legal industries.
They’ve faced a few challenges along the way; Paul highlights administrative and legislative costs as being greatly prohibitive to fledgling micro-businesses. Online marketing has also presented challenges; particularly, in relation to search rankings and expanding their online presence. This year they’ll be focusing on building upon their domestic corporate presence instead of relying solely on direct-to-consumer sales.
Protect your business
There are many challenges in launching and running a small business in Australia, not least of which is protecting your enterprise against the unexpected. Allianz Small Business Insurance offers a range of covers that do just that. Public and Products Liability insurance can protect your business from financial loss stemming from third party personal injury or property damage claims. Allianz cover for risks like Material Damage, Glass, Money, General Property and Theft can get your business back on track if accidental damage, vandalism or theft of contents, stock or money occurs. In addition, Business Interruption cover can prevent revenue loss when your business operation is interrupted unexpectedly. Personal Accident cover is there to reduce the impact on your business if you or an employee has an accident and are nominated as an insured person on the policy schedule.
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Naturally Gifted are an Australian small businesses making a name for themselves both here and abroad. These stories can help to inspire any Australian small business owner wanting to make their mark as well