It’s always a good indicator of a business program‘s viability and success when the ‘trainee’ soon becomes the ‘trainer’. Such was the case with Cloverdale’s Sarah Lynch who, soon after participating in webinars offered through the Belmont Business Enterprise Centre (BEC), was conducting her own HR-related workshops to other clients affiliated with the BEC.
As an HR Virtual Assistant (or VA), Lynch provides outsourced Human Resources management and consultancy services to small- and medium-sized businesses in Australia. With the ‘virtual’ component of services offered via phone, fax, and Internet-based technology, these highly-trained entrepreneurs provide a casual-use Human Resources consultancy service on an as-needed basis.
As noted on her website, a VA “provides extra support to your business when you most need it, and eliminates downtime when the workload is less.” From enterprise agreements and employment contracts, to performance management and ‘exit interviews’, she’s essentially there to reduce stress, protect cash flow, and eliminate administrative hassles.
Government-backed programs have more to offer small businesses than money alone
Initially, the business had been funded by income from her husband’s job, but they found it was “starting to become a significant drain on our resources.” After contacting the Australia Business Financing Centre, she was steered towards the BEC, a non-profit community based organisation that assists in the growth and development of small business. Known for their “one stop shop, low-cost advisory services”, the BEC provides small business support by way of mentoring, networking, a helpline, legal and accounting services, preparation of marketing and business plans, guidance on loan and banking products, extensive series of workshop topics, and national referrals. Partially funded by the Australian government, sponsors, supporters, and volunteers, Belmont BEC is just one of a network of 130+ small business assistance centres across the country.
With an initial interest in attending BEC workshops on developing a business plan and cash flow management, Lynch went on to utilise the services of their affiliated Employment Law specialist. “I would recommend to anyone to go to their local BEC, because the services they provide are invaluable to new business owners. Since contacting them, my business has grown steadily.”
Whether it be karma, returning the favour, or things simply coming full-circle, she’s now in the position to offer her own business guidance and support to new hopefuls. Along with being a regular at BEC “Ask an Expert” sundowners (networking events for small business owners, management, and staff to develop new business contacts, promote their business, and find potential new customers), she’s currently running similar webinars for Welshpool BEC.
Her business also happens to be a new sponsor of the Belmont Small Business Awards, one of the many well-known projects and programs that have benefited BEC clients since its inception in 1994.