Guest: Bronwyn Reid
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Bronwyn Reid, a business owner and entrepreneur, joins Business Radio Talkers.FM host Wayne Bucklar to talk about her new book, Small Company, Big Business, where she offers insights on how small companies can successfully work with big companies and prepare themselves to meet the expectations of big companies. She emphasizes that although there are many opportunities for small businesses, it’s not easy for them to deal with big businesses.
Bio: Bronwyn Reid is a small business owner and serial entrepreneur whose driver is small business success in regional areas. She has successfully started and run two award-winning businesses from regional Queensland. Her latest venture, Small Company, Big Business, is her third. For most small business owners, landing that first contract with a big buyer is the spark for real business growth, but getting there isn’t always easy. Bronwyn’s businesses have been supplying to national and international companies and all levels of Government for almost 20 years, so she has brought all her experience of attracting, winning and retaining work with these large organization together in new book, Small Company, Big Business.
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM. My name is Wayne Bucklar and today, Bronwyn joins us from Emerald in Central Queensland, roughly the same distance from the coast as it is from the Northern Territory border. Bronwyn, welcome to show.
Bronwyn Reid: Welcome, I’m really happy to be here Wayne.
Wayne: Now Bronwyn, you describe yourself as a serial entrepreneur and you’re in business in Regional Queensland, tell us what it is that you do and who you do it for?
Bronwyn: Okay Wayne. Yes, I’m a regional person, I was brought up in a regional area so that’s been my background. So we have an environmental consultancy based in Emerald, Central Queensland. And what we do is we help any person who’s in charge of a potentially environmentally damaging situation to get production from our natural resources that we need to live on this earth but with the least environmental damage that we can manage. Now we’ve been doing that for 21 years, we turned 21 on 22nd of May. But out of that business, I’ve now grown a second a business, that’s why I called myself a serial entrepreneur and there’s another one sitting in the background there as well Wayne. So the whole time in our environmental business, we’ve been working with large companies, multinational mining companies, multinational oil and gas companies, international research organisations, governments. And this particular dynamic about small companies dealing with big companies, it’s not always happy I have to say. So what I’ve done now is I’ve written a book about that interface and how a small company can successfully work with big companies and get themselves ready to deal with them and be prepared and have the capacity to make those big company expectations. So I’ve written my book, I launched it last October and I’ve created a 6-month program to help small businesses around that and that’s my new business.
Wayne: Now that’s a real niche but I think a very real need as well given that we’re in this kind of big economy age where it’s courtesy the internet, perfectly possible to be in Central Queensland or Central Asia and run businesses that need to interact with big businesses. And you’re quite right, it is often when you dance with elephants, even if they’re well-intentioned elephants, you get squashed.
Bronwyn: Absolutely and there’s so many opportunities for small businesses Wayne like they really are as you’ve correctly pointed out. I mean everybody now has a factory in their pocket as one of my business mentor says. And once you’ve got a smart phone in their pocket, so it’s very, very easy to do business anywhere in the world. But dealing with big businesses is not always easy as you said, you can sometimes get trampled in the process. And a lot of small business owners just walk away from really, really good opportunities because they perceived it’s just too hard, there’s too many requirements, there’s too many procedures, there’s too many this, there’s too many that and they just walk away from incredible opportunities.
Wayne: And of course, I think sometimes the big businesses have problems as well that even if they want to work with small businesses, I know the government has whole divisions aimed at being able to deal and interact with small business. So I don’t think it’s easy for either side, so I think you picked a perfect gap.
Bronwyn: You are absolutely right Wayne and I’ve always said that my target market is not just the small business owners who want to make that leap up to real business growth by taking on a big contract, but it’s also the other side of the transaction. And when I started researching for my book, I did lots of reading, internet research, academic research and I basically came up with the fact that there’s three problems that are experienced by both but both of them are looking at it from a different angle. So you get this disconnect in the middle and that’s what I’m trying to do now.
Wayne: Bronwyn, if you were to look down the magic of technology and be able to to see our audience, they’re kind of in their 40s and run small or medium businesses. What makes them a perfect client for you?
Bronwyn: They are running a reasonably matured business, they’re not a startup. So they’re looking for that next stage of growth Wayne, they’ve moved out of the little startup entrepreneur, solopreneur space, they’ve got a good market, they’ve got a good business and really looking for some new opportunities and really they are prepared to do the work that’s necessary on their business to take that next step.
Wayne: Yes. And I’m assuming the way you say work like that, it’s not a minor thing either.
Bronwyn: I don’t think it is. The first thing that happens is the small business owners that’s been dealing down in the solopreneur space generally of course, there’s always exceptions. They need to change their mindset if they’re going to step into that real growth curve. They have to think about their business differently and they also have to understand their big clients because they don’t think the same way as we as small business do, definitely not.
Wayne: Yes. The changing mindsets it’s not always the easiest thing to do I guess.
Bronwyn: No, that’s why I say the business owners who are prepared to put some work in on their business and undertake even some more learning and educating themselves. I know myself, I’m not a digital native, I had to myself on an enormous learning curve with this whole internet, social media, LinkedIn, Twitter, everything, but I did it and now I’m reaping the benefits of it.
Wayne: Now Bronwyn, given that you’re from Regional Queensland and you’re living back in Regional Queensland, do you think that there are difficulties in setting our business in regional Queensland that can’t be overcome with the information age? Or do you think this is a huge opportunity waiting for people to realise that there will be a number of people to take it up?
Bronwyn: A little bit of both Wayne. We are obviously still constrained in the regions in any country by the speed of our internet connections and that is a serious issue for so many people in rural region and around Australia. But apart from that, absolutely no issue at all. I’ve chosen my niche of small companies dealing with big companies. Now I can service that niche from anywhere in the world and now I’m doing some work with the company in London at the moment and the fact that I live in Central Queensland is of no issue at all.
Wayne: It’s an intriguing lesson and I think there’ll be a lot more people follow you as you say bandwidth is an issue and in Australia with therein be an adventure over the last few years, it hasn’t been a sterling example of wonderful IT management I’m afraid. But I keep having hope it will get better.
Bronwyn: Don’t we all Wayne, don’t we all?
Wayne: Bronwyn, there’ll be people out there listening to you today saying, “That Bronwyn Reid lady, she’s a smart lady, I need some more of her.” How can people reach out to you?
Bronwyn: Very easy, just by my website is the easiest which is just bronwynreid.com.au. They can pick up the spelling of Bronwyn Reid from the interview and from your website. If you go there, you find out all about me and there is also connections from that website to the Small Company Big Business website which is the name of my book and name of the small business program.
Wayne: So if you’re interested dear listener, head off and you’ll find links to the book and links to Bronwyn’s stuff available on her website. Bronwyn, thank you for being with us today. I appreciate your time.
Bronwyn: It’s been absolute pleasure Wayne.
Wayne: If you just joined us on Business Radio Talkers.FM, then you’ve just missed my conversation with Bronwyn Reid. Bronwyn is a small business owner, a serial entrepreneur, and a recent author and starting her second business in Emerald in Central Queensland and has a third in the pipeline coming along soon but we’ll talk about that another day. But I have good news, you haven’t missed all the interview because on our website, we have a transcript where you can read what Bronwyn had to say. But if you’re a listener and not a reader and I guess you are given this is radio, then you can find an audio archive on YouTube, SoundCloud and iTunes that you can treat like a little mini podcast. You can download it and listen to it over and over again if you wish. If you are listening to us on social media, please remember all those buttons down the bottom of the window – the frowns, the smiley faces, the thumbs up, the likes, and the shares, the subscribe button. We appreciate knowing you’re there, we appreciate knowing when you love us and hater us, so click some of those buttons for us. And if you’ve got questions either for Bronwyn or for the station, just pop them into the comment section on any of the social media channels where you see us, we’ll monitor them all and we’ll either pass them on to Bronwyn or we’ll get back to you ourselves if it’s about the station. You’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM, my name is Wayne Bucklar and don’t forget, click the like button, I really need to know.