When Tessa Ambrose bit the bullet and set up her business, Central Vic Planning Consultants, she knew she would have a steep learning curve to overcome. To help people building their new home traverse the intricacies of the planning process and the bureaucracy that often bogs down the process, is not the easiest job in the world. Initially unsure if she was making the right move, a growing and appreciative clientele tells her that she certainly has.
Developing a small business is both exciting and scary, especially in a rural community and Tessa has had her share of those nights waking at 3am hoping the answer to a problem would appear on the ceiling. Those early days were challenging, especially operating as a ‘one-man band’ and when she transitioned from her home office to dedicated office space in the town she was prepared to run at a loss for awhile. However, by being willing to take the risk, she has been rewarded by an increase in business enabling the addition of two, part time assistants, something that Tessa finds gratifying as work in small towns isn’t always easy to find.
Being acutely aware that small businesses need to keep abreast of current trends and changes in legislation, Tessa ensures that she gains professional development through seminars and workshops with the view that as her business grows, so too will her knowledge base. Recently Tessa saw an ad for an online competition supporting small business with the major prize being a mentoring session with Janine Allis (pictured) founder of Boost Juice and panellist on the television program, Shark Tank. The competition was only offering 13 businesses the opportunity to take advantage of mentoring with Janine. As Tessa says “I thought, well someone has to win, so why not give it a go”, so she applied and won. It was a win well worth it said Tessa “Janine was very generous with her advice and to have confirmation that I was on the right track was very encouraging – her emphasis on customer service aligned with my core beliefs.” Tessa added “My time with Janine seemed to go so fast and of course I had a million questions come to mind after I left, but the time I did have with her was brilliant”.
Tessa has passed that critical point for small business that sees many fail within their first two years and she feels that she is now “happily chugging along”. Not content with driving her own business, she was instrumental in developing the successful Clunes Makers Market, along with other community projects, proving the old saying – ‘If you want something done, give it to a busy person’.