Building relationships key to small business success

Friday 22 Sep 2017

Small businesses from across the Central West were enthusiastic participants in a workshop today, conducted by CenWest Innovate, a partnership program supported by the NSW Department of Industry and Charles Sturt University (CSU).

According to workshop facilitator and academic at CSU, Dr Sharon Schoenmaker, CSU is well placed to share its research and knowledge with small businesses across the central west.

Dr Schoenmaker stressed the importance of developing communications strategies to build stronger relationships with customers.

"Having a robust means of engaging with customers in both online and offline communications is crucial to leveraging beneficial relationships," said Dr Schoenmaker.

"Today's workshop is part of a wider program, the Next Stage Growth Program, which has been designed to support local businesses in the various aspects of running a business.

"This is a great opportunity to use university research to benefit local businesses, hopefully make them more successful, and bring benefits to the local economy."

The workshop focussed on developing fundamental skillssuch as conducting research, identifying opportunities and engaging and communicating with stakeholders.

"Research shows, and what many businesses also understand, is that strong relationships with customers and other key stakeholders are the hallmark of successful organisations and allow businesses to grow and expand.  Knowledge of how to build strong relationships, and to utilise all the technology and platforms available to do this, are critical skills all businesses need to develop - regardless of their size or industry," Dr Schoenmaker said.

CenWest Innovate aims to support the development of entrepreneurship, innovation and small business management capacity in the Central West and also supports institutions and organisations through developing programs to build and grow start-ups and further develop growth-focused small businesses.

Christine SweeneyChristine Sweeney, Program Coordinator of CenWest Innovate said the program is designed to build existing businesses that are already sustainable but also want to expand further. 

"It's been fantastic to have a good number of small businesses participate in the workshop today and hope they gained some helpful insights to encourage further growth.

"We think the Next Stage Growth Program is a very exciting opportunity and we are encouraging more local businesses to sign up and join us for future programs," Ms Sweeney said.


Media contact: Wes Ward, 0417 125 795

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Schoenmaker and Ms Sweeney, both based in Bathurst.