In a recent survey of 1,083 small and medium sized businesses commissioned today by The Entourage, 22 per cent of business owners reported increasing their revenue and profit during Covid-19 despite onerous restrictions imposed by both the federal and state governments since March 2020.
While many business owners have stayed afloat through a combination of fiscal, monetary and spending stimulus, some business owners have shunned the handouts and gone the other way.
Of the winners during the pandemic, one fifth of business owners accelerated their top-line performance by 20 per cent. The secrets to their success are not immediately obvious, but there is some commonality that ties their success stories together.
“It’s not a case of gloom everywhere,” says Jack Delosa, founder of The Entourage, a network of over 40,000 Australian business owners.
“The winners in Covid have either found new markets or pivoted into ancillary opportunities."
Chris Betuccio, Shiran Faast and Scott McLaren are all business owners in the entrepreneur network The Entourage. Regular coaching has helped each of them overcome Covid challenges.
“We moved our entire chocolate shop online in just two days, and within 30 days we had made $80,000 in online sales,” says Bertuccio, who owns boutique chocolate patisserie Coco88.
Fellow entrepreneur Faast says “We should have had our worst months ever, but ended up having our best. We tripled our revenue in a single month and did $450,000 in April alone. That was the same month we shut the doors to our shop and moved everything online.”
Faast owns a hydroponics retailer Aqua Gardening that has capitalised on the trend of Aussies spending more time at home.
Both entrepreneurs receive mentoring and coaching via The Entourage which connects SME owners with mentors that can assist them to overcome significant challenges.
“I secured my single biggest contract worth $150,000 during Covid, but I wouldn’t have thought to go after that specific opportunity if I wasn’t pushed in the right direction,” says McLaren, owner of Scott Electrics.
“The impact of the coronavirus-induced recession has been very uneven,” says Delosa.
“But you can’t be afraid to ask for help if you can’t see an obvious solution. Our members confide regularly in our panel of 27 mentors on matters like setting up online, rationalising costs or understanding new trends in consumer preferences instigated by Covid. Learning new hacks have allowed some of our members to break through 7 and 8 figures of revenue."