Blue Mountains News
Sales Bloom For Blue Mountains Small Businesses Upskilling With TAFE NSW Training
Rising business costs and decreased customer demand are among the top concerns for small business owners in New South Wales, research from the NSW Small Business Commissioner finds.
Janette Forsyth, who owns Blue Mountains newsagency Blackheath News, Flowers and Gifts with her husband Doug, chose to study floristry at TAFE NSW to diversify her services and attract new customers by displaying eye-catching bouquets outside her shop. Her floral venture is incredibly successful and now drives a large portion of the business’ profits.
“For many years our clientele was a mix of local residents and tourists, but since offering floral bouquets, we’re enticing passing trade customers into our shop, too. We’ve found a sweet spot in the market, and many people now make regular visits to buy flowers when they’re driving between Sydney and Bathurst or Orange,” she said.
Mrs Forsyth’s floral services have been so successful she’s now offering wedding flower arrangements through a partnership with local wedding coordinator, NH Weddings.
“We just had our most successful Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day to date, and heading into spring, I’m hopeful our new ‘grab and go’ wedding services will expand our clientele further.
“Every good, modern newsagency is a diverse business that can pivot depending on the market. Not everything we’ve tried over 11 years of running our business has worked, but you have to give it a go, and the courses at TAFE NSW are a great way to try something new while still running your business.”
Mrs Forsyth completed a Certificate II in Floristry (Assistant) and Certificate III in Floristry at TAFE NSW Richmond where she was inspired to explore different types of arrangements like arbours and wreaths.
“The teachers at TAFE NSW gave me confidence in my ability and inspired me to get creative. I learnt the end-to-end process of purchasing, arranging and caring for flowers which has allowed me to seamlessly integrate these processes into my business.”
TAFE NSW Director of Supply Chain & eCommerce for Western Sydney, Barry Quine said small business owners could make the most of TAFE NSW courses to boost their skills and try something new.
“The hands-on nature of TAFE NSW courses can give small business owners and sole traders practical skills while connecting them with industry leading teachers and growing their confidence in their abilities, so they can successfully expand their services as soon as they graduate,” he said.
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