Brad Flynn started Business Mentored in 2010. He has extensive business experience, having started a gym himself and consulted on large projects as a consulting electrical engineer for the Australian Olympic Coordination Authority. Brad’s aim for Business Mentored was to draw on his experiences to assist others with their businesses and help them avoid the mistakes he made early on.
Business Mentored offers a range of business consulting services to businesses with a turnover from $500,000 to over $2million. The advice and services are tailored to be immediately applicable and useful to clients, who represent a range of industries from contractors to health and professional service providers. Brad has a passion for enabling small business owners to succeed and serves as the President of the Redcliffe Chamber of Commerce.
At the start of 2020, Business Mentored was well-positioned for organic growth, with ten potential new clients and three employees assisting Brad with administration, video content editing, and marketing. Brad was also in the process of developing a new online cash management analysis tool which had received very positive feedback from initial trials.
Business Mentored’s clients were severely affected by fall out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brad said he spent the first few days after restrictions were announced “talking people off the ledge”. Some of his clients did not have the resources to weather such a crisis, so Brad lost 20 per cent of his business and found himself in the unenviable position of needing to lay off his staff.
Brad responded to the COVID-19 challenges by adapting the way Business Mentored provided services to clients and took a leaf out of his own book by going back to basics and scrutinising his own business, to find ways to increase cash flow. As he was able to implement these approaches in his own business, he had more credibility when working with his clients, having an understanding of what they were going through.
One of the first changes Brad made was to introduce online mentoring sessions. This represented a shift in service delivery, as business mentoring typically occurs face-to-face. But as business online became ‘normal’, Brad’s clients accepted the change easily. Brad also developed daily video content which related his personal experience of COVID to viewers.
Brad then focused his attention on refining and improving the online cash management analysis tool, he had worked on previously. He expanded the areas of analysis to 17 with a final report that summarises the positive cash flow each intervention strategy would generate, thereby allowing businesses to utilise their resources more effectively. For example, one client with revenue of just over $300,000 was able to identify over $100,000 in additional profit by applying the suggested strategies.
For most of his business clients, a key consideration was the wellbeing of their staff. As small business owners often view employees as part of their business family, “the focus became ‘how can we keep the team together?’” explains Brad. Other concerns were cost saving measures such as reviewing rental agreements and entering into reduced loan payment arrangements.
During the COVID pandemic, Brad also wrote two short books: Find Your Cash and Find Your Ideal Employee. These books focus on the two areas most small business owners find challenging. The books were advertised on Facebook where they sold 50 copies in two days of being released.
Brad plans to continue expanding the topics he will cover in future books. Forthcoming titles include Find your time, Find your sales niche, and Find your way. These will reflect Brad’s experience and knowledge of time management, identifying revenue generation opportunities and helping business owners to ask relevant questions to improve their businesses. Business Mentored will continue to build on delivering support and mentoring to clients through digital means. This will enable Brad to help more owners more efficiently, compared to traditional mentoring approaches which tend to rely heavily on face-to-face meetings.