Persistence and quality at core of Australian entrepreneurial success

Media Release, 19 March 2013
With entries closing in two weeks for the Telstra Australian Business Awards, former winners are urging Australian businesses to get their submissions in before the deadline of April 4.
This year, for the second time only, the awards will include a Start-Up Award category which recognises the dedication, enthusiasm and business nous of Australian entrepreneurs and business visionaries.
The winner of the 2007 Telstra Australian Business of Year,Pam Brook, co-founder with husband Martin of macadamia products manufacturing company Brookfarm, advises award hopefuls that managing business performance without compromising quality is one of the toughest lessons for entrepreneurs.
“When we started in 1999, we were entirely new to the food industry, let alone manufacturing. From the outset we were persistent and totally focused on quality every day, in everything we do. It has been essential to our success.”
Brookfarm was the first food manufacturing company to win the prestigious award and six years later supplies product to the independent retail sector, foodservice industry, airlines throughout Australia and exports to the US, Europe, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand and Dubai.
“Initially we thought it would take just six months to have our product on the shelves but it took more than two years of intensive research and development – baking and testing – before launching our first mueslis,” Mrs Brook said.
“We’re always investing in technology to improve our products. Our philosophy was, and still is, it’s not enough to produce healthy products, you have to taste the difference. We make everything ourselves in our factory in Byron Bay, so as macadamia farmers we actually take our products from the paddock to the plate.”
Will Irving, Telstra Business Group Managing Director and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, said the awards provide an opportunity to celebrate and reward the entrepreneurialism and leadership that is vital to the Australian economy.
“The Telstra Australian Business Awards recognise those business founders and leaders who have turned ideas into a commercial success. The awards are also instrumental in growing and establishing sustainable businesses by providing each entrant with an individual Business Health Check report that evaluates their performance against international benchmarks.
“From start-ups to well established businesses, Aussie business founders are creating jobs, driving economic value in local communities and taking their expertise and innovations to the world.
“In fact, since 1993 eight out of the 20 national Telstra Businesses of the Year winners have proved to be so attractive that they have been acquired by larger businesses,” he said.
Mrs Brook said approaching problems with a ‘can-do’ attitude sets entrepreneurs apart in the competitive business landscape. “Success comes through developing your skills as you grow and doesn’t happen overnight. Embrace the challenges that are thrown at you and create the solutions to make your business grow,” she said.
The 2013 Telstra Australian Business Awardshave five award categories including the Start-Up Award, Micro-Business Award, Small Business Award, Medium Business Award and the Regional Award. State and territory winners will go on to the national awards in Sydney on 22 August 2013 where the 2013 Telstra Australian Business of the Year will be announced.