Kochie’s Business Builders is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary! To mark this happy milestone, we wanted to share some favourite memories from the past 10 years. It’s been an incredible journey. Over the last decade, Business Builders has showcased thousands of fantastic small businesses from around Australia, showing exactly why small businesses are the backbone of the Australian community.
Of course, David Koch is the man behind the vision and was ahead of the pack supporting small business every step of the way.
1. ‘The engine room of our economy’
“Every business falters – what defines an enterprise is how it responds to stumbles.” – David Koch.
It is no small feat to hit the decade milestone in small business. David Koch is the founder of Kochie’s Business Builders and he is as passionate about small business as it gets. We know from first-hand experience there can be cracks along the road and it is all about how you respond to those challenges.
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell ran her own small business for 15 years so knows exactly what it takes to keep a small business going.
“It is easy to be passionate about something that matters so much to the future of Australia. Small business is the engine room of our economy, the facts speak for themselves – 99% of businesses turnover under $10million and they employ nearly half the workforce,” says Kate Carnell, our Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO).
She adds, “These three million Aussie businesses are owned by people who have taken a risk, often mortgaged their homes, worked hard to grow their businesses and have created jobs. I ran my own small businesses for 15 years so I know the highs and lows, the joys and frustrations, and ultimately the enormous satisfaction of seeing your own ‘passion’ prosper.”
2. Libby Koch
Q. What are your favourite memories of the past 10 years of KBB?
Having one of my suggested businesses being showcased on KBB and being excited at the prospect of the potential growth of its market due to the enhanced exposure of being seen on TV.
Q. What have you learnt about small business?
I’ve learnt that all businesses go through the same issues as we have in our small businesses over the years and how everyone’s success hangs on determination and true belief in their product.
Q. Why are both you and David so passionate about supporting everyday Aussies in small business?
We know how hard it is to get a leg up when starting out and with many small businesses being family owned, the pressures are enormous and have good and bad flow on effects in the family.
Q. What is best advice David has given that has resonated with you?
It is a quote from his beloved dad, Dean, that if you have a dream to chase in business then give it all you’ve got but if it doesn’t succeed have the courage to walk away and try something else.
Q. What is the most memorable small business you have come across?
A business, called Plastic Forests, was a case study on KBB a couple of years ago. Last week they were announced as the winner in Westpac’s Businesses of Tomorrow Awards (selected from 2,000 entries). This is truly momentous for them and hugely memorable for me, as it is so rewarding to present a great Aussie business to the public that is doing much for our environment.
3. Sharon Williams, CEO Taurus Marketing
Q. What do you love most about KBB?
I love Kochie’s enthusiasm and his promotion of his sister’s small business, Rust, in Avalon. It really brings a case study to life. I also thoroughly enjoyed the variety and the depth of advice on KBB.
Q. What is the one thing you have learnt being in small business?
I’ve learnt that the smartest thing to do in business is to outsource your non core competencies.
Q. What is the best advice you have been given?
Learning from others is the best way to go and by talking to like-minded individuals (often in the same boat) you can learn faster and take shortcuts you wouldn’t normally know about.
4. Claudia Abrahams, Founder, Smash Cakes
Q. What has KBB taught you about small business?
Don’t give up and the hard work will pay off. The successful stories that I see are a massive inspiration as it gives me hope and major inspiration.
Q. How do you feel about other small businesses?
Most of us in small businesses go through the same experiences (good and bad) on so many levels. Its good to know we are not alone.
Q. What is the best advice you have been given?
One great piece of advice I was given was to keep persevering and not to give up on your dreams.
5. Kate Carnell, Small Business Ombudsman
Q. What is the most memorable small businesses you have come across?
I think that one of the most memorable small businesses I have come across is Birdsnest, a fashion business based in Cooma. This is a family-owned business that has grown from a small struggling regional dress shop to an enterprise employing more than a 100 local people.
Q. How did they create a successful small business?
They have done this by going online and focusing on their passion, helping women find styles that suit them and making them feel good about themselves. They have made the online shopping experience personal. They have also grown their premises in Cooma significantly.
Q. What have you learnt from watching small businesses grow?
That it is possible to grow a traditional business outside a major city by embracing technology, having a point of difference and executing well.
6. Tom Griffith, Founder & CEO, Emma & Tom’s
Q. What was your favourite KBB moment?
It would have to be filming with David at Russo’s Fruit Supply stall at the Prahran market in Melbourne. They are one of Emma & Tom’s longstanding customers and great to be on the coal face with such a colourful backdrop.
Q. As a small business owner, what have you learned along the way?
That we all seem to have the same problems. KBB has built an incredible community of small business owners and entrepreneurs who all share tips and war stories by doing it with a smile on their face.
Q. How have you been inspired in your own small business?
David has inspired me by being a great business role model. The way he juggles his family, business, health and sport is really inspirational. He somehow seems to nail it better than the rest of us.
7. Kate Christie, Entrepreneur, Time Stylers
Q. What has been your highlight of KBB over the years?
Most exciting for me has been watching and learning over the years, to then having the opportunity to be an ‘expert’ on the show. You can’t beat that! KBB helps lift you out of the day-to-day ‘stuff’, to think strategically, to focus on goals and growth and to outsource the work you don’t need to do. We can’t be experts at everything so it helps to have an expert to guide us.
Q. What have you realised being a small business owner?
We all have similar problems – regardless of whether your business is a service or product based business. When you run a small business you are often a jack of all trades. And yet what you wish you could focus on is the core elements of your business – the strategic growth.
Q. One piece of advice you have gained from KBB?
Seek the help you need and outsource the skills you don’t have.
8. AJ Koch, Managing Director, Pinstripe Media
Q. What have been some notable memories of the last ten years?
Some of my all time favourites would have to be trying to film the chickens at Caravan Eggs with the drone, but scaring them all into hiding under their barn. Another one includes herding sheep with farmer Michael Jackson and his dogs. I also got to taste a $10,000 bottle of wine from Mount Nathan winery. Also, meeting with so many amazing, genuine, down-to-earth business owners who are quietly doing incredible things every day.
Q. What have you discovered from these small business owners?
That the businesses across Australia are so unique. Each of them with their own way of doing things. There are so many diverse businesses, from buffalo ice cream to robotics. But what is common among all is the passion for what they’re doing. While it’s challenging (and just about everyone has the exact same challenges!), everyone takes so much pride in what they do.
Q. What is the best small business advice you have heard on the show?
– Don’t try and do it alone. Get some mentors, an advisory board, or at least a group of other business people who you can bounce ideas off and share problems with.
– Try and make yourself redundant. Hire and build a team that can free you up to focus on growing your business or at least enjoying your weekends.
– Celebrate the little things. Milestones, new business wins, project completions. You have to have fun and recognise your own great work.
9. Katie Dewar, David Koch’s PA & KBB Production
Q. What have been some memorable moments of the last ten years?
My favourite part would have to be the incredible entrepreneurs that we’ve come across. They have worked so incredibly hard and to listen to how they have failed, succeeded and fallen down but have come back and built a brand and company is truly inspiring. You feel like you’ve been on their journey with them.
Q. What have you learned from working with small business owners?
That it takes an idea, commitment, strength and resilience to start and run a small business. It’s not easy and you have to make sacrifices to succeed.
Q. What is one piece of advice David has given you?
I’ve heard David say in any venture you go into, you have to think of it like a start-up so even established businesses when they are ready to make changes they have to remember just like when they started out you might fail but you also might succeed. So, it is about tinkering with an idea and turning it into a trial and error.
10. David Koch, Founder, KBB
Of course, the man who started it all has to have the last word!
“Small business owners are passionate about their product and loyalty is their pay cheque.” David Koch, founder Kochie’s Business Builders.
11. Watch this fun video celebrating KBB’s 10!
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