Growing a better business
THEY say pigs might fly. And while four-month-old Arnold the black and white piglet is cute enough to sprout wings, it's doubtful he could find a better home than with Noosa Rural Produce owners Brenda Murray and Greg Craddock.
Their rural produce store in Rene St, Noosaville, is a perfect fit for the couple whose family comprises two sets of twins, horses, ducks, geese, guinea pigs and now Arnold.
Nevertheless, when they took over the store some 12 months ago, they were beset with the usual worries of first-time small business owners.
But they were in luck and in fact you could say that pigs did fly in when Greg followed up on a story he had read in Noosa News.
"I read about Noosa Chamber of Commerce Mentor program and and was introduced to our mentor, Julien Cahn," he said.
"We just thought we could use all the help we could get."
The couple now call Mr Cahn "our rock".
"He has been invaluable support and given us confidence," Brenda said.
Mr Cahn, a former UK businessman, said he began the mentor/mentee process with plenty of questions.
"I started by asking questions that gave them plenty to think about," he said.
"We looked at customer service, stock control, bookkeeping, website and social media."
Mr Craddock said their social media presence had increased after their 14-year-old twins Jaye and Kasey created their guinea pig day care business.
"They made their own website," their father said.
"And they had so many hits we asked if they could link up to us."
Arnold is also part of the family media presence, having his own Facebook page.
Not bad for a piglet who was dropped at the store with a "for sale" sign on his forehead.
"He had been through a few homes already," Mr Craddock said
"And we felt he was so sensitive another home could really upset him".
Arnold is now house trained, can shake a hand and loves to snuggle up in your arms.
You could say that Arnold's life is now sorted in much the same way as their business.
They say thanks to Mr Cahn, they have a plan, a process and very importantly someone to bounce ideas off.
However, Mr Cahn said the Noosa Produce Store owners already had the makings of a good business.
"They give great customer service and are passionate about their work."
To find out about the Voluntary Business Mentors Service, contact Anna Day on 07 5448 0850 or 0419 630 206, or email annadaysnews@gmail.
Noosa Rural Produce Store
1/40 Rene Street
Phone 5449 8844