Getting into a business can be a daunting process: there are many things to consider, but do not back away from pursuing your idea, after all life is a total process of learning, growing, trying new things, informing yourself, growing your brainpower and resilience as well as growing a family, being part of your cultural family block…basically life. Plan, learn something new every day about your business idea. Is your idea a hobby or do you see it being a commercially viable entity that can really bring you and your family a life of abundance. Do not be afraid to take that big leap into business, remember we come from a long line of trading traditions, our mobs traded all over our country, since ancient times and continues today. 

Starting up your own business offers you a way to do what you love and create your own unique mark in the world – if that is your goal. When you do what is your passion, you earn money for doing nothing. Apart from making candles, writing, and making films is something I love to do. I am creating in all the ways I make a living. I am nurturing my inner passion, so making candles is just an extension of my life built on creating things.

So where do I get all the information that helped inform me about business, creating candles, being savvy entering into a new world? With the internet and vast amounts of information, the world was at my fingertips. Put that mobile phone or computer to effective use with a goal at the end. Make Google your go to for access to information and start searching away.

Never have we humans had access to information in real time. The amount of business start-up supports is available in numbers unheard of. Take the free start up business online course available like the one IBA (Indigenous Business Australia) delivers for example. Its free and a good place to start to get you thinking about giving energy to your business idea. Maganda Makers also offers free course links to their partners. Your local TAFE courses is another destination. YouTube has been an absolute blessing for me teaching myself to be a Chandler (Candle Maker) – I also talk to other candle makers. 

Endless hours of instructional videos on how to source your materials, how to learn the science behind candle making, how to market your product. Let me tell you, I am the YouTube queen of watching other candle makers – women, men and youths demonstrating their passion. 

Approach your regional bodies to see if you can apply for start-up grants and business supports like: Maganda Makers, Morrgul, Aarnja, Kimberley Development Commission, your PBC’s (Prescribed Body Corporate), Many Rivers and NEIS if that is your choice for example. Some of these grants are for training which you can use to cover specialised course fees related to your business idea. It cannot hurt to ask, but you will never know unless you ask, right?

So, jumping into your idea, have you talked about it to others to get their feedback, is your product needed and do you think you have a customer base (do your own free marketing research on family and friends)? If your product/service is like others, what is your point of difference? Build your dream plan on the strengths of what your business will be, also understand that your weaknesses can be flipped to get a positive outcome. 

We knew we had a solid product idea when I fell in love with my first luxury candle. We had some money to get some initial packaging done, logo, custom tissue paper, business cards and labels etc. As soon as Ali and I had the final packaged candle and soap sitting in front of us, we knew we had something special – our thoughts had become evident. We were and are still confident. Now if only we could convince others. And this is the tricky part, convincing others that you have a business idea that you believe will fly.

My advice to you is to find someone who can help do up your business plan (Maganda Makers, Morrgul, Many Rivers, for example or a friend) with all your ideas written down, sketch or do what we did, I made up a dream board which was like a look book of what our products would be made of our signature story – make sure you have a strong unique story. Embed yourself in that story – it will become your biggest selling tool. When we approached Morrgul and Many Rivers our product was believable -it was not just an idea, it was in sample form. We were halfway to selling our idea.

We are in it for the long haul no matter how tough it got; we will continue to be resourceful with what we have. I see myself making and selling my luxury products until I retire, helping me and my family in the process, employing them and others. So where do you see yourself with your business – make that central to your plan.

On parting, if someone tells you ‘No’ ask them why, then you will find a better way to do it. Always find a way to turn it into a ‘Yes’ with or without them. In other words, ‘flip the script.’

Mitch Torres

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