Business help: Hours of power in hour of need

Giving back: Western Sydney Business Women founder Amanda Rose.
Giving back: Western Sydney Business Women founder Amanda Rose.

Western Sydney Business Women founder Amanda Rose - the lady who started a business during the global financial crisis while increasing inquires by 300 per cent at a travel company - knows a thing or two about maneuvering through tricky business situations.

So with the coronavirus pandemic crippling the small business industry, Ms Rose has decided to help businesses navigate through the current climate by using "innovating and pivoting" business models.

Western Sydney Business Women are running free hours of power sessions via Facebook Live sessions every Tuesday and Thursday with guest speakers talking on a range of topics including branding, sales, money, and marketing.

Ms Rose, who communicates on Facebook using the hashtag #bosslady, kicked-off the sessions with a talk on business strategy on Tuesday night and said they would run for up to six-months to help businesses get back on their feet.

"The small business community is panicking at the moment with shutdowns and limitations, so I decided to help unite the community and use my expertise and connections to assist small businesses and women in particular on how to pivot and make the most out of the current environment," she said.

"The issue is a lot of women look at what they are currently doing, instead of looking at their ability and how they can pivot their business and either commercialise another opportunity or tweak what they are doing.

"We need to be focusing on the future and taking advantage of the next six months and how to pivot your business to make money in this environment and that could be for example with a cafe doing takeaway, but also how to leverage off social media.

"Now is the time to invest in your business. So that could be policy writing or doing a business plan and preparing for the fact that we will come back, but you need to be ready for that."

The passionate advocate for women and Western Sydney said now was the time to think "outside the bubble" and about working together.

"You know, collaboration is my passion. And I find that when people are in desperate need, that is the time to give to your community, not take from it. We want to educate people during this time. We don't want to install fear, we don't want them panicking. We want them to be smart," said Ms Rose, who runs several businesses including Western Sydney Business Women, Western Sydney Executive Women and Western Sydney Advisory.

"There is a massive opportunity to partner with other businesses because their are companies who are still doing very well. Forget competition, it's now all about working together and helping people.

"One of the talks will be about money and how to cut expenses and not waste money and another will focus on marketing because 50 per cent of small businesses actually don't have an online presence yet. So this is the time get on Instagram and Facebook and engage.

"Everyone who watches the Facebook Live sessions will pick something that is gonna to benefit them moving forward."

Ms Rose, a digital expert who has a top 50 profile on LinkedIn in Australia, said she will provide some tips on using social media for businesses. Western Sydney Women will still also run their job readiness programs via Facebook to help people who have lost their jobs

"A lot of people make very impulsive decisions and panic during a crisis, which is what I'm also trying to help businesses avoid," she said.

And what would be her one piece of advice to businesses at the moment?

"I would say turn off the media. Reach out to your connections, partner with someone and start being strategic. Don't waste your time watching the media and getting upset," she said.

Tonight (March 26), Debbie O'Connor from White River Designs will run a session on branding and give 10 free and cost effective ways to get your brand seen and supported by your customers.

The sessions start at 6pm.