ALUMNUS DETERMINED TO HELP SMALL COMPANIES

GROW OUT OF THE ‘STRUGGLE ZONE’

Published:08 June 2018

PHOTO: CQUni Alumnus Bronwyn Reid. BELOW: Copies of her first book, ‘Small Company, Big Business – How to get your Small Business ready to do business with Big Business’.

Small companies no longer have to put up with being steamrolled by bigger southern rivals when they compete for their fair share of major project contracts in their local area.

That’s according to CQUniversity MBA graduate Bronwyn Reid, who has walked the walk of supplying to large organisations for more than 20 years.

“I’m keen to lift resilience in small businesses and make a difference in the world or, as one of my business mentors says, to make a dent in the universe,” says Brownyn, reflecting on her decision to become a small business advocate.

The speaker, author and small business mentor is promoting her first book – Small Company, Big Business – How to get your Small Business ready to do business with Big Businessand has been named as one of the Queensland 100 Faces of Small Business.

“Small companies often miss out on the opportunity to grow considerably through working with big organisations as they see it as too hard … it does take work but the potential rewards are enormous,” Bronwyn says.

“There’s so much happening in Rockhampton region with big project contracts relating to defence, highways etc, and there’s no reason small local companies can’t bid to become part of the supply chain, avoiding leakage of funds down south.

“What they need is preparation, capacity, skills and awareness so that project head contractors have the confidence they will be reliable, ready and safe to deal with.”

Early in her career, Bronwyn and her husband and business partner Ian Rankine travelled throughout Africa and the Pacific to promote sustainable agricultural practices.

By 1997, they were well placed to start their 4T Consultants company and to win their first contract to write manuals on best management practices (BMP) for plantation agriculture. This was followed by more research and manuals on safe agricultural spraying.

In 2006, 4T won a multi-million-dollar project to bring BMP to Queensland agriculture by training farmers and monitoring rivers to build ecological knowledge. The company later modelled water flows for emergency response teams for the Emerald floods and won its first mine environmental monitoring contract.

The company experienced exponential growth on the back of the mining boom and started delivering resource management expertise to the oil and gas industries as well.

When the boom abruptly ended, Bronwyn and Ian joined an entrepreneurs group to learn new skills and found that remaining positive helped them deal with the downturn.

In recent years, agribusiness and the resources industry have bounced back and 4T is growing rapidly again, drawing on its agile decision-making and innovative practices.

The Emerald-based company now offers professional, scientific and technical services throughout Central Queensland, including the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday areas.

Bronwyn has encapsulated all her experience of dealing with big companies at 4T Consultants into the Small Company, Big Business book and program.

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