23 September 2015
Small businesses rarely have dozens of strategic advisors on hand.
But the directors of Buderim company, Amazing Oils, recently received an array of business development suggestions from 79 University of the Sunshine Coast students who were all eager to help secure the firm’s future growth.
Amazing Oils, which produces organic magnesium oil health products, was part of USC’s Small Business Development Plan project, which allows students to engage with local businesses.
The second- and third-year students in the subject Small Business and New Venture Management analysed and researched the operations of Amazing Oils before delivering strategic development plans to its directors.
Students jumped at the chance to gain practical experience advising a real business, and Amazing Oils CEO Lee Harold said he and his team had benefitted just as much from the process.
“I was really surprised at the new ideas we got from the critiques and the recommendations the students gave us on where we could grow,” Mr Harold said.
“The students examined the aspects of our business that we hadn’t looked at, like our insurance and stakeholder management.
“Since seeing the presentations, we’ve made some changes that were largely to do with the students’ feedback, and we’re in a much more concrete position.
“To be the focus of dozens of the sharpest minds on the Coast was a rewarding experience and I’d recommend it to any company.”
The students gave advice on all aspects of the Amazing Oils’ operation, including logistics, human resource management, finance and marketing.
USC Lecturer in International Business Dr Leone Cameron said the project had been a great opportunity for students to advise a real business facing real challenges.
“The students delivered presentations of their key findings and a development plan report for the company,” Dr Cameron said.
“Amazing Oils embraced the engagement process and it was a valuable practical experience for the students.
“We encourage small businesses that would like help with their development strategies to come forward and be part of this exciting program.”
Business owners interested in being involved in the Small Business Development Plan project can contact Dr Cameron on 5459 4572.
— Gen Kennedy