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Every challenge is an opportunity for a new pathway

Business Advisor, Martin Rogers discusses his Realise Business role in assisting the taxi industry and shares his best advice for small business.

Martin Rogers is quick to establish his dislike of the word “challenges” preferring to substitute “opportunities”, especially when discussing his advisory role to the disrupted taxi industry.

Since joining Realise Business in early 2016, Martin has been working as both a general Business Advisor and with the NSW point-to-point industry, which includes the taxi and private hire companies – an industry facing major upheaval since the arrival of Uber.

Part of his role is to help eligible taxi and hire car licence plate holders access various elements of the state government’s $250 million industry adjustment assistance package.

For Martin, however one of the most exciting aspects has been working towards establishing a stakeholder network that will further develop business plans and systems to assist the industry in adapting to the future and changing customer expectations.

“The way I see it the challenges for the Point-to-Point industry are also the opportunities. The industry understands it needs to change and is looking at ways of embracing technology so that they can remain commercially viable,” Martin says.

While this year Martin will continue his work with the point-to-point industry, he is also excited about the transition from the BEC Southern Sydney to the “greater footprint, bigger team and new brand” of Realise Business and the many benefits that will bring for its staff and members.

“For starters, it will allow us to extend the outstanding business advice that we already have to over 300,000 registered businesses, and with a larger team of advisors comes a greater knowledge base and experience that will better serve our clients.

With an Honours degree in Science, (Industrial Chemistry) and a Masters in Commerce (Marketing), Martin “cut his teeth in understanding business” with global consumer goods company, Unilever. He then operated a number of successful small businesses over 15 years in different industries including security and finance before seeking out business coaching – a job he relishes.

“I believe that it can be stressful and sometimes lonely in small business. I like to be a sounding board – be that somebody who has been in the trenches and understands emotionally where you are at.”

One of the common issues he sees facing small business is the inability to stay focused on completing specific goals.

“I like the quote: ‘The bookends of success are starting and finishing’. But a lot of us fail to finish something before moving onto the next thing.”

Martin is also enthusiastic about advising business owners to outsource areas that are not critical to the businesses core competencies.

“Why not outsource that stuff that you don’t like doing to someone else who loves doing that stuff? That allows you to focus on what you do well because that is the uniqueness that people will buy. Of course there is strategy and hard work to get to that point but when you can just do what you love, how good is work?”

This year, Martin is keen to establish more Business Mastermind groups for those wanting to take their business to the next level. These are peer-to-peer mentoring sessions where 8–10 businesses discuss business development and attain confidential advice in an open and supportive environment.

Scratch the surface and you will find that in addition to his passion for his job, Martin energetically juggles many roles and causes from public speaking to writing a self-help e-book called An empty skip bin advising on work/life balance.

One of his most successful projects was the establishment of “Poppy Park” in 2015 – a not-for-profit ANZAC commemoration that encouraged people to remember our diggers. From idea to reality in only 10 weeks, the one-off giant poppy field created in a Penrith park attracted 50,000 visitors, sold nearly 50,000 poppies and raised $100,000 for charity.

A devoted husband and father of two school age children, Martin is also involved in assisting high school students in connecting with small business through the Next Generation Program, and plans to run the Sydney Marathon for the first time this year.

“There are 168 hours in every week, you just have to plan what’s important and how to fit in the right stuff.”

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