Chair, Peter Holtmann

It has been a year of monumental change and interruption to the small business landscape as Realise Business, like most businesses, became more agile in our operations, products, and services. The strong team has helped to move our business through this change and supported our highly impacted Small Business clients to continue to trade and recover during the Covid-19 disruption.

Strategic Growth and Advisory Boards

Our strategic plan and business plan remain on course as the Board, the CEO and the Operations team tracked well to their targets. The Board have been impressed by the team’s initiative and effort in achieving their goals with the obstacles presented by Covid-19, which undisputedly had an enormous impact on our small business client base.

Following on from last year’s strategy of connecting the Board to the business to create a collaborative environment, we implemented three Advisory Boards in the areas of Business Development, Government Funding and Fee for Service. The Advisory Boards have been a rewarding and immersive experience for Board Members allowing them to engage with CEO, Jacqui Attard, and team members, Katherine Blizard, Sally
Dale and Jaclyn Wainwright, on key business strategies.

In working with both the Board and the team we’ve done a deep Connect. Energise. Grow. Annual Report 2019–2020 Realise Business 5 dive into analysing our funding sources, tenders, and our services, to strategise capturing our market to its entirety. Each Advisory Board has achieved great results and they will continue to work together on their strategy for the year ahead.

Investing Back into the Business

After a profitable FY 2019 we focussed on investing some of the surplus back into the business in FY 2020. The business invested heavily into digital in the form of a new CRM and website, fully integrating our systems to have one central client relationship system. The new system is already serving the business well and will do for many years to come.

The Realise Business Board

This year has been a year of change for the Board, firstly as we said goodbye to our Board Secretary, Robert James. Robert added great value to the Board and the business during his tenure. Likewise, Marcus Marchant also moved on this financial year.
On behalf of the existing Board and the entire business, I would like to thank both Robert and Marcus for their contribution over the years. I would also like to thank Board Members Lindsay Munns, Des Viranna, and Treasurer, Adrian Brock for their excellent work and ongoing support throughout the year.

This financial year, the Board participated in the Board Observership Program where we welcomed Ilona Hunnisett as an Observer. The Observership Program facilitates the involvement of young and talented individuals to gain experience on non-profit Boards such as ours. Each Observer is paired with an organisation for a 12-month period and Ilona has been a wonderful addition to our Board meetings, bringing great value in both her thoughts and recommendations.

Planning for the Year Ahead

The Board’s priority for the year ahead is to work towards building an even more resilient business by identifying opportunities for growth through existing and new channels. In line with this strategy, we will work closely with the CEO to strengthen relationships with our current
stakeholders to secure a new round of contracts for the upcoming 2022 financial year.

It has been a big year and a somewhat difficult year for small business and for the Realise Business team as they managed to quickly adapt and move to a full-scale remote business for Lockdown. Business Advisors continue to complete their advisory sessions remotely via video conference and will do into the next calendar year.

I’d like to acknowledge the ongoing efforts of the entire team for ensuring the smooth operation of the business during the disruption of Covid-1 and over the year as a whole. I would also like to thank our CEO, Jacqui Attard, for leading the team so well through this period of great change.

With our strong team in place, along with our network of members, clients and stakeholders, I look forward to a positive year ahead for Realise Business. I’ve enjoyed working with the Board, the CEO and the team to strengthen our future through our Government contracts and services for the upcoming financial year, and for many years to come.

Peter Holtmann