Operating a home business can come with a set of challenges quite different from running a business with a storefront. Home businesses may be overlooked despite making contributions to the regional, national or international community. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry wanted to reveal some of these hidden home businesses in Margaret River to our members. At the Hidden Home Businesses sundowner home based businesses were able to showcase their successes and tell their story. Businesses showcased were Nightingale Property Inspections, Align Risk Managment, Savagely Creative and Walk Talk Taste Margaret River.

After some wooly weather in the afternoon, many members braved the threat of more rain on Wednesday the 20th to attend the March Sundowner. Hosted at South Regional TAFE’s Gather and Feast Cafe, our members had no need to worry about the weather but did have to worry about choosing which delicious piece of food they were going to enjoy next. Thank you very much to South Regional TAFE for their extraordinary venue and fantastic food! If you are interested in great food, the TAFE serves morning and afternoon tea as well as hosting some amazing long table lunches.

Our first speaker of the night was Marli Nagtegaal from Nightingale Property Inspections, who will inspect on one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make! Marli and her husband Clint come from families who have been in Margaret River for a few generations. Working out of a shed on their family farm, Marli talked about how their business has grown from word of mouth. They get many new clients from referrals from current clients, even members of the Chamber are referring new clients to them.

Our second speaker was Tania Van der Stap from Align Risk Management, a specialist in Health, Safety and the Environment. Tania takes a fresh approach to business safety, focusing on efficiency and productivity, with a great deal of experience on mine sites and a strong interest in agriculture. Working from her home based office on Molloy Island, Tania has written multiple papers and books, which have been presented and published on national and international stages.

Our third speaker of the night was Claire Savage from Savagely Creative, a boutique tourism, interpretation and training consultancy. Claire has been working in tourism marketing for decades, more recently with Tourism WA to create the WA Food Trails.  Claire is passionate about sustainable tourism experiences and the importance of telling your story. She believes customer service is not just before or during the service but afterwards as well.

Our final speaker of the night was Kellie Tannock from Walk, Talk, Taste Margaret River. A brand new company in Margaret River that provides a walking food tour through Margaret River, Kellie reinforced the idea that good storytelling can create a memorable customer experience. Walk, Talk, Taste Margaret River has worked hard to get to know the places they take their customers to – the people behind the food, what their process is, what’s their story.

The night concluded with door prizes generously donated by our speakers. Nightingale Property Inspections donated a timber home inspection, Align Risk Management donated tickets to their next workshop, Savagely Creative donated a experience assessment of your business and Walk, Talk, Taste Margaret River donated locally produced gifts and chocolate. There was also some tasty Xanadu wineto be won as well.

The Chamber would like to thank all our speakers for showcasing their businesses and sharing their experiences with our members. With such a diverse range of backgrounds and skills it was very interesting to hear about what home grown businesses are doing in Margaret River. The business community of Margaret River is fortunate to have some very successful home grown businesses providing high quality services. It is great that we could reveal some of these ‘hidden’ businesses and promote the fantastic work our members are doing. There may be other ‘hidden’ businesses out there in our community just waiting to be discovered! Our next Sundowner will be on April 10th, a joint sundowner with the Margaret River Distillery and Bendigo Bank.

We are looking forward to seeing our members there!