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Rebecca Ridd grew up in an entrepreneurial family. Her parents own a group of child care centres in Melbourne, giving her a taste of what it could mean to work for herself in the care sector. From this background, Rebecca started her own business, Absolute In Home Care, in 2012. Always keen to ‘keep the business side of things on track’, she undertook Small Business Victoria’s Business Planning for Growth workshop which, she says, helped her configure the business so it was prepared for major changes in the Australian care industry.

The Business

Absolute In Home Care operates throughout Victoria, with a focus in Melbourne and Geelong. It offers services such as help with NDIS National Disability Insurance Scheme/Disability Care and Child Care, Respite Care, Nannying Care for children, Aged Care, Companion Care, Cleaning support for Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and WorkCover compensation recipients. The business also provides a variety of services to help people care for themselves, loved ones, maintain their home, participate in the community and link into other services.

Absolute In Home Care has grown to such an extent that it now has hundreds of clients on the books, and was recognised as a finalist in both the Banyule BestBiz Awards in 2015 and in the 2016 Powercor Geelong Business Excellence Awards.

Rebecca attributes her success to the fact that she can talk to her family about any aspects of her business and they will understand, plus she says, she has a very strong vision.

“I like to map out a vision every six or twelve months. I put it in writing and enjoy reflecting and analysing on past and future visions. It gives focus for where I and the company are going and what is to be expected. I have a personal vision and a business vision. I often share my vision with my team and close family then my employees and family know and have a better understanding of my expectations and where I am heading.”

The Challenge

While Rebecca has a commitment to achieve her business’ vision, in a practical sense she had identified that her main business challenge was to prepare for the new system of funding people in need of care – the NDIS.

“The NDIS is a total paradigm shift for the care sector. Instead of funding organisations and businesses, it funds the individuals requiring care. I knew we had to be ready to work within this unknown environment, so set about investigating ways we could get the business ready.”

Rebecca already had ‘an excellent’ mentor through the Small Business Mentoring Service, but realised she needed specialist skills development training.

The Assistance

After researching possibilities Rebecca undertook the Business Planning for Growth Small Business Victoria Workshop through local host organisation, the Banyule City Council.

She says she chose this particular workshop because she thought the workshop leader’s profile looked like he could help make sense of the new funding model and how she could translate that operationally.

“And he more than delivered. I wanted to hear how I should grow from the stage I was at, given a lot of industry uncertainty. Our leader was able to put that all into perspective and give me some tools for gearing the business up so we could thrive in the new environment.”

It was a good fit because the workshop is held over two days (16 hours) and also includes five hours of one-on-one mentoring; ideal for businesses looking to achieve growth.

The Business Today

Since completing the workshop, Rebecca is focussing on putting the workshop learnings in place to develop and grow Absolute In Home Care further throughout Victoria, and is investigating markets in other states.

“It’s not only the technical information that helped – when you’re in a workshop like that, it can be very personal. All of the participants, no matter what sort of business they had, were very open and honest. It helps you see that you’re not the only one in the boat!”

Discover Small Business Victoria’s 23 low cost, practical, convenient and expertly facilitated workshops, all of which can help you plan, start and grow your business.

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