Living in Eurobodalla: Side hustle to business dream

There's never been a better time to realise your dream of owning a business, as long you've done your homework first.

That's according to Council's Teresa Lever, our economic development manager.

"There is free business advice available locally from places like Business Connect, Service NSW, Regional NSW and Illawarra ITEC," Teresa says.

"All these services have people based in our region that can meet with you and take you through all the things you need to consider. It will save you time and money or even prevent making a critical mistake."

Teresa says Eurobodalla is a community of small businesses, with over 3,000 in operation and generating nearly 14,000 local jobs.

"Eurobodalla excels at side hustles or hobbies that become commercially viable." "A business plan is key to success," she says.

"It ensures you know your customer, forecasts your financials and might highlight regulatory or compliance requirements."

Teresa says a lot of small business owners feel they need to be experts in all areas of their business.

"It's really important business operators are aware of the impartial support available through different local services."

Teresa can introduce you to a business advisor that's a match for your individual needs or connect you with start-up programs that can take your idea to the next level.

Asha's trouble-free start up

One business going strong since reaching out for support is Trouble Free Tradies – a bookkeeping and business development firm on a mission to empower Australian trade business owners around their finances.

Asha Browne (right) had the know-how of trade business after growing a solar and electrical company with her dad and brother in country Victoria.

In 2016, she started Trouble Free Tradies as a side hustle when other tradies in the area asked for help with bookkeeping and systemising. She moved to Eurobodalla in 2021 to be close to her mum during Covid and was quick to realise there was a demand for her business, with tradies flat out rebuilding after the bushfires.

"The heart of my business philosophy is that we are stronger together and businesses can grow together."

"I was eager to get the awareness of my business out there to help trade business owners so they can get back on the tools, focus on their projects, price with financial clarity and to free up their time to spend with their families and friends, or just to take a breath and recharge," Asha said.

She attended a Women in Business hub and met the coordinator of iAccelerate - a business accelerator program run by the University of Wollongong and supported by Council.

Asha graduated the program with extra tools in her toolbox to grow her business and articulate the value of her bookkeeping, payroll and reporting packages to business owners in a way they can get behind.

"The heart of my business philosophy is that we are stronger together and businesses can grow together. It's been a difficult few years for many of us and the old system just isn't working anymore," Asha said.

Today, Asha has grown Trouble Free Tradies to a team of six staff, supporting clients operating across 11 different trade sectors who range from sole traders to commercial clients turning over $5 million a quarter.

"The course helped me understand different personas and how to provide support to different types and sizes of trade businesses because they all have unique needs."

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