When Brisbane Small Business founder Kevin Gammie asked his Facebook group if there was a need for a small business expo, he was stunned by the response.
In less than 24 hours, group members swamped Kevin wanting to know details. “I knew I had a hit a nerve,” Kevin said. “Here is a group of over 1,000 Brisbane-based small business crying out for low cost ways to get noticed.”
That was in July. Since then Kevin has secured four internationally renowned marketing and public relations speakers, locked in a venue, rallied an organising committee and has over 50 stall holders ready to show their wares.
“What began as ‘let’s test the waters…’ has surprised me but my goal when I started my business – Growth Mentors – was to build a community of Brisbane small business people,” Kevin said.
“Over 60 per cent of Queensland small business owners are solopreneurs – they are out there on their own building a legacy. It can be a hard slog especially given the challenges in securing finance, little in the way of government funding and the finding the resources to market.
“I want to help these businesses. So many start their own venture from scratch – experts in their field but knowing very little about building a business especially the marketing side.”
Kevin founded the Brisbane Small Business Facebook group, which has grown exponentially over the past six months. “We started with a handful mid-year and this week, we reached over 1,100 – organically. We are filling a need. We are attracting local experts who offer their support and tips in the spirit of giving,” he said.
“That’s the basis for the expo on October 16 and 17 at Eagle Farm Racecourse.
“The expo is an opportunity to meet and talk with other members of the small business community, to make valuable connections, form strategic partnerships and to raise their profile.
“Working from a home-based office can be lonely – so we are building a community where we meet regularly through Meetup groups and reach out on the Facebook group to help solve most problems.”
Kevin said there is so much focus on small business but there is a huge difference between the needs of one earning up to $5million and one run by a solopreneur earning $100,000,” he said. “Most expos are organised by big business who have very little understanding of the challenges of this group especially when it comes to offering stalls. There are not many micro businesses who cannot afford $3,000 for a space.
“The Brisbane Small Business Expo is aimed at the person sitting in their home office, isolated and doing their best to get ahead. We want to give them a platform to network with others in the same boat and to learn vital skills to help grow their business.”
The theme of the expo is Communicate, Connect and Collaborate. Speakers include Nick Bowditch, Robert Coorey, Cat Matson and Bec Derrington.
Entry for visitors is free, stalls are $164 and tickets to see the speakers start at $67.
Publicity Genie works closely with small business owners who want to share their story beyond their Facebook page. Ours is a bespoke service that gets under the hood of a small business and explores what makes it tick. We take those stories and share them with the media and those who need to know about who they are.