Network saved new business

Zoe KeenanGeraldton Guardian
Peggy Strudwick-Brow’s greatest achievement as a small business owner was being a finalist in the Telstra women in business awards and winning business person of the year and business of the year at the Golfields Business and Employee Awards.
Camera IconPeggy Strudwick-Brow’s greatest achievement as a small business owner was being a finalist in the Telstra women in business awards and winning business person of the year and business of the year at the Golfields Business and Employee Awards. Credit: Zoe Keenan, The Geraldton Guardian

Boasting a nice house, a BMW and five kids who went through university, Peggy Strudwick-Brown pinches herself every day.

Some time more than 25 years ago, jobless and with a $9000 payout, Ms Strudwick-Brown decided to start her own business — an employment agency in Kalgoorlie.

It was never easy, she told a crowd at the Small Business Day on October 25.

Lending her experience and advice to attendees, she told her story. “Starting a small business is a long and lonely road at times and you have to be prepared to fight to have your business treated with respect and not be afraid to make big decisions,” she said.

“After just one year of starting up Goldfields Personnel Services, I didn’t have enough money for payroll.” Ms Strudwick-Brown said crying to every bank in town didn’t help, so she fell back on her contacts — the big guys in the mining industry — who demanded the bank give her the money and they did.

“How did I build my business?” she asked the crowd. “Networking; in Kalgoorlie I networked with the mining industry.”

Ms Strudwick-Brown said she also joined the chamber of commerce, sat on sub-committees and simply spoke up.

A few years on, she met competition when a new employment agency opened right across the road.

“It was the most painful part in business, having to compete,” she said.

However, Ms Strudwick-Brown managed to run a successful business and than ventured into the Perth market.

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