SME spotlight: Allyn Beard

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Allyn Beard is the director of one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of mattresses and bedding, the 115-year-old family business A.H. Beard. He shares his thoughts on running and growing a successful business.

My top tip to run a smart business is…

To find and hire the best people. ‘Your business is only as good as its people’ is not just a saying; it is completely true.

I consider my greatest achievement in business to be…

Finding a talented facilitator who assisted with the development of a corporate ‘vision’ that has helped drive our business towards an agreed outcome.

To stay perennially motivated I…

Am constantly inspired by the calibre and commitment of numerous members of our team.

If I had the ability to change one thing in my business or operating environment it would be…

I wished that I had the time to undertake further studies and hopefully achieve additional tertiary and post-graduate qualifications.

I’m passionate about my business because…

We have the ability of improving people’s lives. Plus, we have a great team of people, great customers (well, most of them!) and great suppliers (in the main!).

My tips to build word-of-mouth are…

Utilise every free PR opportunity and also embrace social media with both hands.

One of my most successful marketing activities to date was…

Creating a ‘yes we can’ culture within our business. I think that this then flows on to everything we do. A positive culture in my opinion is a very powerful driving force.

On setting and achieving goals, my motto is…

To write them down, hide them away somewhere and review them every couple of years. It is amazing how when you do this, usually it is just a case of ‘ticking them off’!

I have grown as a leader by…

Taking on additional board roles in different sectors. Some are not-for-profits and some are industry-based. However, I learn and become more professional as a result of these roles.

My thoughts on retaining good staff are…

Hire high calibre people, empower them, don’t micro-manage them, create and share a common vision, and just be yourself. Obviously, you also have to remunerate them in accord with their contributions and talent.

Advice I’d give to a new start-up is…

That the game of business is never easy. It will always have its ups and downs. However, if you are dedicated, surround yourself with the right people and are persistent, I believe that in the end you will succeed. Never give up!

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