The co-founder of natural therapy franchise Salts of the Earth has spoken of his experience in the Board of Directors 12 program, after becoming one of the program’s first five graduates.
Established in 2011, the BOD12 program is the brainchild of Melbourne businessman Stefan Kazakis.
With an emphasis on peer-to-peer inspiration, the 12-month program is designed to help small business owners make significant improvements within their business.
Each business is offered strategic tools to apply critical business thinking to all existing business models, in order to achieve long-term results and maximum profitability.
Each business owner also receives feedback and support from Kazakis as they implement specific alterations within their business.
“As a business owner 23 years ago, when I first started out, I needed some credible and reliable advice on starting out in business,” Kazakis told StartupSmart.
“At that point I engaged a mentor, which served me well… 10 years ago I became a professional business coach and was generally dealing with companies that could afford me or my services in a one-on-one setting.
“I was getting a lot of enquiries from smaller businesses who couldn’t afford my services… It started to impact my spirit or my values.”
It was at this point Kazakis decided to create the BOD12 program. Among the eligibility criteria is an ability – and a willingness – to learn in a group environment.
Kazakis has unveiled the first small business owners to graduate from the program. This includes David Lindsay, co-founder of Melbourne-based business Salts of the Earth.
Salts of the Earth was founded by Lindsay and Katharine Micalizzi in 2010. For anyone suffering from respiratory and skin ailments, it offers natural relief through salt therapy.
Salt therapy is a natural therapy that cleanses the respiratory system, detoxifies the body, and promotes health and wellbeing.
The business is currently recruiting franchisees in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and New Zealand. According to Lindsay, it is also set to expand globally this year.
Lindsay believes the growth experienced by Salts of the Earth couldn’t have happened without the influence of Kazakis and his program.
“Board of Directors 12 is an amazing program that has played a huge role in where we are today,” he says.
“Being able to sit around a table with other business owners in other industries, and realise that business is the same across the board, is very powerful.
“Everyone has the same staff issues, cashflow issues and chokeholds, and being able to speak open and honestly about it, it’s therapy.”
The other first-year graduates, and the businesses they run, are as follows:
Patrick Kissane, Burger IT
Kissane is a senior consultant at Burger IT, which promises to help businesses with their IT headaches in a friendly, professional way.
Chris Chatfield, Chatfield Audio Visual
Chatfield Audio Visual specialises in the design, supply and installation of home automation, security and audio visual systems.
The business prides itself on helping consumers go green – its automated systems turn off lights and heating when not in use.
Richard Dover, Taste Tempters
Dover heads up Taste Tempters, which regards itself as Australia’s premium cookie, biscuit and slices supplier. The gourmet range is sold in leading cafés.
The products can also be shipped to anyone in Australia, arriving in gift boxes with customised gift cards.
Gary Haspell, Sign-A-Rama Thomastown and Preston
Haspell is the owner of Sign-A-Rama at Thomastown and Preston, both suburbs of Melbourne.
Sign-A-Rama is a worldwide sign network, and the store in Thomastown is one of the largest in Australia, with experience in a wide range of signage applications.