26 February 2021
Mal Barnes established Mal’s Pizza Bite in Bega just over 14 years ago. He is an active member of both the Bega Valley community and the local business community.
As a seasoned small business owner, Mal is always on the lookout to manage his business better and smarter.
In 2015, his business was selected by Telstra for its new corporate ad because of Mal’s take-up of the company’s products and services, including online ordering and payments.
Mal said the Bega Valley community has been very supportive of his business, particularly during and after the Black Summer bushfires and during COVID.
“One-third of the Bega Valley’s workforce is in Bega and many people from across the shire come into Bega for essential services, so business has been fairly solid for some time,” he said.
“The Bega community has been particularly supportive during the pandemic and we appreciate and value this support.”
However, something that Mal had wanted to do for some time was consolidate the management and processes of his business. He also needed advice and support in the training of new staff.
“There are so many facets to running a business and I had always been too busy working in the business to map and record how we operate. For example, how we make our pies or how we put together the weekly roster,” he said.
“So I approached the Bega Valley Business Support Group (BSG) for advice on this and training.”
BSG member, Dales Whyte from Business Connect organised and ran on an onsite group training day.
“The group training was effective and efficient. Current staff received refresher training and new staff got to meet their colleagues and learn the ropes,” Mal said.
BSG member, Steve Millott from the Strengthening Business Programme, helped Mal look at the bigger picture, providing advice on business strategy.
They delved into each discipline of running the business, the hiring of key leadership roles, Mal’s business goals and what was important for his family. They also looked at other aspects of digital technology, social media and broadening Mal’s business networks.
Since working with individual members of the BSG, Mal has employed nine new staff and is looking for a casual supervisor and an experienced manager.
“I’m looking to step back a bit and let someone else do the management work,” Mal said.
“The shop is open 75 hours a week and at the moment I work many of these, so I’d like to get back to doing some of the other things I enjoy, such as my artwork.”