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Iconic Aussie business celebrates 45th anniversary, CEO shares secrets to success

Few businesses can boast 45 years of business but that’s the anniversary iconic homecare business DIAL-AN-ANGEL is celebrating this year and CEO Danielle Robertson is sharing the secrets to business longevity with Dynamic Business.

The family business started by Dena Blackman in 1967 offers a variety of services catering to a wide market including childcare, eldercare, care for disabled children and adults, and domestic duties.

From small beginnings in a $20 a week office and with just a $200 bank loan, the business now has three franchises, seven offices, and more than 10,000 ‘Angels’. Four generations of the Blackman family has been involved in the business, and Blackman’s daughter Danielle Robertson has been at the helm as CEO since 2003.

So how exactly did DIAL-AN-ANGEL do it? Robertson credits her staff and the business’ very selective application process as behind the majority of the company’s success.

Quality of staff is imperative. Our angels are our stock, if we didn’t have top quality angels then we wouldn’t have clients. Our screening processes are so selective, and they really have to have angelic qualities. We want those people that go above and beyond,” Robertson said.

She also credits perseverance, and gradual growth to DIAL-AN-ANGEL’s longevity.

“We persevere; we don’t do massive growth we just grow organically over time. When the need arises we expand instead of going mad and opening offices left right and centre. We get a lot of franchise requests from people right around the country, but as it is a very intense business we hold back until we get that right person,” Robertson said.

DIAL-AN-ANGEL also sees the importance in keeping relevant through the use of technology, especially as a company that’s been in existence since 1967.

“We’re an old business but we are adapting and moving more and more online such as creating an online portal for clients to book our services,” Robertson said.

“Keeping up to date with technology is absolutely imperative. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, it’s constant and boy does it take up a lot of time, but it’s so relevant,” she added.

Robertson’s advice to other small businesses is to work with the natural strengths that come with the business model, such as being able to implement things quickly, and to not underestimate the importance of having open lines of communication.

“You can make a decision and implement it very quickly, whereas with some of the larger organisations it’s got to go through approval processes. Also make sure you’re able to communicate any issues with any of your staff members. Open lines of communication is one of the biggest things that any business finds important – whether it be large or small,” she said.

DIAL-AN-ANGEL has received numerous accolades in the business community including Blackman being inducted into the Australian Businesswoman’s Hall of Fame, and being honoured with the Jason Lea Trophy for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the Family Business Australia Awards.

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Rocheen Flaherty

Rocheen Flaherty

Rocheen is a junior reporter at Dynamic Business. She's a second year Journalism Major at UNSW and enjoys going to the cinema, reading, and wandering around craft and vintage markets.

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