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The New Year offers opportunities to up the ante in that only constant in our lives: change – What will we change, to improve our business as well as life in general? We surveyed some of Australia’s top business minds to get their resolutions for 2006.

In a world torn by strife, terrorism, floods, economic and viral threats, it’s easy to feel helpless, as though everything is outside our control. Then there is the perpetual balancing act for successful business people, of juggling business and family or personal life. But if the best way to cope with change is to change ourselves, now is the time to review how we operate and plan new ways forward.

Here is how some of our best business minds are preparing to meet the challenges next year might bring to their industry sectors, and to their lives.

Justin Herald: founder, Attitude Clothing

Active ImageI’m also launching my new brand as well next year, called Intimidate—which will be sunglasses and watches and things like that—so that’s quite exciting, but I don’t plan a great deal because I have learnt through experience that a lot of opportunities can come across my path and I can’t be ready for these if I’m too regimented. Of course, I want to have a better year than I did this year, but I do every year.

I want to spend more time with the family, the people I love, and invest some of my knowledge and experience into them.

There’s going to be a lot more small businesses starting up, by a lot of owners who have don’t know what they’re doing and there’s a great opportunity for those who have ‘made it’ to lend a hand and share information. I didn’t have anyone to help me and I wish I did.


Pru Goward: Sex Discrimination CommissionerActive Image

I want to get fit, improve the quality of my life, and be more efficient at work. To do this, I am going actively get fit and watch my health, because by doing this and managing stress, I will be better equipped to maintain balance in my work life—taking more time to take care of myself.



  Phil Ruthven: CEO, IBISWorld

Active ImageMy resolution for 2006 is to try to stop more bits falling off me: hair, teeth, skin, brain cells, bones, etc. More fitness and attention to weight! 2006 should be a good recovery year from the slowdown of 2004 and much of 2005. Interest rates are likely to stay low and manageable.

The exchange rate is likely to fall from its overpriced levels and facilitate more exports. Energy prices are more likely to fall than rise, easing the pressure on motorists. Mining should head the list of our fastest growing industries, with recreation and culture close behind (due largely to the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne). The nation is close to full employment for the first time since 1977, making the timing of the new industrial relations reforms easier to stomach for employees in what is becoming a sellers’ market for labour rather than the buyers’ market of the last several decades.


Brett Godfrey: CEO, Virgin Blue

Active ImageI want to ride my bike more and spend more time with my family—becoming the Monopoly champ of our household and make enough money to buy Bond Street just once before the kids do!

I want to talk to one new Virgin Blue team member every day—now we have 3900 in the team—and get out and about around our growing network, Australia and the South Pacific.

I plan to focus on the three ‘S’s’: staff, sales, and shareholders (in that order) and read more books for pleasure, or even finish the 27 books I started last year.


Mark Spurr: MLA

Active ImageThe Australian red meat and livestock industry faces a number of significant challenges in 2006, particularly on the international horizon. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of red meat and livestock. Our pristine reputation for clean green and safe product has provided a great platform for export growth over recent years, particularly in the face of animal disease issues with large competitors such as the US and Brazil.

In 2006 these competitors will be stronger in the global marketplace and the Australian industry needs to work hard to secure gains made over the past few years.

The new year will see a test of strategies and programs that industry and MLA have developed in anticipation of these looming challenges. My resolution for 2006 is the continued achievement of MLA’s mission: world leadership for the Australian red meat and livestock industry.


Paul Cave: Chairman and founder, Bridge Climb

Active ImageFor me, 2006 is much more about giving back. I feel incredibly fortunate with my work and my health and I feel a growing need to give back a significant portion of my life. I want to be able to share some of those things which might help people avoid some of the pain, learn from my lessons!

The biggest change is to work my business life in parallel with my private life in a comfortable way, in harmony, and understanding the separateness of my role as the chairman and founder.

Sensitivity of security and terrorism and their effect on tourism is a big concern, which businesses need to be prepared for. We can’t change the nature of the way the world is, we’ve got to work with it effectively. And hope that these things are a long time coming to this country.


Janine Allis: founder, Boost Juice

Active ImageI want to be more a leader and less a manager; to relax when I’m away from the business and to turn the laptop off sometimes. And to turn off my mobile phone.

I want to take my family to Europe for six weeks and be with my children mentally as well as physically when we are playing. I don’t want to worry so much about too many things I can’t control. And make sure my kids go to school in the right uniform, every day!



Siimon Reynolds: creative director, Love

Active ImageIn advertising, the future will bring more and more online advertising opportunities. Online differs from most other advertising mediums in that it accurately tells you whether your advertising is working. In a day or two you know how many people are responding to your ad.

This makes it incredibly powerful and cost effective. For Photon Group, in the next year, we hope to buy two or three good new marketing companies, in the digital area, and get more of our companies working together.


Fran Bailey: Minster for Small Business and Tourism

Active ImageCongratulations on another year in business. I know how hard Australian small businesses work in contributing to the growth and productivity of our national economy and the number of people employed.

Christmas will be heralding in great changes to enable small business to grow and become even more successful.

The Australian Government is making it simpler for small business to have fairer and more flexible workplace arrangements through WorkChoices.

This is good for small business as it will encourage greater job creation, especiall
y with reforms to unfair dismissal.

The Australian Government will continue to work hard at reducing the burden of red tape by listening to business, especially small business, about where those reductions should come from.

The Building Entrepreneurship in Small Business Programme, an Australian Government initiative, will make it easier for small business to get the right skills, from marketing to mentoring, and succession planning to financial management.

If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to visit www.business.gov.au the Australian Government’s one stop shop for small business assistance, advice and on-line tools. It is a great site and might save you some time and give you some new ideas.

Best wishes for a safe and happy Christmas.

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