Name: Ryan Purdie-Smith, 30
Occupation: Jeweller and business owner, Sydney
VET qualifications: Certificate IV in Business Sales, Diploma of Marketing and Communication, Advanced Diploma of Marketing and Communication
What do you most enjoy about running your business, Crooked Howlet Designs? “I love the competitive nature of running my own business. That’s what boots me out of bed at 4:30am every morning and pushes me to get after it.
I hear other people with their own businesses always talk about freedom to work when you want and freedom from not having a boss… I don't feel this at all. I have a boss: it’s my customers. The most ruthless boss you’ll ever have. The market is cutthroat.
I work more now than I ever have—and more than most people I know— but I just love the intensity. I can enjoy all the success of my company, but equally all the responsibility falls on me. I have no else to blame.”
What did you most enjoy about studying through VET? “I felt VET offered a more pragmatic approach to running a business, rather than a lot of theory-based education.”
What skills did you learn that you apply now in your work? “Building a solid business plan is something I learnt a lot about—how to structure the plan, the key elements to include, and why it's so important. Building a strong platform to grow and pivot throughout the year starts with a solid business plan.
Every year I have my website down for the majority of January while I put together my plan for the year.”
What advice would you give young people? “I’m not full of advice when it comes to others, as everyone's different. But I would say keep knocking on doors. Opportunities will arise if you give them the chance to. The number of times a seemingly ‘lucky’ situation has occurred in my business—let’s say I meet someone who knows someone—and then there’s a new avenue to explore… I try to grasp every opportunity that comes up.”
From business administration to customer engagement, management, sales and marketing, international business and more, VET can build your business savvy and set you up for success.
If, like Ryan, you’re looking to launch or build your own business, these VET courses can help:
Certificate IV in New Small Business—available as a traineeship, you’ll develop the broad skills and knowledge needed to launch and run your own business. Subjects include using digital technologies, managing finances and a small team, and developing professional networks.
Certificate IV in Business Sales—available as a traineeship, this course develops sales, marketing and leadership skills, as well as builds general business acumen.
Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication—available as a traineeship, this course can help you promote your business and build your customer base. Topics include how to conduct market research and develop product knowledge, promote products and services, and develop promotional materials.