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PO Box 231
Oakey 4401
Queensland  Australia
Tel 1300 363551
Fax (07) 4630 7779
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Frequently Asked Questions about BECs and BEC Australia

Who and what are Business Enterprise Centres?
Business Enterprise Centres are community-based not-for-profit business assistance organisations that are incorporated and supported by a local board of management. They are designed to facilitate the creation, retention and development of sustainable business enterprises and foster local economic development.

BECs through their successful public/private partnerships with governments, private enterprise and local communities across Australia provide practical confidential business facilitation services. Additionally these partnerships provide BEC clients access to a wealth of professional services and government programs.

Because they are locally based and operated, the BEC staff have an appreciation of the regional issues affecting businesses and are able to tailor advice to suit the specific needs of your business.

 

Logo with suffix.jpgHow do I know if an organisation is a member of BEC Australia?
On our website, listed under “National Network” is a state by state listing of member BECs and Associate Members. In addition, members of BEC Australia are authorized to use the logo you see displayed on this page.

 

Why should I choose to use a BEC Australia member?
BECs are part of their local business community, have local knowledge and many local contacts. In addition BEC Australia has approximately 100 members around Australia. Within this network is a huge amount of specialist knowledge, including retailing, manufacturing, fashion, tourism and agricultural sectors. If the precise expertise you are seeking is not available at your local BEC, members have the ability to call on other members for assistance and specialist advice. This is also extremely important when a business is looking for assistance to expand as BECs can call upon colleagues in target areas for regional specific information.

 

What sort of services do BECs provide?
BECs provide a variety of services, from business start-up advice and assistance to mentoring, seminars, business plan assistance and skills training. They can also assist in facilitating business-to-business networking opportunities and provide information on grants and assistance that may be available to business at that time. Most BECs have a regular newsletter they send to clients, keeping them up-to-date with business news and letting them know of networking events coming up in the local area. In addition BECs have formed a number of local, state and national sponsorships and alliances that provide benefits to their clients.

 

How much does it cost to utilize a BEC’s service?
Most BECs offer an initial interview at no or low cost (this largely depends how the centre is funded). From that point, there are different pathways that can be taken and this will affect the cost of services. Generally speaking, specialized areas will attract a fee – but the amount can vary and be directly linked to the action plan mapped out for the business which requests assistance.

Most BECs do not charge a fee for a business to be included on email newsletter groups and receive information. Some BECs do run official business clubs which offer services and discounts above a newsletter and an annual membership fee is connected with these.

What if there is no BEC in my local area?
Contact BEC Australia and we will refer you to either your closest BEC or, for specific requests, to a subject matter expert for assistance with your query. It is a goal to expand the network over time, so all queries will be responded to and locations noted so we know which areas we should target first. In many cases we can also cross-refer you to another organization in your area which may be able to provide some face to face assistance.

 

Can a BEC help me with business start up advice?
There is a huge amount of information available to people wanting to start their own businesses. BECs can not only assist you in accessing this information, but can also help you navigate your way through many of the decisions involved in commencing a business including business structure, registering for GST and business planning. Assisting new business is a key area of BEC services.

 

I’m an established business…can a BEC assist me with business planning?
Absolutely. A business plan is a dynamic document and should change with your business as your business matures and achieves new levels…or meets new challenges. BEC Australia sells an excellent business planning CD which can be purchased online through our website or through your local BEC. The CD includes video, financial tables and steps your through creating your marketing, financial and operating plans.

 

I’m a home based business…what help can I get?
Home Based Businesses make up a significant portion of the micro and small business sectors in Australia. BECs can help you with your business planning and other needs. They also offer face-to-face contact and networking opportunities that are so important to independent professionals (who choose to base themselves from home!)

 

Do BECs provide business training?
The answer to this question depends on the individual BECs. Some BECs are RTOs and can offer business units from the Business Services Training Package. Many BECs are NEIS providers and therefore offer the Certificate IV in Small Business. Other BECs offer less formal training – more along the lines of professional development - in the form of seminars and guest lecturers. You need to talk to your local BEC about this. If they can’t provide the training, they will certainly be able to put you in contact with an organisation that can.

 

Can I get any computer training from BECs?
Through the BEC Australia network you can access the BECA LearnKey Advantage and receive training for you and your staff in the Microsoft® Office suite of applications. This training is online, meaning that you can access it in your own home or office at a time convenient to you. There is a small fee for this training, which is substantially less than similar courses would cost at other institutions. From this training you can also sit exams to gain Microsoft® Certification.To find out more
click here.