Resilient Byron (page2)

Byron Bay Business Retreats

Byron Bay Business Retreats

For too long retreats have either been all about ‘you’ or ‘all about your business’, but Byron Bay Business Retreats recognise that it is impossible for you to make changes in one part of your world, without needing to also make a complementary change in the other – bringing your work and life back into balance. “We deal specifically with stressed out, over-stretched and time poor working people who want to make changes in their work and personal life to add more energy, focus and purpose,” said co-founder Tania Crosbie. “Our retreats are all about solving the challenges that people face – they are overstretched, unable to focus, not engaging in exercise or eating healthily and aren’t taking the time out to develop a solution.”

The team at Byron Bay Business Retreats – Tania Crosbie and Kate Westberg – have come together to put their business, coaching and wellness programs in place to deliver a balanced retreat – one that embraces the concept that we cannot make changes in our home lives without incorporating changes in our work and business environment.

“People come to us when they realise they need to stop and take the time to deal with issues that are impacting negatively on their work and life,” said co-founder Kate Westberg. “We integrate meditation, mindfulness and yoga at the retreat and demonstrate how people can incorporate these practices into their day – in order to cope. People say they are more focused, energised and empowered after developing these skills.”

The business behaviour change ranges from strategies for dealing with stress, team building and time management to developing plans and goals. Byron Bay Business Retreats currently deliver two styles of retreat:

The Byron Bay Business Retreats team run successful consultancies from their home in the Byron Bay hinterland. Tania and Kate believe they have something more to offer stressed out executives and business people, rather than just a ‘business-focus’ or another wellness retreat. Their business success has grown by introducing each other’s practices and they believe that everyone can benefit from this ‘balanced’ approach.

“We set about developing the Balanced Business Framework that we guide retreat attendees through – so that they understand that when they are at work they still need to look after their wellness and vice versa – when they are looking after themselves, the work environment also benefits,” said Tania.

“And what they will love is the opportunity to get away from their work and home environment to really focus on themselves,” expressed Kate. “And where else than Byron Bay to feel the healing and magical powers of this beautiful region.”

In addition to organised retreats Tania and Kate can also customise retreats, tailoring them to your organisations needs. This can incorporate team building, strategic planning or top line board level think tank.

Byron Bay Business Retreats are offering NRBM Readers a 10% discount on their 3 day Glamping and 5 day Byronise Your Business Retreats. Simply use the promotional code NRBM when booking. Places are filling up fast so call Tania or Kate on +61 26629 1080 or email us.

How Plastic Free Is Your Business?


Local Byron company Cool Promo sources merchandise and promotional gifts for businesses and is fully behind the plastic bag free movement. This year for Plastic Free July they challenged local businesses to refuse single-use plastic for the month.

Moyra Burke Smith comments: “We had some great uptake from clients who really care about their impact on the environment. We have a growing eco friendly range of merchandise that fits with this brief. For example reusable drinking bottles, which last easily over 2 years, can reduce the throwaway water bottles by literally hundreds per person. Then there are bags, probably the biggest killer of wildlife in the ocean, we supply shops, events, businesses, resorts basically a whole diverse heap of people. Ranging from a basic non woven option through to a natural Jute and a whole host in between we have something suitable for any event and budget.”

Their main aim is to help find solutions for clients needs, be it retail or promotion. Local clients include: Byron Writers Festival, The Farm and Elements where they were involved with sourcing environmentally sound clothing, bags and bottles.

Often it’s budget that is perceived as an issue, however they work with clients to get a clear idea of what’s required and pride themselves on sourcing within budget. They also work with local charities such as Rafiki Mweme to source quality, ethical items that they can sell to raise money. The big 3 items that cause major daily environmental damage are plastic bags, plastic water bottles and take away coffee cups. Cool Promo say that these big 3 are actually the simplest to replace.

Using reusable bags is a no brainer; any business can do this from an economical non-woven bag to giveaway or sell higher end bags for clients to use. Jute, Bamboo and Calico are the most popular natural material bags but there are also durable reusable paper options.

Bottles they supply range from the regular BPA sports bottle, stylish triton bottles and a range of metal drinking bottles. New to the promotions market this year is a funky aluminium flask, which will keep your cold drink cold for 24 hours, perfect for the beach. Get some Karma with your coffee, at Cool Promo they can organise to have your coffee cups personalised with your logo. Perfect as a client gift or for coffee shops to retail to customers.

Trash Shred Spin Wear
New to the Australian market is clothing made from recycled plastic. Yes that’s right, those environmentally destructive one-time use plastic drinking bottles are turned into functional, comfortable clothing such as t shirts and hoodies.

The environmental savings are huge, each t shirt means 7 bottles are diverted from landfill, 717,000 BTUs of energy are saved that would be used to produce virgin polyester, 201,300 kilowatt hours of electricity and 4.5 gallons of water are also saved.

Cool Promo are one of the few distributors in Australia to supply these shirts. Moyra comments, “The merchandising industry is historically notorious for the use of cheap plastic consumer giveaways, this is something we are working to change. It’s one step at a time but the more multi-use items and items incorporating recycled plastic we can source, the better it is for everyone. We encourage clients to look at quality merchandise that is useful and going to last a long time. It means their brand will be on that product for longer and also be aligned with being good quality and useful, which is always a positive outcome. Other advertising comes and goes but people keep their hands on good quality merchandise.”

When Your Business is Happiness


The birth of Byron Bay Holiday Rentals is not your normal story of a business beginning. It came from almost tragedy, and a small family’s commitment to survive. It is now a great local success story with a great history, strong foundation and exciting plan for expansion. Garth had been running Surf Surfaris with his dad Leister Brien between Sydney and Byron for several years. A great life, however, difficult being away with a small family and the pending arrival of his and Sonya’s second child.

After one particularly hard week on the road, Garth fell ill and, following urgent tests, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia – an incredibly aggressive cancer. Garth had packed an overnight bag however he didn’t return home from Brisbane hospital for over a year and spent the next 3 years undergoing major treatment.

This left Sonya with 2 small children, no income and constantly needing to travel between Byron and Brisbane. She had no choice, she had to find an income that could keep the family afloat, whilst being able to work from home and on the road. A friend suggested she try managing holiday rentals and she began with one small studio in Wategos. The rest, as they say, is history.

Sonya registered Byron Bay Holiday Rentals in 2004 and has grown the business to the largest of its kind in Byron. It has now expanded into many other destinations such as Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Lennox, Scotts Head and Sorrento.

Sonya comments: “As long term residents in the Byron Shire we want holiday makers who visit our town to return home knowing that Byron Bay is a spot that they will continue to return to for future holidays again and again. Part of creating this is to ensure that the accommodation they stay in is at a standard (whether it is budget or high end) that ticks all the right boxes. As owners of this business we deal with every booking on a personal level ensuring that our guests feel welcome even before they arrive at the property.”

They have built a strong repeat guest base who appreciate they will get the same great level of service and same consistent property presentation when they return to stay with Byron Bay Holiday Rentals. They focus on what individual owners can’t and take the hassle and stress out of managing a property from marketing, sales, guest management, cleaning, maintenance, and accounts.

From early on Sonya and Garth recognised the potential for the internet to change the way people could research and book their holidays. No longer the exclusive domain of the major hotel chains, a single property could be marketed globally. Taking advantage of this emerging software, they became the first business of its kind to harness this marketing opportunity. Now with over 200 properties, Byron is the business headquarters, where they employ 11 staff as well as a small army of support staff, contractors and other local businesses on the ground in each region who provide services such as cleaning, linen, gardening, maintenance, plumbing, electricians, pools etc. They also engage staff around the world in order to be able to service their guests around the clock.

Their attention to detail and obvious passion for the business shines through, after all their business is about making people happy, what more could you want?

To enquire about bookings or listing your property, please contact 02 6684 7728 or email us.

Brookfarm – Blazing a Trail for Sustainability


From small beginnings selling muesli at local markets Brookfarm has been an incredible success story. The family run business has never forgotten its roots and the team are very conscious that it is the local agricultural environment that provides the superb ingredients for their highly successful products. Which is why they are ensuring the business puts back into both the environment and community.

There are a number of projects they are involved in to support their passion for sustainability:

On their farm they have hand planted over 35,000 rainforest trees and plants to create a beautiful ‘green lung’ effect. These store nearly 2500 tonnes of carbon and create a wonderful wildlife haven for wallabies, platypus and all manner of Australian native animals and bird life.

Their rainwater recycling system saves over 160 kilolitres of water each year.

In the bakehouse they save the ‘extra’ leftovers from their muesli & granola runs and repackage them into ‘Brookfarm Lucky Dip’. They then donate these delicious mixes to local soup kitchens and charities (Liberation Larder in Byron as an example) to help feed those less fortunate. Any grains not suitable for this is delivered as livestock feed to local pig farmers.

Last year Brookfarm installed 288 solar panels on the roof of their Bakehouse, located in Byron Bay Industrial Estate location. Pam Brook comments: “Being able to do what we can, where and when we can to reduce our impact on the carbon footprint is something Brookfarm – Blazing a Trail for Sustainability we passionately believe in here at Brookfarm and fortunately our building design has allowed us to really make quite a big difference – we are very proud of what we’re achieving.”

The installation is the largest of its kind in the Northern Rivers, and General Manager, Will Brook, estimates at least a 40% energy annual energy saving and the system to have paid for itself in 4 years. At present the solar panels produce enough energy to power 25 homes using 25kW of electricity per day.

Their commitment to sustainability has been recognised by their achievement of Silver Status in the NSW Sustainability Advantage program. They are now 1 of only 71 businesses in NSW to have achieved this level of recognition for improving their competitiveness and bottom line through better environmental practices.

In the prestigious Green Globe Awards, which celebrate environmental excellence, leadership and innovation, Brookfarm won the Premier’s Award for Environmental Excellence, the highest accolade of all 21 Green Globe awards, and the Small Business Sustainability category.

It is an amazing story of success for both the business and the environment, Brookfarm are blazing a trail in the business sustainability sector and showing that it is possible for businesses to make a positive difference.

Get Serious About Solar

Juno Solar

Juno Energy has been operating in Byron Shire since January 2010 and is recognised as Byron Shire’s leading solar retailer & project manager. Working with residential, commercial, government, and community clients they use a range of key products including LG solar modules and SolarEdge power optimisers and Australian made Sunlock aluminium racking. We talk to Patrick Halliday solar guru and Director of Juno Energy.

So tell us a bit more about the equipment you use. Selling and installing great equipment means we sleep well at night, it’s not hard to find solar horror stories of warranties not honoured and equipment that doesn’t live up to it’s promises. The coastal climate is tough on equipment, so we use equipment built to perform well in our conditions

We expect our equipment to be up on roofs and performing for twenty years plus which is why we don’t cut corners on any element of our installations. We support this with longer warranties.

What monitoring solutions do you offer? Monitoring is really important to our clients who are serious about solar. They want to see how much energy their system is producing, how much they are consuming from the grid and increasingly how much they are storing in their batteries. Commercial clients in particular have an opportunity to reduce energy costs by installing solar on their roofs, this not only helps reducing how many kilowatts they are taking from the grid, it also helps to reduce peak demand charges which can be a large component of their bill.

Batteries are the big buzz at the moment, how do people make a good decision? I’m going to mention LG Chem here before I mention Tesla because I think they have a great product that will be very flexible in a range of settings. Obviously Tesla steals the limelight but we definitely see some competitive tension with LG. My advice to any business looking at batteries is similar to the solar conversation. Look a little beyond the dollar per watt analysis to a broader assessment that takes into account discharge cycles, back-up capability, integration with existing equipment, and monitoring. Essentially a battery on its own is just a tool, potentially a powerful tool but it needs a great solar system and great software to help it reach its potential. On chemistry we are offering a range of Lithium based solutions. I think Lithium has a broad range of advantages including support by major manufactures such as LG & Tesla, ability to deliver power reasonably quickly, low maintenance, and reasonable cost.

Any final comments? We encourage customers to become well educated and always find an educated customer is one who us happy with the decision they have made on solar.

For more information visit:

Real Estate With a Difference

Byron Bay Coastal

Byron Coastal Real Estate is an independent agency with a difference. People are its first priority, and bringing consistency and trust that clients expect is its main focus.

Consistency in knowing that you can pick up the phone and hear that familiar voice at the end of it, who knows who you are and what property you own or rent.

This recognition goes a long way in any business. The quality customer care, whether it’s on the phone or when you walk through the door, shows a committed team working together for you and the company.

Many do not put enough focus on the culture and space provided for employees so that they can best serve their customers. At Byron Coastal the team are cared for both emotionally and physically. This support means that the consistant and steady approach they take in life is reflected back to the community.

Director, Gail Fuller comments: “We need to start to break down the barriers around the real estate industry and the beliefs held about people who work in it. In every industry there are the good and the wayward, but it would be wonderful if we began by walking in the door or making the call without the judgment of the industry clouding our perception of the people. When we come at it with these opinions we miss the opportunity and blessing we could be receiving by these people. The people who ensure you buy the right property that will be the foundation for your family for the next years, the house you rent to support you in your daily life.”

People make decisions on property in a few moments, which they will have generally for many years to come. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to feel you could be open and upfront with your needs and wants instead of holding back with mistrust at someone you haven’t even had the opportunity to meet or assess.

Gail continues: “I have always found the industry an amazing adventure and such an insight to human life and the way we conduct ourselves. You see reflected in the house the love, the disregard, the relationships both empty and complete. I have always found it a privilege to be so close to people and see inside the world that many keep very secret. We get to feel the pain of everyday life in many ways, and the reality of what life means to people on this planet.”

“We are custodians in our homes I believe for a period of time, my team understand that and bring all they have to ensure they are looked after.

It’s not about just getting the job done, its about the process and people along the way.” At Byron Coastal they like to put people before houses. To find out more call 02 6680 8111.

TNR – More Than Just Numbers


TNR Accountants have been practicing in Byron Bay for more than 40 years. The partners and staff are locals, living in the area with their families and are involved in various community groups. They pride themselves on providing top tier accounting services to local businesses. TNR Byron Bay is not just your run of the mill firm, partners Craig Page and Brad Tom are both long term locals and bring over 50 years combined taxation and accounting experience to the table. Being locals they understand the sometimes quirky nature of enterprises in Byron Shire, it’s all part of why they love living here, and are able to adapt their services and approach to accommodate all styles of business.

Byron Bay has a diverse collection of businesses from sole trader market stalls and food vans through to international headquarters for imports and exports This diversity provides TNR with a highly varied client base. They are engaged to assist a wide assortment of entities, from sole traders to some of the area’s largest private sector operations. Being a local business themselves they are familiar with the unique issues that come from living and maintaining a business in the Byron Shire and are able to apply their expert knowledge to help business owners make the most of their enterprise.

As members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, TNR participate in the Quality Assurance programme, under which all of their accounting services, operating systems and technology are subject to stringent Quality Assurance Guidelines.

The firm focuses primarily on taxation and business services and they are well equipped to assist with superannuation fund audit and administration, corporate compliance, estate planning and audit of real-estate and accommodation trust accounts. Chartered Accountant and Partner Brad Tom comments: “One of the most enjoyable things about being an accountant in a town like Byron Bay is the diversity of the client base. We have the knowledge and staff to be able to support a really broad range of customer needs. Providing assistance to locals with small businesses but also to companies manufacturing goods that are exported around the world.”

As well as sponsoring the TNR Twilight Cricket team the firm also sponsors a number of other local sports teams including Byron Bay Rugby Union Club, Byron Bay under 14’s representative basketball team and Byron Bay junior soccer. They are also involved with supporting the Byron Bay Golf Club PGA event and Byron Bay Winter Whales Ocean Swim event. Community events and sports like these rely heavily on local sponsorship so that they can operate to provide both kids and adults opportunities to be involved in sport. Without the support of community minded businesses like TNR they wouldn’t survive.

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