Getting on the with the job
Paul Milevskiy looks to his business future with a place in the state’s most established business network
Knowing his business interests are represented is something mechanic business owner Paul Milevskiy holds in high regard.
Paul was a corporate professional before making the change to a business owner in 2016. With an interest in cars, Paul bought The Torque Team, established in 1974, and secured his place in the state’s business community.
The Torque Team at Mansfield is an automotive service and repair workshop, specialising in four-wheel drive and diesel vehicles.
“The business has evolved a fair bit since it started. It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be and I think most people would say that when they first go into business,” Paul said.
“Across my extended family, my mum, dad, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, most ran their own businesses or still do run their own businesses and it's something I wanted to try out. When the opportunity come up, I decided to give it a go.”
Paul said while the transition to being a business owner came with challenges, he had also learnt a lot.
“I've learned a lot about marketing and the usefulness or otherwise of social media,” he said.
“I've learned that most of our customers are good, happy people and if you treat them right, you get the reciprocal response back from them.”
It was during the global pandemic when Paul and his small team were forced to manage a business thorough restrictions and challenges, alongside the state’s business community.
He said the state chamber of commerce was critical in providing timely, valuable information he needed to manage his business and workforce.
“It was a pretty scary time for just about everyone in business and lots of other people as well,” Paul said.
“I was receiving emails from the chamber with lots of information about what's going on and what positive steps the chamber was taking to work with Queensland Government and other government agencies to help us get all through the pandemic.
“There were even live webinars with Minister for Small Business at the time. The chamber actually made quite a substantial effort to help not only its members, but the wider business sector as well.
“I thought, here's one organization that really did a stellar job of trying to help its members and other Queensland businesses through a very difficult time. So that's why I decided to join.”
Paul said his chamber membership provided him with peace of mind knowing his interests as a business owner were represented to government.
“The chamber is a voice directly to Queensland Government on behalf of businesses in Queensland. It was also some reassurance someone had our interests at heart and was being proactive about doing something about that.
“That is where the chamber fills that gap, whether it's proactive approach to government or via the Pulse Survey - feeding that to government and interacting with government about how businesses feel and where the economy is at in Queensland and how that's affecting small business.
“You really need somebody who can get in the government's ear about business’ interests.”
Paul said he felt it was important he sould share his insight as a business owner via the quarterly Pulse Survey – the state’s most authoritative insight into Queensland business sentiment.
“You have got to put your little bit in to get your little bit back. The more businesses that participate in the survey, the more valid the results will be,” he said.
“I'm just doing my little bit to help the chamber represent all businesses around the state.”
Paul has maintained his Business Chamber Queensland membership, looking to the future of his business knowing he holds a valuable place in the state’s business community.
“I find it really helpful. I get support from other peer businesses and get to network with other businesses as well. It allows you to see what other people are going through and what solutions they've applied to their particular problems,” he said.
“When you're running your own business, it can be a bit of a lonely affair. And to connect with other business owners who are in the same place, understand the problems they're facing and the solutions they’ve applied, that's really useful.
“It's never too late to dip your toe into the small business world. Anyone who's been here would tell you it's not easy, but it does get easier as time goes by. It can be a bit of fun.
“Now we’re getting on with the job.”