Today we are introducing you to Sam, the small business owner of Coordability which is a support coordination service for people who receive NDIS funding.
Coordability is a small business offering case management to help clients use their NDIS funding to organise the support they require. This includes helping them find services such as support work, community access and any technology or equipment they may need such as wheelchairs, iPads or communication devices.
While Sam found it challenging to start up during COVID19 restrictions in Melbourne, she is very happy to have the opportunity to manage her own business and work flexibility so that she can balance work and looking after her children.
“We have a little bit of hope that we might be able to get ahead rather than just break even and worry about all that. The stress about feeling like I do need to go back to work but not knowing if that was going to happen in a way that was going to work for our family. It is a bit of a relief to feel like we have reached a solution.”
Keep reading to hear more about Sam’s small business journey with Coordability.
Coordability is a support coordination service for people on NDIS. I started wanting to do that and work for myself after having worked for an organisation previously and seeing a lot of flaws in the way that they operate. I was keen to have something that would afford me more flexibility in my own life. My eldest child has additional needs that requires a bit of support and case management of his own. It was difficult for me to be working and fulltime and there was a lot of times I was being pulled away to attend meetings and other things. Having Coordability, own small business gives me a bit more flexibility.
I went to uni and I studied Education and Applied Sciences in Disability. Immediately after that, I did childcare for a while and ran my own family day care. A lot of the children that I looked after were from families that were involved with children with additional needs and a lot of them were quite complex themselves. I have my own children too so that keeps me busy. I have done a little bit of direct support work, nannying and working with children in general. After I stopped working, I was practically living on carers pension. I couldn’t get full time work because I’d be leaving every day to deal with a family emergency.
I found out about Many Rivers in late 2019 because I was looking into way to get business and financial support. Many Rivers looked almost like a combination of the two. Access to money when necessary but also the business support that I needed.
Working with Many Rivers
Setting up this business was a bit prohibitive, especially around the registration costs which were expensive. I guess I was also struggling a bit around general business management. I wasn’t exactly sure about what I needed to do around the finances-side of things. Accounting and taxation – all of that. So, it was helpful to have Richard, my Many Rivers business coach, to talk to about all of that.
In the beginning, it was helpful just to be able to sit down with Richard and talk about what needed to be done and in what order, to be methodical about it and to have a set plan. I guess also having someone to be accountable to and to make sure that I was pushing along. There were points in my journey when it would have been very easy to just chuck it all in. It was good to have somebody to keep reminding me of what the goal was as well.
I got a lot of help around the financial side of it. It was very different to my family day-care that didn’t have many expenses except for the service I was providing and the food. Richard was really helpful to go through things like tax, GST and insurances. It was all the little things that I wouldn’t have thought of. Trying to organise how much everything was going to cost. What was considered a business cost compared to a personal one. I guess the marketing side of things was really helpful too, because I hadn’t really thought of that as much.
The COVID19 situation has made it really hard. It pretty much all hit as we were trying to get the paperwork sorted. So we had to meet in a park somewhere to get the documents signed. At that point all cafes were closed. Organising the rest of it while having children at home was hard. And not being able to meet anyone face to face and having to come up with more innovative ways to do things was very challenging.
Passing my audit and getting my registration was huge. It was a massive process and there were about 20 different policies and procedures for this. It took a while to be approved too and we had an issue after it had already been sitting for a while, so we had to make the changes and resubmit it. At that point, loan repayments had commenced but I hadn’t been approved yet, so it was stressful. It is such a relief now to have been approved.
Future Goals for Coordability
One of the things that I am hoping for after we have opened and have been operating for a while is that I want to be able to hire someone. This way I can have time off if I need to, and know that things will be alright. I will still be reachable by phone but won’t have to be contactable at every moment. At some stage it would be nice to find a place to work in that’s still near-by so that I don’t have to worry about work and home separation and being distracted.
Thanks Sam for sharing your small business journey with Coordability. We know that there are many other people out there looking to take the next step towards setting up their own business. Your story will inspire them to take the first leap. If you would like to stay updated with Sam’s business journey, follow her on Facebook.
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Did you love this client story and keen to read another? Meet Kylie, the small business owner of Modern Mud Australia, an all-natural skincare and mineral cosmetics company.