“A Country Boy at Heart”. Wayne is focused on regional business.
With a wealth of experience in regional business, Wayne Cooper from Statewide Business Brokers, recently spoke to Bsale about his experience as a business broker and his passion for regional business.
Prior to getting his broker licence in 1979, Wayne had more than 20 years experience working in the corporate world running large multinational companies.
“Being in the corporate world and dealing with businesses, balance sheets, strategic issues, marketing and people management… It was easy for me to step into my own business.”
A ‘country boy’ at heart, Wayne said that he spent all his life in regional centres and prior to entering the broking industry he was always based in country towns.
“We just like country people and country towns.”
The move to start his own business and settle in the country town of Mandurah was an obvious choice.
“The people you deal with, in particular country people, I like the challenge of putting a business into the market place and you know, you identify whether it’s going to be salable or not and working with the seller to get the best result for them. A lot of your sellers become close friends because you work so closely with them. So it’s a bit of all of that, it’s the marketplace, it's the business, it's the people.”
“I’d always had an interest in businesses and business broking. In the corporate world, we were successful in turning around businesses into highly profitable operations. So our emphasis was really just on regional business.” Wayne said.
Due to his strong reputation for country business, Wayne said that he has a following of accounting practices who refer a lot of business to him due to this experience.
“We weren’t interested in taking on businesses in the metropolitan area in that time (and that was sort of 20 years ago) so we have built up a foundation and a very good reputation right across western Australia.”
“We have sold businesses in 75 different regional centres, we have quite a strong following of people in the country and in particular agribusinesses. We’ll have farmers that constantly ring us that want to buy an investment so we service that.” Wayne said.
“Our policy has not been regimented to one market centre. We’ve sold everything from manufacturing, fabrication, agribusiness, post office, news agency, supermarket, cafes, whatever it might be. These days we probably focus more on large transport businesses. Earth moving businesses and mining service businesses.”
Some of the biggest difficulties regional business owners face, when compared to business owners in metropolitan areas, is the ability to get funding and simply getting people to want to move to the country.
“Everybody wants a coastal location. They don’t want to go to the wheatbelt, smaller towns, they're hot and dry, but those centres usually generate a greater return on funds invested and owners on most occasions can be the owners of the freehold as well. Which allows them to build wealth for their superannuation funds.”
“Regional centres have been, and will continue to be, the lifeline for Australia's economy.”
“Farming whether its grain or cattle or sheep or pig, that will always be there, mining will have peaks and troughs, there will be different aspects affecting businesses in the metropolitan areas but when there are tough times and down turns, people still have to eat.” Wayne said.
There are a lot of business opportunities in regional Australia for the right person. Wayne said that there are quite a lot of young couples looking to have a “rural lifestyle” for their kids and growing families.
“There are a lot of country businesses that make good money. A lot of the smaller businesses provide jobs for people but there is also the opportunity of having businesses that create wealth.” Wayne said.
About the author
Caitlin has a background in media and communications, studying journalism at University and doing various freelance writing and production work over ...