Despite the recent challenges most Cowra businesses have remained open with many familiar faces around to greet customers when doors re-opened.
One of those familiar face's in Greg Nicholls at Martin's Electrical in Kendal Street.
In the first of what will become a regular series in the Cowra Guardian featuring Cowra's business community Greg has shared with us what motivates him, some advice for new businesses, plus a few things about himself that customers might not know.
How long have you been at Martins?
Twenty years. A lifetime.
It must be a good place to work to stay for so long?
It's like anything you have your good days and you have your bad days.
What's a typical day look like for Greg at Martins?
A typical day? Basically co-ordinating all the ordering for the business, I go past the workshop every day to check what they need and at the end of the day close off, and serve customers in between.
What makes you get up and keep coming to work?
Having to pay my house off, that's the main motivation. As I said, you have good days and bad days. Satisfying customers needs is a great part of the job.
So what makes a bad day?
Customers who don't take advice when they ask for it. That annoys the living daylight out of me. There are numerous customers who will ask you something and you'll give them an answer and they'll tell you you're not right. It's frustrating.
So what makes a good day?
When you can help people and give them the answers and they take your advice.
Before you joined Martins what did you do?
When I first left school I worked in finance. I enjoyed that, I left school in 1985 with a job already lined up. I was always good at maths and enjoyed the work. I still do some finance here and I'm the treasurer at the Cowra Bowling Club.
Have you got any advice for people thinking of going in to business that'll make the transition easier?
Have the finance, don't go in under capitalised. A lot of people go in to business under capitalised, it doesn't help them at all. At the moment we've got really good economic times, interest rates are low. When I was in finance interest rates were a lot higher and there was a lot of bad debt. They need to make sure they have the backing behind them. They have to calculate for when interest rates do go up, they will go up. If you've financed (to go into business) make sure you can make the payments.
Do you have a favourite customer?
Not really, but a lot of customers come in and you can have a good joke with them.
I'm giving you a blank cheque to improve business in Cowra, what are you going to do with it?
The big thing I see in Cowra, from a male perspective, is we need more menswear options. I also think there's a perceived impression that Council makes it hard, whether you can alleviate that somehow I don't know. There are a lot of empty shops in the main street. People might come in and want to do something but there appear to be restrictions as to why it can happen. ie they've got to pay for parking.
Can you tell us a couple of things about yourself that people might not know?
A lot of people don't realise I'm originally from Leeton - I enjoy getting back as much as I can. I enjoy my sport, besides bowls I still play a bit of football. I love getting away playing Masters Rugby League with Grenfell.
What do you think?
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