How do you know when is best to exit your business?

Kerrie Richards Founder of Merino Country has been manufacturing and marketing merino products for more than a quarter of a century. In this first episode of Handpicked podcast, Kerrie (who considers herself a small business owner and manufacturer) bravely asks the questions that most business owners want to know. Who is right to lead the next phase of growth for the business that she and her husband have built? They are passionate about Australian manufacturing, yet face the growth challenges as finding skilled team members increasingly difficult. After nearly three decades this can be exhausting for any owner.

Kerrie however is full of enthusiasm for the future, but she has choices to make. I have known Kerrie for about five years and from time to time she has called me to ask questions about her business. She agreed to be the first guest on season one of my Handpicked podcast.

I asked if she would be prepared to ask the sort of questions that she asked me on the phone publicly. And she kindly agreed.

There is much to be learned from other business people’s questions. The life of a small business owner is rarely set and forget. It is often full of twists and turns. And having a trusted advisor can be incredibly valuable.

Kerrie and her husband manufacture garments using Australian merino textiles in Queensland and whilst the business is booming – with a renewed focus on ‘buy Australia’, Australian manufacturing, and support for the regions, this represents challenges too.

Kerrie has great government contracts in place as well as thousands of loyal customers. Yet in the last few years growing ‘pains’ have meant that her and her husband Mal continue to work very long hours. Finding machinists and other textile and manufacturing team members is a challenge.

Her questions are conversational and cover a wide spectrum including.

  • “Is she the right person to take the business on the next wave of growth?”
  • “What are the determining factors you look for when investing in a business?”
  • “Where do you see growth coming from for manufacturing in Australia?“
  • “With real skills shortage & industry training not keeping pace, how do small businesses address the immediate training cost of low productivity & high wages?”
  • “What is the best way to assess workplace culture & employee engagement, and how do you improve it?”

This is a wonderful Australian business story with plenty of laughs, whilst asking the tough business questions.

To listen to this episode of the podcast click here

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For More information:

For more info on selling your business: LinkedIn course

For support with Mental health and your own business

Thanks to Hummpro for its support of the Handpicked Podcast and its dedication to the financial success of small business Australia.

About Merino Country
Australian Made and Ethically Grown

PS if you love what they do at Merino Country here is an added bonus.  10% Discount on On checkout Enter code: handpicked10  Also Australian Made Giveaway Promotion. 

S1 E1 Handpicked Podcast – Merino Country 24 May 2021


Also published on Medium.

Grow & Scale Your Business by Naomi Simson

Tell Naomi a little bit about your business by completing the questions below. (It will take less than 60 seconds)

Answering your #1 Biggest Business Challenge question tip: 

Go beyond just saying "Poor Cashflow" or "Unreliable Team". 

Instead, give Naomi details & specifics on how this is currently your #1 Biggest Business Challenge. 

I.e. "Every month I'm struggling to pay my bills on time because there just isn't consistent cash flow coming into the business. I've tried sticking to budgets in the past & pay myself less to keep some extra funds aside for emergencies, but still every month there seems to be another financial fire to be put out. I don't know what to do about it, so I'm just grinding it out."


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