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The background to the Trading Mate story

Back in 2012, it was time to head back into the workforce after 6 years at home with the small people. Wanting to have a better work/life balance, it seemed a good idea to look at using acquired skills & resources to set up a small home-based bookkeeping business. Starting a business is exciting and risky, but the time was right to “have a go”.

Now, where to start the “M A R K E T I N G” . . . a big word for a numbers girl, but knowing that the phone books were being phased out, it was time to head to the internet – apparently it’s now the “go-to” place to “be found“!

So it was time to join the tech savvy and get this business online.

Ok, photos, keywords and business spiel uploaded onto the “free” online directories.

And . . . nothing.

NO-ONE was finding my business because it was at the BOTTOM of the sea . . . . sorry “search”, and all the people who had B I G advertising budgets, and able to pay lotsa money were always going to be listed above my lil old (well, fairly new) bookkeeping business . . .

Any work that came in seemed to be from friends and by word of mouth, sometimes a favour in exchange for a haircut or manicure.

Favours are one thing, but what if amongst the usual paying clients, an exchange of real value items and services could be procured – and every business has to have some form of bookkeeping in place, right?

Looking around home, there’s the patio roof that needs painting, electrical repairs, pool paving, garden maintenance – geez it’d be great to have a cleaner or lawn mowing service . . .

What if there was a way to connect my business with other local small businesses

– all in the one place

and what about the possibility of discussing some form of business exchange?

Surely there were others out there in a similar predicament?

Wouldn’t we all like to;

  • make some money
  • find a network of “mates” we trust
  • have our small business “found” online
  • use our skills to help others, get things done AND
  • free up valuable cash & time for better business/family use?

Bookkeeping is a great skill, but the value I was receiving, wasn’t in the work or the income, it was the rewards of helping people get more out of their businesses – could I do this at another level?

How about I set-up an online business directory that actually PRIORITY LISTED all of our small businesses?

Then we could ALL be found easily and quickly in one place on the internet, because no matter what area we live in, we all have great local people who are passionate and qualified and absolutely LOVE what they do.

Because, where costs permit, we all want to support local – it makes you FEEEEL good to spend where it actually matters – with the families who are out there running their own small businesses & “havin a go”.

AND . . . this could be something that would benefit small businesses all over Australia!

And that’s how Trading Mate came to be.

BUT . . . it had to be economical and it had to offer high value returns.

AND . . . it had to be competitive with the other directories, so we needed VOLUME, not cost.

How much would I pay to use this kind of service – maybe what, $50?

Sure – I’m the tightest of tight (must be the accounting background) but 50 bucks is way less than pretty much any other 12 month fee for marketing costs – even Facebook doesn’t have its own business directory and I was sick of searching through old posts and comments to find what I needed, a week, or months, after seeing a post for a service or shop I now needed!


And we went LIVE back in June 2015!

We even launched with our own TM Trading Platform, optional for use – and without any of the commission payments that other trade-based directories require. And we are open to hobby businesses as well as non-profit entities, because they have goods and services we need – and they need stuff too!

But what ELSE could we do for these hard workin’ small business guys?

And then a light-bulb moment in 2016 – what if we got together regularly to welcome all our new members in person, find out about each other’s products & services – and include the Trading Mates in the production & presentation of each event – give them the stage (literally or figuratively) to introduce their business offerings?

And they came!

Literally scores of our TM members join us each month (in the founding region of Cairns FNQ) to network and get connected.

Why do they like the Trading Mate functions so much?

Well somehow we’ve created a culture of real people who exude warmth, support & inclusiveness. Who commiserate and lend a hand when their TMates are struggling and who celebrate our breaks and wins with us too.

Because we are about making everything we do super affordable, so are our events. And we change them up every month to ensure we always offer information relevant to small business, with plenty of time for connective opportunities.

AND our members can bring new guests to each function FOC so we always have new people to connect our businesses with!

Have we got more to come?

You bet we do! We are busy making Trading Mate a household name all across the country so every new business knows just where to go once they make the move to start up and get connected. After all, at a membership cost of less than $1 per week, it’s a no-brainer – and for those of you seeking extra income, we have some terrific commissions payable to our referring partners.

Could YOU be part of the Trading Mate revolution as we take it NEXT level?

If you love helping people and fancy hosting your own monthly business networking event, earning residual income, and are all about supporting small business – we want to hear from YOU. We have Franchise opportunities to run your own Trading Mate business in every region of Australia!

Trading Mate started off as a value-packed online business directory but has become so much more – we have the most incredible community of actual people – who support, include, refer and, very often, buy from one another – why wouldn’t you . . .

Click here to join our incredible business community and get YOUR business connected TODAY!