Home' Border Enterprise : Enterprise Spring-Summer 2009 Contents 12 enterpris e
THE RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
An Albury produce
longevity is due to
knowing exactly what
her customers want,
writes MICK MCGLONE
ALBURY businesswoman Vicki
Chick might run a complex
business but her golden rules
for success in business are
"You have to be prepared to put in long hours,
love what you are doing and know your business
from all angles," she says.
But there is an even more fundamental rule to
follow in Mrs Chick's opinion.
"The most critical part of a business is
understanding exactly what a customer wants and
then supplying it that way, doing the right thing,"
But knowing how to supply what your client
wants can be harder than it sounds.
Mrs Chick, the managing director of a large
export company based in Albury, INTANAT (Aust)
Pty Ltd, has supplied some unusual produce,
mostly food, to some unlikely places.
Apart from the food that has to be produced
according to cultural and religious demands, try
yabbies to Singapore, crocodile to Australian
troops in Afghanistan, emu to Saudi Arabia and
kangaroo to Vietnam.
But perhaps one of the most unusual orders was
from Switzerland for rabbit pieces: boneless legs
and tenderloins on 500g trays, 10 tonnes at a time,
"Mrs Chick says.
"We sourced them from Broken Hill but it took
two months to source 10 tonnes: we sent five or
six full containers
"I also had a request for rabbit brains but I said I
would be dead before I put that order together."
Mrs Chick finds new markets, presents Australian
products and then prices and sells them into that
"The documentation required is enormous
compared to when the business was started," she
"So I have a staff of four, including my daughters
Rebecca, 33, and Anastasia, 31, to assist,
especially as I spend so much time overseas."
You could say Mrs Chick was born to go into this
It was started in 1977 by her father Kevin Bowtell
who originally moved his family to the Border in the
course of his career in the meat industry.
Mrs Chick was 15 at the time and finished her
schooling at Albury High School before gaining her
teaching qualifications at the University of Canberra
She married her husband, Alan, two weeks later
and began her teaching career at Corowa.
But when Rebecca arrived that all came to a
halt and Mrs Chick started to do relief teaching
In due course her two eldest children were joined
by Dannielle, now 29, and Sam, now 25.
"One day my mother, Shirley, asked me to see if
I would like to work casually in the business," Mrs
"I did but I hated it.
"I then had another go later and found out I loved
it and it got into my blood."
But it wasn't all beer and skittles for her.
"Mum couldn't stop laughing when I sent out
an invoice with 0.5 of a yen, rather than rounding
it up, and another time in the early days I had to
quote an order where I was required to change
Australian dollars and kilograms into US dollars
and pounds, which terrified me" she says.
When her mother became ill and her father
then retired Mrs Chick took over the running of
the company and eventually moved it to an office
adjacent to her family's residence.
When the children were younger she had a
rumpus room in the office, approximate to where
Rebecca and Anastasia now sit, so she could keep
an eye on her children.
Mrs Chick has to be a superb time manager,
also running an import/food distribution business
in partnership in Hong Kong, helping to run the
family farm, co-owned with her brother and sister
and being on the parish council of Saint Matthews
Anglican Church in Albury.
She says that being a woman has not been a
"Most people don't seem to even notice," she
Vicki Chick runs
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