Home' Border Enterprise : May 2012 Contents ENTERPRISE DIRECT MAY 2012
Describe your business / how did it start?
"We moved back to our home town of
Albury 19 years ago having lived and
worked in Sydney for the previous 15
years. I was a Science and computing
studies teacher in Sydney but always
wanted to run my own business", said Mark
Mannering. "I then saw an opportunity to
open up a computer training business."
"Mark didn't have any experience in
running his own business at that stage,
and in fact his market research involved
checking the Yellow Pages for who was
already delivering computer training,"
recalled Jenny Mannering.
"Our business plan back then was to make
more money than we spent and initial
marketing efforts involved just knocking
on the doors of businesses, cold calling
to inquire if they required any computer
"Mark opened the doors of CLASS
Training in 1994 and started with just
one computer in the corner of a big
room, teaching people one-on-one. As
the business grew, we purchased more
computers and it just blossomed from
"In February this year, we moved in to our
own premises in Olive Street. We have a
high-tech computer training room that can
seat up to 14 participants."
Which family members are in your team?
"I am the director but Jenny manages the
office, accounts, comes up with great ideas
and almost runs the whole thing, while I
do a lot of the training, development work
and marketing," Mr Mannering said.
"While they were at school our children,
Michelle, Nicholas, Catherine and William
all worked in the office, filing, cleaning
and tidying. Now that most of them
are at university, they can handle more
responsible tasks like updating the web
site and proof-reading the courseware we
How long have you worked together?
"Even though I started working with
Mark in the office in 2002, I have always
been involved in major decision-making,
directions to take and, importantly, how
money was spent," Mrs Mannering said.
"Mark has done a great job getting the
business from a one-man show in 1994
to where we are now but it's been a team
effort right from the word go."
How do you complement each other / what
are your particular skills?
"It's great just being able to bounce ideas
off each other," Mr Mannering said. "If
you rely solely on your own ideas and
judgement, you'll make very narrow
decisions, so Jenny helps greatly in this
"I have a great interest in design, gardening
and dress-making, and this has helped
create a friendly and modern working and
training environment," Mrs Mannering
added. "Mark is very good at getting on
the same level as the participants when
creating and delivering courses and I keep
him organised and on track."
What are the advantages of working
"Well, we just get to see more of each
other!" Mrs Mannering said.
Mark and Jenny Mannering
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require to make sound business decisions:
the latest population statistics -- who we are and how we work and live
data on the structure of our economy, local industry sectors and economic growth
statistics for residential land uptake and building investment, with comparative
analysis over time and against other areas
relevant strategies for the growth and development of the city's commercial
centres, suburban and industrial expansion
promotional material for business associates and prospective employees from
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