NEIS gives Scott the confidence to open multiple businesses


Scott had always wanted to be his own boss, and with the help of his NEIS provider he started his own home gardening and maintenance services business. When COVID-19 impacted his business, Scott diversified his business offering to his ensure his business’ survival.

Image of man in high-visibility work clothing planting trees in a backyard.

Scott Caddy was in between jobs and searching for something new but had no idea what direction to take. He had always wanted to operate his own business, but a lack of confidence and self-doubt stopped him following his dream. 

Scott sought counselling, which helped him turn his life around and go after his goal. At the same time, he was encouraged to access New Business Assistance with NEIS to make his dream of becoming his own boss come true.

After attending his first information session with the NEIS team in March 2019, Scott realised how much support he could get to start his business including business training, planning and mentoring. He quickly gained the confidence he needed to see that he could be successful in starting his own business.

The NEIS provider showed him how easy it was to get the business registered and set up. Scott settled on a business name of Dezigner Property Services, offering Home Gardening and Maintenance services. Despite having no formal training in this industry, he enjoyed this type of work.

“I still remember how much satisfaction I got when I received my business registration certificate – it was like a new beginning for me. I have the certificate framed and hanging on the wall in my home office as a reminder of what I have achieved and it motivates me to keep striving for success.”

The first few months of working in his own business were challenging, especially dealing with customers and having the added pressure of not having a regular income.  Scott met regularly with his NEIS mentor to talk about his experiences, concerns and what areas he needed to improve. His mentor gave him some tips on selling techniques and not long after, he was able to get his first sale.

“I remember the buzz it gave me, and it made me realise that I could actually make this work.” 

Once he was more confident working with customers, Scott’s sales increased and he hired a casual worker to help out. After six months of business success he invested in more tools and bought a Ute, which meant he could quote on higher paying jobs. This soon paid off, and by November 2019, he was booked out 3 weeks in advance.

“If it wasn’t for the NEIS program, I am quite sure I wouldn’t be in the position I am now – a successful small business owner.” 

The business continued to grow strongly during January and February 2020 but in March COVID-19 restrictions meant he could no longer visit customers and was forced to make some changes. Scott decided to use this time to do some online training courses so he could diversify his services. In addition to his gardening services, he began offering cleaning services, which were in high demand due to COVID-19 and continued operating and growing his business in new markets he hadn’t previously serviced. This extra revenue allowed Scott to make up for what he had lost during COVID-19 so his business was able to survive.

“I am really happy with my life right now and I have to give a huge thanks to the NEIS program for giving me the opportunity to do something that I always wanted to do but was too scared to do by myself. All the support and advice that is available means you are not alone, and in fact you have a whole team behind you, pushing you to succeed.  I have never worked harder in my life, but once you own your own business you will understand that the more effort you put in, the more you will benefit – both financially and mentally.” 

Scott has just opened his second small business and has plans for a third business in 2021. 

“My hope is that one day in the future I could be a mentor for the next generation of NEIS participants, so I can give back the support and expertise that was offered to me on the start of my journey.”

More information

New Business Assistance with NEIS can help by providing:

  • accredited small business training
  • personalised mentoring and support from a NEIS provider
  • NEIS Allowance for up to 39 weeks and NEIS Rental Assistance for up to 26 weeks (if eligible).

For more information visit Self-Employment - New Business Assistance with NEIS page.

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