Maxim Haim with Valerie Hardy of Second Hand Rose Emporium, one of the businesses where he is conducting a social media assessment.
Maxim Haim with Valerie Hardy of Second Hand Rose Emporium, one of the businesses where he is conducting a social media assessment.

Maxim's new world

Maxim Haim had a serious accident some time back, but despite all the pain and suffering, he calls it his ‘grace’.

 It was the accident that set him on the path to being part of an exciting new job creation project that has potential not only for small businesses in Byron Shire, but also for small businesses far and wide.

Maxim is one of 10 graduates of the recent Marketing Small Business Using Social Media course, designed and delivered by Byron Community College, and although his background prior to the accident was within the industry, he credits it with changing his life.

“The course changed my direction in life,” said Maxim.

 “Before the accident I had a lot of corporate clients, and was always at the Gold Coast airport, but that’s all stopped, now that I’m concentrating on Byron Shire, bringing my expertise here.”

And while he was already media savvy, he found that his love of learning allowed him to go so much further and deeper while doing the course.

“I learnt so much,” he said, “having to sit and formally study – and it was great meeting other people as well.”

Maxim acknowledged the vision and drive of Kim Rosen from the Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce who worked for months to get the pilot project up and running.

“Kim has been very proactive,” he said, “and very inspiring, getting the job done – it’s quite amazing that it was an accredited course.”

Now, thanks to a $5000 funding boost from Industry and Investment NSW, Maxim and his fellow graduates are poised to take their expertise to the small businesses of Brunswick Heads, showing them how to use the new media tools such as Facebook, blogs and Twitter to their best advantage.

This second stage of the project is crucial, for it will allow the efficacy of the course to be measured in real terms, with Investment and Industry highly interested in the outcome of the pilot program in meaningful job creation, because if it is successful it could be replicated in other towns.

Recently, seven of the graduates – the others opted to work on their own businesses – start their placements in small local businesses for 80 hours of work.

Maxim, like some of the others, will spread his 80 hours over four different businesses.

“I’ll start by looking at their website,” he explained, “to see if it’s good, if it’s doing what they want, then we can move on to the social media part.

“When used wisely and well, social media will have a huge benefit for the shire.

“I want to spread the word that even regional communities can do well – that’s what excites me.”

For more information about the program, contact Kim Rosen on 0412 316 299 or about future courses contact Byron Community College on 6684 3374.

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