Tammy Brami is the co-founder of Boosa Cafe. Boosa, which means kiss in Arabic. Boosa prides itself on its middle-eastern inspired cuisine and quality coffee set in a brand new, impeccably designed shop in East Bentleigh.
Where did you get the idea for your business?
I always knew eventually I would be self-employed, but our cafe ventures started more incidentally due to Eitam’s (my husband) experience and passion for food and my previous hospitality and customer service experience.
How did you get your business started?
We started very minimally! Small personal loan from family, social media and a lot of hard work!
What lessons have you learned so far on your business journey?
- For us its all about the people. At the end of the day we can have the correct location and a great offering but if our staff don’t represent our brand properly the customer service experience is let down.
- Focus on doing what you are good at in the business. When we opened our first business we often tried to complete tasks that weren’t playing to our strengths. It adds unnecessary extra stress and wastes a lot of time that you could be a lot more productive using on other things that you are actually good at!
- Seek professional advice from knowledgeable people in your industry. Your family and friends want whats best for you but it often involves a lot of bias and emotion!
- If you aren’t ready to give things up, you aren’t ready to start your own business. (weekends, holidays, sleep-ins, birthdays – you name it!)
- Make sure that whatever you are doing – you believe in it 100%. We made big decisions this year with our menu in ensuring all of our products (fish, meat, eggs) were ethically sourced. That way I know I can be proud of what we are serving to our customers at the cafe.
- Believe there is a solution to every problem.
- ALWAYS listen to feedback. It is your choice what you actually do with the feedback but always listen.
- It is really important to have a good accountant that you can trust.
- The way you present yourself and your business is crucial. First impressions still count.
How important for you has it been to have a mentor?
Having a mentor has been crucial to the development and progression of our businesses and also our confidence! We haven’t had one mentor as such. We have a couple of professionals that we go to when we need to seek advice. The most important thing that we have found is to pick people that understand your industry and business, and will be able to give non-biased advice – even if it is things that you don’t want to hear sometimes!
What are your top three tips for starting a business?
- Start your business because there is just nothing else you could possibly do!
- Put everything into your team. They are your talent, your face of the business, and many times can teach you things you do not know!
- Recognise early your strengths and weaknesses. If you want your business to be successful, you really need to put your ego aside and recruit talent that have the skills and knowledge that you don’t.