For Michael Lembo, starting a small business allowed him to combine his passion for the glass and glazing trade with his desire to help others.

Inspired by his family, who also own and operate successful small businesses, Michael decided to set up Albany 24 Hour Glass in 2015, offering glass and glazing services and glass window repairs to the South West region.

His journey as a small business owner started when he left a Perth-based apprenticeship and started looking for alternative options to continue his passion.

“I enjoyed doing what I was doing at my apprenticeship and I knew I wanted to keep on doing it but I needed additional training to learn how to manage a small business,” he said.

Michael was encouraged to apply to Business Foundations’ self employment New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) program which helped to transform his idea for a small window repair business into reality.

“NEIS was a great and very big piece of the puzzle. It gave me the training to help me succeed and I was very fortunate to have the best team available in Albany to help me,” he said.

“The classes were excellent and the advice from my trainer and business mentor helped me to set up the business the right way from the beginning.”

With a clear passion for his trade and a strong desire to always do the right thing by his customers, it didn’t take long for Michael to build a positive reputation in the South West.

His advice to others looking to start their own business is simple, but important.

“Love what you do – if you’ve got that, that’s the first part of being successful,” he said.

“Customer service is also very important. You should think about what you can do that other people don’t do, or how you can do better.”

Michael enlists the support of local contractors to help him in the busy times, but he has big plans to expand the business in the future.

“I’d really like to hire someone in the future to give them an opportunity to help give back to our community and support our growing list of customers,” he said.

“I didn’t expect the business to be as big as it is now in such a small period of time, but I am very fortunate to have a wonderful wife and family who motivate and support me to keep following my passion.”

Albany 24 Hour Glass offers full glazing and glass services including the installation for window frames, barrier doors and flyscreens, insurance work and glass repairs. You can find them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Albany24hrGlass/