This weekend Broken Hill Hobbies and Electronics celebrates 21 years in business.
To mark the milestone, the Barrier Truth spoke to owner Sergio Bressanelli about his background and how he came to own the local store.
Born and bred in Broken Hill, Mr Bressanelli started work pushing trolleys on freshly laid gravel at the then-new Woolworths store after leaving school after Year 10.
A Woolworths employee for eight years, he eventually become a trainee manager and, while working night shift, he accepted a second job as a field assistant working with a geologist.
“[After that] I worked a Spicer’s Office Equipment for a few years before I left for Adelaide with my band to make it in the music industry,” Mr Bressanelli reminisced.
“But after a year, and with a young family, I got homesick, so I came back home and got a job at Broken Hill Hobbies and Electronics.
Eight years later, and with the previous owner planning to retire, Mr Bressanelli – with brother Alwyn and his wife Leonie – took over on October 1, 2002.
Mr Bressanelli said his business is unique in the region.
“Our knowledge, experience and expertise in providing 20 years of quality customer service, allows us to offer servicing and repairs to all we sell, including computers and electronics,” he said.
“We also provide on-site IT support services, and we service a 300 kilometre radius of Broken Hill.”
Other services include satellite phone hire, and watch battery, and band replacements as well as some old-fashioned advice.
Owning a small business for 21 years isn’t without its challenges and Mr Bressanelli said it’s the “sacrifices you have to make” that is the hardest part of his journey.
“Business consumes you because you’re always doing your best to meet customer’s demands and the daily running of the business,” he said.
“So often you will be time poor for yourself and your family and miss out on family functions and milestones because you have so much work to do.
“You can’t afford to be sick and have days off because these demands will not allow it.”
Along with these challenges, come the changes in how businesses operate. Forever changing technology is one of the most significant changes Mr Bressanelli has seen in his almost 30 years in the industry.
When asked what advice he would give to aspiring business owners, he joked that they should just “marry someone rich”.
“Seriously, if you have belief in your product or service, and your passionate and love something enough that you want to pursue it full time, then go for it,” he said.
“If you see an opportunity then go for it, we only have one life, this opportunity may only come around once in your life, so it’s better to give it a go rather than regretting not trying.”
Broken Hill Hobbies and Electronics is located at 197-199 Argent Street, opposite the Demo Club, and is opens Monday – Friday 9am – 5.30pm.