For years, property consultant Michelle Bishop knew exactly what she wanted to do with a rundown hostel once used by postal workers, sitting adjacent to the magnificent Seven Mile Beach at Shoalhaven Heads on the NSW South Coast. Her vision never wavered, even in between having four kids, and running several other businesses.

Today, Michelle – a born and bred South Coast daughter - proudly shows guests around her architecturally-divine, Bangalay Luxury Villas. She personally oversaw its design and build to completion in 2018, creating a destination for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in a pampered coastal experience. There’s a guaranteed Instagram-worthy moment at every turn!

Michelle is passionate about servicing the conscious consumer – travellers who she says are now demanding a meaningful travel experience, not just somewhere fabulous to lay their heads at nightBut even a dynamo like Michelle felt hit for six when the Black Summer bushfires forced her to a critical pivot point in her business journey.

Having everything taken completely out of your control, and managing the staff and guest anxieties around that, was a really tough time.
— Michelle Bishop. Founder and GM, Bangalay Luxury Villas

Bangalay Luxury Villas was not directly impacted by the fires. However, guests didn't quite see it that way. The cancellations came thick and fast, and there were no forward bookings for the next year. Things were definitely looking bleak.

It was a good thing business facilitator, Terry O'Riordan, from the Entrepreneurs' Programme happened along.

"It wasn't just the fires in January. There were floods in February and then Covid-19 in March. Michelle said it felt like she was being forced to start-up her business over and over," says Terry.

At their first meeting, Michelle did all the talking and Terry a lot of listening. They then started with a balanced scorecard, a simple one-page plan to determine

Michelle's business priorities and how she could connect with the expertise she needed to bring her ideas to fruition. "Michelle is a really good participant in the Entrepreneurs' Programme because she sees the benefit of looking outside of her business, and the importance of planning to be ready for growth." says Terry.

Bangalay Luxury Villas continues to do its bit for recovery on the South Coast, partnering with the Empty Esky campaign to great success. There's been a return to full occupancy on weekends. Corporate bookings are coming in, and Christmas is looking much merrier than the last one. There's still Covid-19 protocols to respect, but Michelle feels she can almost exhale.

Knowing I've had Terry on hand to help me implement enough procedures, and recruited and trained staff to be able to make decisions, that will be the benchmark for where we want to be.
— Michelle Bishop. Founder and GM, Bangalay Luxury Villas

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