Tag

small business Archives - Business Growth Partners

Take Your Start-Up to the Next Level Event Review

By | Business

Today Leadership Victoria held an event, titled Take Your Start-Up to the Next Level. The event focused on the journey a founder of a new business takes and the challenges they may face.  The two speakers at the event, Adam Jacoby and Anthea Smits, spoke of their time leading businesses.

 

Adam Jacoby is the founder of MiVote and various other technology related companies. One of the many points that Adam discussed was the ability to consider two conflicting ideas simultaneously. This skill has to be acquired by Founders and Business Builders so they do not focus too much on one aspect of their business. Which can lead to failure, either to reach goals or the business in its entirety. The example Adam gave was considering the current situation the business has to manage and the goals and vision of the business.

 

Anthea Smits is the CEO of The Difference Incubator, which helps develop social enterprises. Anthea spoke of the challenges she faced when starting out in her first social enterprise. She discussed the fear of failure that is embedded in starting up a business or social enterprise. While fear of failure is a fantastic driver, Anthea also believed that failure is a fantastic teacher. She discussed how failure help with growth, both in a business and personally, by highlighting areas that are successful and could need improvement.

 

Both speakers also spoke about the skills they believe a leader should possess. These skills range from empathy and passion through to the ability to think laterally. The audience was also given the opportunity to ask questions. Many related to mentors: what is the best approach to finding a mentor or how to capitalise on the mentor-mentee relationship.

 

The majority of the attendees with this event were Founders of Start-Up businesses or Social Enterprises, coming from a variety of industries. I spoke with people who are bringing products and services to market with a different approach to many other businesses out there.

 

The event was held at the Old Treasury Building on Spring Street, the space really demonstrated the heritage of the building and the history of Melbourne. The food on offer was fresh and very tasty, the fan favourite had to be the Corn and Jalapeno Croquettes!

 

Overall the event was a wonderful insight into the way that a Founder tackles challenges to take their business to the next level. I would definitely attend events organised by Leadership Victoria in the future

 

Things to Note

  • Location: JJ Clark Room, Level 1, Old Treasury Building, 20 Spring Street Melbourne
  • Highlight: Invaluable insight into the minds of successful Business Builders
  • Cost: Free
  • Hot Tip: Come prepared to ask questions

Ratings:

  • Venue:  4/5
  • Catering: 4/5
  • Speaker: 5/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 3.5/5

Total: 16.5/20

Teach Your Network How to Find You Business: Event Review

By | Business

Today I attended Business Network International’s event, Teach Your Network How to Find You Business. This event was part of the Small Business Festival, run by the Victorian Government. The event itself was run by Braith Bamkin, who specialises in effective networking. The aim of the event was to educate the attendees on how best to generate referrals from their professional network.

 

Many of the attendees of the event were either owners or senior members of small businesses. Attendees came from a variety of industries including hospitality, financial planning and law firms. At the beginning of the seminar portion of the event Braith got each person to briefly introduce themselves and what their business does.

 

There are three different types of referrals, Bread and Butter, Cream and Dream referrals. Bread and Butter referrals are the clients that keep your business running day to day. Cream referrals are longer term or higher worth clients, the type of client that can set a month or quarter apart from the rest of the year. Finally, Dream referrals are the type of clients that take your business to the next level, often changing your business permanently.

 

The best way to transform your professional network into Referral Partners is to educate them about your business. After all, if they don’t know what you do or the types of clients you work with your Referral Partners can’t refer the right clients.

 

Overall the event was insightful, offering a number of ways to look at your professional network and how a meaningful connection can generate quality referrals. Braith was an engaging presenter, he interacted with the audience and encouraged interaction. The attendees were worth speaking with, coming from small businesses in a multitude of industries. I would definitely attend more of this type of event.

Things to Note

  • Location: St Kilda Room, Park Regis Griffin Suites, 604 Saint Kilda Road Melbourne
  • Highlight: Gaining the tools to convert your professional network to referral partners
  • Cost: $30
  • Hot Tip: Be sure to participate

Ratings:

  • Venue:  3/5
  • Catering: N/A
  • Speaker: 5/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 3/5

Total: 11/15

Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce: Event Review

By | Business

I attended ‘Embracing Disruption as an Opportunity’ on the morning of Wednesday 25th of July. The event was run by the Canadian Australia Chamber of Commerce (CACC) in conjunction with C2. The purpose of the event was to promote C2 as well as creating an environment to network, engage and explore ideas that enhance your business.

The breakfast event was held at Cargo Hall on South Wharf Promenade and ran from 7.30am-10am. I arrived at 7.30am with the room already packed with Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce members. Majority of the attendees were members of the Canadian Australia Chamber of Commerce. There was a long table filled with breakfast items including hot and cold pastries, fruit and muesli as well as tea, coffee and orange juice on offer.

Previously, I have attended another CACC event back in May and the selection of food was absolutely delicious. The Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce do not fail to disappoint with their catering.

This was an opportunity to network with the attendees. There were a mix of small business owners such as accounting firms and leadership coaches to large corporate firms such as Telstra, Porsche and Melbourne Airport.

 

After 30 minutes of mingling with the attendees and eating breakfast. We were moved to a dark room seated in a circular format with the panel standing in the middle of the audience. There were four members on the panel. The panel included the Martin Enault, the CEO of C2, Michele Levine, the CEO of Roy Morgan, Mike McGrath, the Chief Marketing Officer at PwC and finally Laura Anderson, the Chairman of SVI Global.

The panel discussed some interesting insights into the world of business and being disruptive.

 

The CEO and host of the event, Martin Enault then gave us an insight into what the ‘C2 Experience’ was.  As there was up to 80 attendees, we were asked questions about the future of work and what elements of business would be most affected by digitisation. This gave the attendees an opportunity to discuss our opinions with each other.

 

The C2 experience wants to explore and transform the way people think about the role of creativity in a business.  C2 is hosting a Melbourne first event on October 17-19th.  The event is priced at $2495 for the 3 day event.

 

Overall the event was entertaining to attend.  It wasn’t really much of a networking event but more of an introduction to C2. It was an entertaining to gain some insight into C2. There was quite a hype around C2 and their way around networking events. It was great to learn a bit more about what C2 does and how they run these type of events.

I really enjoyed listening to the speakers as they were quite high level in their roles and found their discussions interesting. However I don’t think I will be paying $2495 for a 3 day networking event in October.

 

Things to Note:

  • Location: Showtime Events, Cargo Hall, 39 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf, VIC, 3006
  • Highlight:  The panel discussion
  • Cost: $30
  • Hot Tip: Be ready for a different type of networking

Ratings:

  • Venue:  4/5
  • Catering: 5/5
  • Speaker: 5/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 2/5

Total: 16/20

 

Networking with a Twist – Event Review

By | Business

I attended the ‘Networking with a Twist’ hosted by Your Time Matters on Tuesday 29th of May.

The event was held at the Deck in Brighton and ran from 5.30pm-8.30pm. Your Time Matters is a networking group ran by Kerryn Powell and her husband Leigh Powell for the past 8 years.

Your Time Matters hosts monthly events. They seek to build a trusted network emphasising on creating strong relationships and connections.

The guest speaker was Stephen Read, a landscape designer who spoke about the importance of collaboration and who we should seek to collaborate with. His motto is ‘Stop Collaborate and Listen’ and he had recently collaborated with a few attendees in the room designing their new gardens!

We were given a complimentary drink on arrival and there were shared cheese platters on each table. The attendees sat around on tables and answered questions given to us on our Your Time Matters ‘conversation cards’. These questions were either personal or professional related and designed to have the group talking. Through this we were able to find solutions, share knowledge and see connections.

The idea of asking questions was an interesting aspect to the night which was different to simply networking. This was a great discussion tool and you learnt more about all attendees. The event wasn’t primarily about networking, it was more focused on building relationships with all attendees.

As this is a monthly ran event, the majority of attendees knew each other quite well and had been coming for a while to Your Time Matters events!

The type of attendees were IT and web developers, inter designers and other small business owners.

I found the event worthwhile to attend it was enjoyable and I left with new ideas and connections.

Things to Note:

Location: The Deck, 212 Bay Street, Brighton

Highlight: The conversation cards

Cost: $60

Hot Tip: Come with an open mind

Ratings:

Venue: 5/5

Catering: 3/5

Speakers: 4/5

Networking Opportunity: 2/5

Total: 14/20

StartUp Grind Event: Global Female Founders Month

By | Business

On May 23rd, Natalia and I attended an event hosted by StartUp Grind. The event was held at the Zendesk venue at Queen Street in Melbourne.

StartUp Grind holds events after work hours throughout the year, to accommodate the busy working individuals that come along straight after work. The event started at 6:00 pm with networking and food, a Fireside Chat at 7:00 pm, and finished with networking at 8:00 pm.

The event was hosted by Nick Bell, one of Australia’s most prolific self-made businessmen, who started WME in his bedroom with only $400 and sold his business to Melbourne IT for $39 million. He organised three female entrepreneurs who have successfully launched their own businesses, such as Dr Kate Cornick, Shahirah, and Emily Rich.

Dr Kate Cornick is the CEO of LaunchVic, the Victorian Government’s lead start up development agency. She made sure to emphasise that being a ‘CEO’ is not as glamorous as people believe, and involves a lot of responsibility. She mentioned the stresses involved of having a high job position, by drawing on previous experiences and failures to discuss the importance of work-life balance and listening to your mind and body through stressful times, in order to make appropriate choices.

Shahriah is the co-founder of Finch, a financial app for your social life that helps you track your social spending and pay and request money instantly. She agreed with Kate, and shared that when you start a business, it is everything to you, you live and breathe it, and therefore it can take its toll on friendships and family. She brought up the commonly held belief that ‘when you start a business you have no life’, and mentioned that for people who are passionate about their business, this is a choice that they make. Shahriah relaxes and takes her mind of work by getting up early in the morning to do yoga.

Emile Rich is a young woman with a wealth of knowledge at such a young age. She is a tech entrepreneur, having sold Jemsoft to a publicly listed IoT company in 2017, she now invests in projects at their early stage. She shared that from her own personal experience with gaining venture capital, it is crucial not to take the first investor’s offer, and to choose your investors wisely by looking at what they can bring to the table. Therefore, she only invests in start-ups based on what she can bring to their team.

The guest speakers discussed the processes involved in starting a business, and the struggles faced along the way. In particular one of the struggles raised by a member of the audience was sexism and asked whether the entrepreneurs whether they have experienced and how they handled it. Shahriah answered this by saying that in a meeting she was presenting, she was ignored by her male audience and all questions asked were directed to her male colleague. She handled this situation by carrying on with the meeting politely, despite knowing immediately that she would not take any investment offers from them.

There were some attendees who were passionate about technology and others who plan to start their own business in the future and wanted to gain insights from the experiences of successful entrepreneurs.
We attended this event to organise appointments with people who want to grow their businesses and reach their goals. We met individuals who have started a business and would like to receive structured support through our Marketing Governance Framework to make more informed business decisions.

The women were well informed, and discussed their experiences starting a business and the processes involved in gaining investment. However, the discussions were constrained to starting a business and did not delve into the successful management of the business and maintaining momentum over the long-term.

Location:

Zendesk

67 Queen Street, Melbourne , VIC 3000

Cost:
$25 per person

Highlight:
The chance to meet passionate individuals

Hot Tip:
Get there as early as possible to network before the Fireside Chat starts, as people tend to leave after the speakers have finished

Take Outs:
Work-life balance is so important to run a successful business
Ignore sexist remarks
Only accept investors who can bring something to the table
The Government has a lot of work to do in assisting start-up businesses in Victoria

Overall Rating:

Network Opportunity: 3/5
Speakers: 3/5
Venue: 4/5
Food: 3/5
Total: 13/20

Rankin & Co: Women in Fashion and Design: Event Review

By | Business

Megan and I attended the Rankin & Co ‘Women in Fashion and Design’ drinks and networking event on Thursday 3rd of May. The event was held at Misuzu’s, an authentic and delicious Japanese restaurant in the heart of Albert Park.

We were invited by Rob Roy Rankin, the Director of Rankin & Co, a law firm. At the event,  Megan and I met a range of his work colleagues. We were also introduced to Rob’s contacts and clients who had known Rob for years.

Rob often hosts these evening event throughout each year as it’s an opportunity for Rob to introduce some of his fashion and design clients to all the attendees as well as networking with like minded individuals.

The venue was a suitable choice as the event was quite intimate and relaxing. All attendees sat around a curved table sharing stories and enjoying delicious food and wine that Rob had organised for the night.

Megan and myself were fortunate enough to receive an attendance gift, a stila matte lipstick from MECCA which we were extremely grateful for.

Things to Note:

Location: Misuzu’s, 3/7 Victoria Ave, Albert Park, 3206

Highlight: The food and the MECCA gift

Cost: Free

Hot Tip: Be quick when circulating the tables to network

Ratings:

Venue: 4/5

Catering: 3/5

Speakers: N/A

Networking Opportunity: 1/5

Total: 8/15

DM Forum: Dando and LinkedIn Present: Event Review

By | Business, Uncategorized

On the first Tuesday in May, Business Growth Partners attended the DM Forum hosted by Frank Chamberlin. The event was held at the Monash Conference Centre on Collins Street from 6-8pm.

The DM Forum is an casual after-work function that is held quarterly on a Tuesday evening throughout the year.

The presenters for the event were Steve Crough, Founder of the Dando, as well as Helen Hollins, the General Manager of Dando.  A digital agency in Richmond. The second speaker was Kae Hum, Head of Enterprise Sales for LinkedIn.

Kae Hum was a great public speaker and kept the audience engaged through his presentation. LinkedIn has over 550 million members globally. ! As majority of individuals and business owners have a LinkedIn presence, it was interesting to learn about the tactics for businesses to reach their marketing objectives through LinkedIn.

The DM Forum is always great to attend, Frank makes such an effort to connect individuals and businesses owners together. Every time I go, I meet a selection of interesting attendees who are at the DM Forum out of interest of the speaker and enjoy the great event that Frank hosts.

The sandwiches are a favourite and a highlight with the crowd.

There is limited time to network at the event – it is key to get to the venue before 6pm to have a opportunity to network with like minded individuals. The type of attendees were a lot of Monash marketing students as well as digital agencies. The key speakers tend to speak for about an hour and a half. In this case, make sure you get in early to network and to eat some of Frank’s sandwiches!

Things to Note:

Location: Monash Conference Centre, Collins Street, Melbourne, 3000

Highlight: The sandwiches and speakers

Cost: $32

Hot Tip:  Get in early to network

 

Ratings:

Venue: 5/5

Catering: 5/5

Speakers: 4/5

Network Opportunity: 3/5

Total: 16/20

 

Steve Crough from Dando presenting

Kae Hum from LinkedIn presenting

Leadership Skills – How to Motivate and Inspire: Event Review

By | Business

I attended the event Leadership Skills – how to Motivate and Inspire on Wednesday 18th of April.

The event was run by She Mentors; a space for women in business to come together to inspire, connect and support each other.

The event was held at Inspire 9 in Richmond, a co-working space in Richmond predominantly for creatives, entrepreneurs and freelancers. This space was a suitable venue for this after-work event as it was spacious and provided us with an idea of what working in a co-working space would be like.

The guest speakers were Kylie Lewis, who owns a platform where Kylie conducts consulting, coaching and workshops for businesses in social media, as well as digital and content marketing. She has had previous experience as the Head of Digital for Kikki K and is now an entrepreneur.  I was particularly interesting in listening to Kylie speak due to the fact that I enjoy Kikki K’s products and wanted to learn more about the brand.

The second speaker was Sherryn Bowers who is a women’s leadership coach focusing on building up our strengths and skills of women in leadership positions.

The attendees of the event were members of the She Mentor space that attend regular events, as well as small businesses and creatives. Sherryn attracted quite a crowd as majority of the attendees came to this event because of their admiration for her.

The two speakers discussed their success stories and challenges in the workplace. They both had similar views on the difference between ‘leaders’ and ‘managers’. They highlighted the importance of challenging yourself every day within your workplace as well as to not be afraid to take risks!

 

 

Things to Note:

Location: 41 Stewart Street, Richmond

Highlight: The speakers

Cost: $11

Hot Tip: Bring a note book and pen as speakers are interesting!

Ratings:

Venue: 4/5

Catering: 2/5

Speakers: 4/5

Network Opportunity: 2/5

Total: 12/5

 

 

When is it the right time to spend money on marketing

By | Business

Money and marketing… the two concepts are often intertwined.

As a former accountant turned professional marketer this dilemma is something I come across quite often. As an accountant, it was my role to assist business owners to reduce their tax and their expenses. As a marketer, I now work on the other side of the profit and loss statement, helping business owners to grow their revenue base in a sustainable way.

We find that with many business owners the decision to spend money can be an overwhelming one, especially when it comes to undertaking a marketing strategy. Strategy in the form of a marketing plan is what we marketers consider to be a high involvement decision because it often requires a business owner to assess the effectiveness of activities they have been undertaking.

Add to this cyclic conditions of running a small business, and more often than not, the decision to undertake a marketing plan and pay for it can face continuous postponement.

The reality, however, is that nine out of ten start ups fail in the first year of operation. Of those that do survive, 40-50% are no longer in business after 5 years of operation. It’s a hard situation but one with quite a simple answer.

It was the playwright Plautus who famously wrote in one of his comedies “to make money you have to spend money”. He referred to this concept around turning something that was free into something that wasn’t.

A strategy in the form of a marketing plan is a piece of work that every business needs. Without a strategy, you are basically blindly running a business without being able to demonstrate to your customers why they should purchase your services. Unfortunately, so many business owners run blind, only to turn to strategy and planning after marketing tactics have failed.  The result is a lot of wasted time and money that could have been avoided had the business started with its plan and strategy.

It’s time that more small business owners don’t become a victim of this statistic. Why sabotage yourself from success by choosing to wait until you work on a strategy?

If you are unsure about the future direction of your business, now is the time to spend money on marketing, starting first with the strategy. Pave your way to success and get that marketing plan started.

 

Tim Smith’s Speed Networking Review

By | Business

I attended Tim Smith’s speed networking breakfast on Monday 19th of March. The breakfast was a early wake up, starting at 6.45am at the Little Collins Street cafe, Henry and the Fox.

I was invited by Tim, from Sable International who successfully ran this event.

Before we began in our speed networking, we sat down and ate breakfast. I ordered the smashed avocado and cherry tomatoes on toast which was delicious. It was a great chance to relax and get to really know the attendees. .

The speed networking was very fast paced and loud but the cafe, Henry and the Fox was a perfect environment for a event like this as we were placed in a back room.

Similar to speed dating, there were two long tables where you sit across the table from a partner and have 30 seconds each to introduce and chat about your business. This is where it is important to master your pitch as 30 seconds is a very quick time frame to discuss your business!

 

The turn out for Tim’s speed networking event was really good, with up to 45 people attending. A few attendees stood up and spoke about other networking events around Melbourne that they find useful to attend such as Fresh Hub networking, Your Time Matters events and South East Manufacturing Association (SEMA). They host regular networking events every fortnight.

This event is a perfect opportunity to network and meet like minded individuals for someone who is new to networking.

Tim has a wide selection of networks from different industries. It is recommended that you join his mailing list as Tim sends regular emails with upcoming events each month.

Things to Note:

  • Location: 525 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 3000
  • Highlight: Meeting new people and learning about their business
  • Cost: $25 for breakfast
  • Hot Tip: Bring heaps of business cards and a pen

Ratings:

  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 5/5
  • Speaker: 3/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 5/5

Total: 17/20