Editor's Message (2/6)

Written on the 13 July 2009

GRASP a good idea and repeat it.

Brisbane may have its large companies and a strong government presence but it is also a city of small business ­— a culture that undulates through the business ethic to the wider economy.

It’s no surprise that waves of new franchises just keep coming. More than 400,000 Australians are employed by a $160 billion franchise sector that is holding its own despite the crash-and-burn sentiment in the global economy.

Combining the small business ethic with brand recognition, this model of replication is resuscitating an ailing jobs market, with the majority of Brisbane franchises signalling expansion plans over the course of this financial year.

It’s befitting that the cover story this month features The Coffee Club co-owner John Lazarou. The audacious entrepreneur plans to be at the opening of every new store and isn’t afraid to make coffees and serve customers either. In fact, he loves it.

The experts advise caution around industries that involve discretionary spending like coffee unless they offer a point of difference, but Lazarou doesn’t see coffee as a luxury good.
Even if he is wrong in his assertion, that point of difference is still represented $260 million in revenue last financial year.

We profile Brisbane’s top franchises and discover how they’re adapting to the current economic climate.

Home-grown success stories such as the Bank of Queensland, Poolwerx, Pizza Capers and SuperGeek are testament to the scope of sectors duplicating rewards.

In this month’s innovation section we speak to a food distributor with a business model to sell healthier food at a cheaper price than supermarkets, while still giving back more of the sales share to farmers.

In export, Austrade’s Crispin Conroy talks up the opportunities for Brisbane industries in South America as we profile two mining service companies making their mark on the continent – Ludowici and GroundProbe.

Our young entrepreneur this month is a business trainer who made the top 10 in US-based Training Magazine’s Top Young Trainers list. Marc Ratcliffe from MRWED Training and Assessment is expanding his business internationally.

Ratcliffe refuses to chase credit even though private equity firms are encouraging him to do so.

We also keep you up to date with Boeing Defence Australia’s boss as he adapts to new technology as the largest Boeing subsidiary outside the US.

Brisbane Business News speaks to managing director John Duddy about flying the largest Boeing subsidiary outside the US.

In other news, Clive Palmer has acquired a new nickel refinery from BHP; Asciano is boosting its stake in the Queensland market; a former government minister is on trial and business is not getting any better for IT entrepreneur Daniel Tzvetkoff.

Further afar we track down intrepid reporter Matthew Ogg, who discovers the sights, culture and cuisine of the densely populated yet hugely alluring city of Tokyo.
Camilla Westerlund


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