Young Entrepreneurs 2010: James Greig

Written on the 3 December 2010

Young Entrepreneurs 2010: James Greig

Bloomtools has increased its turnover from $1.3 million to $1.7 million and boosted staff from 16 to 22 in the last 12 months.

The web marketing and software company now also boasts six franchises, but to get the business to this point, managing director James Greig took a leap of faith.

“We had a product that was designed with an old business model and we had to start from scratch with a new database,” he says.

“It was a challenge getting software that we had developed over four to five years and then replace it in a few weeks. Sometimes to move forward you have to take a bit of pain.”

Bloomtools up-ended its model and released a new raft of products including one that is designed specifically for the real estate market with a tool that allows the client to add properties to their website and then automatically have them added to sites such as realestate.com.au.

“We believe it’s our strongest area for growth,” enthuses Greig.

“We have just completed our re-engineering of our most popular product, the database marketing tool, where users can now start using the product without even talking to us, including help videos, free email templates and a range of other enhancements.”

Greig made a decision to focus on software and attributes much of his growth to the skilled designers who make up the Bloomtools team where Op1 scores and IT degree scholarships are considered the norm.

“We are pretty lucky that the same guys are still here and the calibre of the team here is amazing,” he says.

In order to expand the business, he sought to boost franchise channels in Australia and New Zealand – a challenge given NZ was largely an untapped market.

“We had to grow this business and while it’s hard to get past a certain point, franchising allows it to happen,” he says.

“In the past it’s been about services with bolt on products, but now its modified services and we have a new version of our product. Our challenge is to marry that up with franchising. We have learnt a lot of lessons about our introduction into New Zealand and it has been more challenging that we expected. I think we’re the only franchise system in the world that sells software as a product.”

Bloomtools has also added 312 new clients, including Griffith University, The Australian Franchise Council and QUT.

“Our competitors are struggling and we’re growing. We looked at success stories in our industry emulated some of those ideas,” says Greig.

Greig draws inspiration from his parents, who put their finances on the line so that their children might one day realise their true potential.

“I come from a family that didn’t have money and my parents struggled to put four kids through private schools and then university, so I picked up on a lot and knew not to take anything for granted,” he says.

“They taught me that the hard things are worth it in the end and a lot of doors have now opened.”

James Greig
Bloomtools
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Age: 27
Business Est: 2004
Staff: 22
Growth: 30 per cent
Turnover: $1.7 million


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