FROM THE TANK: GOOD OLD-FASHIONED BUSINESS STILL RELEVANT

FROM THE TANK: GOOD OLD-FASHIONED BUSINESS STILL RELEVANT

BEING involved with Shark Tank and my friendship with startup guru Steve Baxter has inspired me to seriously engage with early stage businesses.

At last count, I'm actively engaged with, invested in or mentoring nine fledgling startups. My interest in this space recently drove me to attend the launch of Innovation North Queensland (I...

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FROM THE TANK: BRINGING AN IDEA TO LIFE

FROM THE TANK: BRINGING AN IDEA TO LIFE

TAKING an idea from a lightbulb moment to a fully-fledged enterprise may seem overwhelming for the average punter, but serial entrepreneurs get excited by the challenge, and generally follow a similar roadmap on their way to execution success.

Last week it was very exciting to take part in Ralph Ashton's My Big Idea panel, an initiat...

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FROM THE TANK: THE CLOCK IS TICKING, TIME TO ACT

FROM THE TANK: THE CLOCK IS TICKING, TIME TO ACT

SCRAPING back into power by the smallest margins is simply a symptom of bad politics, bad governing and a lack of engagement with the electorate.

Malcolm Turnbull has enjoyed a number of successful careers - law, banking, investing, journalism - and can now add Prime Minister of Australia as his most successful vocation.

He has nothing to ...

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BREXIT: KEEP A COOL HEAD IN VOLATILE MARKETS

BREXIT: KEEP A COOL HEAD IN VOLATILE MARKETS

THE British withdrawal from the European Union will prove to be another crisis of confidence, according to Morgans. The stockbroker has likened Brexit to numerous Greek sovereign debt crises, which shocked the markets at the time but regained stability as the issues were managed. Morgans chief economist Michael Knox shares his perspec...

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FROM THE TANK: SHOULD YOU EVER WHACK-A-MOLE?

FROM THE TANK: SHOULD YOU EVER WHACK-A-MOLE?

A FAST-PACED game of whack-a-mole often evolves as a business begins to scale up.

Based on my past experience with Greencross (ASX: GXL) and my work these days on a number of companies including Shark Tank startups, it seems the faster you grow, the more chaos occurs.

For the unacquainted, whack-a-mole is the game you sometimes play as lit...

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FIVE EOFY THINGS SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS TO KNOW

FIVE EOFY THINGS SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS TO KNOW

AS the end of financial year approaches for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), owners can be forgiven for never wanting to pick up a calculator again, with stocktakes, tax declarations and payroll summaries all requiring completion before June 30. Accounting fatigue is real, but the temptation to scrimp on the detail can harm your busine...

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FROM THE TANK: HOW I PICK TECH COMPANIES

FROM THE TANK: HOW I PICK TECH COMPANIES

JAMIE Pherous, the founder of Corporate Travel Management (market cap $1.4 billion) said it well at the Brisbane Business News breakfast last week: "Business is simple, don't overcomplicate. Learn the rules of the game and play hard". 

Business is a little like a game of rugby, where you pass the ball backwards an...

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BUSINESS: REGISTER ASSETS OR RISK EVERYTHING

BUSINESS: REGISTER ASSETS OR RISK EVERYTHING

DESPITE only taking several minutes online, and costing less than the morning cup of coffee, many businesses are failing to protect their legal rights of ownership.

The Personal Properties Securities Register (PPSR), a single national registry, allows businesses to protect their legal stake in personal property. Personal property takes on man...

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FROM THE TANK: TO IPO OR NOT TO IPO?

FROM THE TANK: TO IPO OR NOT TO IPO?

IT ALWAYS intrigues me that nirvana for entrepreneurs seems to be the big IPO that's supposed to deliver oodles of cash.

An IPO is a complex exercise that includes months of preparation, due diligence and the construction of a conscientious prospectus that states a clear reason for listing and how the funds will be used. Cashing out ...

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EXECUTIVE ESCAPE AT HILTON SYDNEY

EXECUTIVE ESCAPE AT HILTON SYDNEY

IT'S a name synonymous with luxury, but it isn't until you actually step foot into the Hilton Sydney Hotel that you get a feel for a certain extravagance.   As a busy professional in the big smoke for a few days, hopping from one meeting to the next, it was just as important for me to find the right hotel as it was to make th...

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WAGE REVIEW DECISION TO ADVERSELY AFFECT RETAILERS AND EMPLOYMENT

WAGE REVIEW DECISION TO ADVERSELY AFFECT RETAILERS AND EMPLOYMENT

THE Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is concerned for the future of the retail industry after the Fair Work Commission awarded an unmanageable $15.80 a week increase in the minimum wage. From 1 July 2016, the national minimum wage will increase to $672.70 a week, or $17.70 per hour.  For retailers it will see the rate for shop ...

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FROM THE TANK: DIVING INTO POLITICS

FROM THE TANK: DIVING INTO POLITICS

A DECADE ago I faced an important career decision which could have changed the course of my life. 

Option one, pack our bags and head to Brisbane to head up Greencross as we finalised plans to list on the ASX. Option two, seek endorsement by a political party to run for State or Federal Government in the local Townsville area. Lisa, my w...

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IS PROPERTY A GOOD CHOICE?

IS PROPERTY A GOOD CHOICE?

UNCERTAINTY around superannuation in the lead up to the July federal election has people taking a flight to property investment as they look to escape the clutches of self-managed and institutionalised super funds. Choice Home Loans Varsity Lakes managing director Peter Gwynne says people were looking for certainty in an uncertain environ...

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FROM THE TANK: PEOPLE MATTER MOST

FROM THE TANK: PEOPLE MATTER MOST

WHAT am I looking for on Shark Tank? In actual fact, I am looking for 'who' rather than 'what'.

The product or service has to be market relevant but I am more interested in the capability of the entrepreneur. Exceptional entrepreneurs take companies on exceptional journeys and I am looking for people who I want to work wi...

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FROM THE TANK: WHY 'ROLL UPS' BLOW UP

FROM THE TANK: WHY 'ROLL UPS' BLOW UP

'ROLL UPS' of the professional services kind generally fail because the wrong people pull together a gaggle of small businesses for the wrong reasons.

Who are the wrong people to lead an industry aggregation? Private equity houses, founding practitioners having an entrepreneurial seizure, and industry outsiders having a crack (convinc...

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WHAT I'VE LEARNT: AS FOUNDER OF A RAPIDLY SCALING BUSINESS

WHAT I'VE LEARNT: AS FOUNDER OF A RAPIDLY SCALING BUSINESS

BORN in Australia to migrant parents from Hong Kong and China, they instilled in me the principles of discipline and hard work from a young age.

I now look back fondly on the weekly piano, guitar, cello and saxophone lessons they had me undertake. I wasn't terribly talented - I could probably bust out chopsticks at a stretch - but it...

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WHAT I'VE LEARNT: 12 MONTHS INTO STARTUP LIFE

WHAT I'VE LEARNT: 12 MONTHS INTO STARTUP LIFE

GO TO university, graduate with good grades and get a job with a reputable company. Retire after 40 years, buy a caravan and travel around Australia.

Sounds boring.

Nonetheless, I started going in that direction and ended up working at several SME design agencies. But all of that changed when I was offered an opportunity to join a s...

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DOES AMAZON IN AUSTRALIA SPELL TROUBLE?

DOES AMAZON IN AUSTRALIA SPELL TROUBLE?

THERE'S been murmurs about Amazon setting up a presence in Australia for years now, but the rumour mill is currently in overdrive. 

Based on the Australian Government's plan to apply the GST to imported goods, it now makes logistical sense for Amazon to maintain a warehouse locally.

This has some Australian retailers co...

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FUN IN THE WORKPLACE IS ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESS

FUN IN THE WORKPLACE IS ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESS

ENCOURAGING fun and play in the workplace is essential for today's business to be successful, according to Australian team building and corporate culture expert Dwain Richardson. Richardson, who has dedicated his career to bringing fun and games into businesses across Australia, says a fun workplace culture has many and varied benefit...

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FACEBOOK FEATURES SMALL BUSINESSES NEED TO KNOW

FACEBOOK FEATURES SMALL BUSINESSES NEED TO KNOW

WITH advertising on social media on the rise, Facebook should take top spot in the marketing budget of every business according to SponsoredLinX. In 2016, all of the major social networking sites will introduce new features designed to entice potential advertisers. With so many options available, confused businesses may be wondering where...

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