10 February 2011,


A $1 million business advisory and mentoring start-up launched on the Gold Coast is achieving growth via a franchising model that has so far signed 28 franchisees in Australia and New Zealand.

P-BOTs (Professional Brains on Tap) is targeting businesses in need of professional advice and has signed 200 clients in the IT, manufacturing and food production industries.

The company was started by former New Zealand beverage entrepreneur David Thexton and Gold Coast Executive Alliance founder Wayne Armstrong (pictured L-R).

“The market is huge. People often start a company with very little or no business training. They are technicians, who are good at doing the hands on things, but without the business acumen,” says Thexton, who is selling the franchises at $75,000 each.

“We are tapping a pool of experienced professionals who have become aware that they can do better for themselves in this role than in their previous positions, where they were coping with the pressures of helping to keep their employers afloat.”

After a career which led to the New Zealand distribution rights for Golden Circle, Ribena and Lucozade, Thexton bought Fernland Juices and Equipment in 1998 and launched brands including E2, Dirty Dog, Ikon and Loaded via his company Rio Beverages.

Rio made seven acquisitions and formed a joint venture with Cerebos Greggs in 1997, before it was acquired in 2002 as a $100 million company by Coca Cola Amatil for $40 million.

“We went down the licensing model first, but our legal advice was that we were doing too much, so it became a franchise,” says Thexton of his latest venture.

“What we are seeing mostly is an absolute lack of financial reporting. If you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it. We put our clients through a profit leakage calculator and we are finding massive wastage, sometimes as high as 20 per cent.”

The P-BOTs model is similar to the successful Brisbane-based ActionCOACH, set up by Brad Sugars in 1993, now one of Australia’s fastest 50 growing franchises.






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