06Jun

Adelaide Hills Business Centre – Tell All Meetup Report

I’ve lived in the Adelaide Hills all my life, including running my business from here, and I love networking and meeting new people so I was really interested when I saw an ad for the Adelaide Hills Business Centre (AHBC) pop up in my Facebook news feed. I tried to set up a hills business networking group a few years ago without much success (although I didn’t dedicate a lot of time to it) so I was sceptical that something like this would work all the way out in Woodside. However, after attending the Tell All Meetup at the AHBC on Thursday night and meeting lots of people from local businesses as well as seeing the awesome facilities they have there, I’m now confident that they will succeed!  The facilities are fantastic including a media production studio and conference room with interactive digital white board.

We’re looking to organise a Jelly event there soon so if you’d like to check it out, join us on Meetup to get notified.

Adelaide Hills Business Centre Networking

Adelaide Hills Business Centre Networking

Adelaide Hills Business Centre Networking

11May

Coworking at eNVIsion Tonsley (Jelly)

I’ve been lucky enough to visit the awesome new eNVIsion incubator twice recently as part of the Adelaide Jelly Coworking meetups. Jelly is a free casual coworking meetup every second Friday at different spaces around Adelaide, more details here.

The eNVIsion Incubator and coworking space is part of the New Venture Institute (NVI) which is part of Flinders University and housed at the new Flinders at Tonsley location. NVI was launched in 2013 and is designed to be a connector between Flinders Uni’s students, staff and community and the business and startup community. Some other cool stuff from NVI that you should check out includes Venture Dorm and their events program.

Apart from hanging out at the space and getting some work done, they’ve also had some free midday presentations which we’ve been able to attend. The most recent one was a really interesting presentation about the future of technology.

We’ve got a few more jellies planned for this venue through the rest of the year, so if you want to check it out, join the group over here.

Great Turnout for Jelly at eNVIsion

 Jelliers at eNVIsion

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Space

The space is located at Flinders at Tonsley, Level 2, 1284 South Road, Clovelly Park. Its actually the location of the old Mitsubishi factory.

Inside

eNVIsion Coworking Space

eNVIsion Coworking Space

eNVIsion Coworking Space

eNVIsion Coworking Space

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside

There’s still a lot of construction going on outside. I’m sure it will look much nicer when its all done.

Tonsley Flinders

Tonsley Flinders

Tonsley Flinders

Tonsley Flinders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get There

Address: Flinders at Tonsley, Level 2, 1284 South Road, Clovelly Park

Google maps doesn’t quite place the location correctly using the address so I suggest you use this map and look for the turnoff below (view from heading South on South Road). Once you enter, follow the road straight ahead for a few hundred metres, then around to the right. There will be a carpark in front of you where you can park and walk over to the building above.

Flinders Tonsley Turnoff

Flinders Tonsley Turnoff

 

09Apr

Adelaide’s Unconvention by The Entourage – Event Report

When I saw this event coming up and that it looked expensive to put on (full day, multiple speakers, expensive venue etc.) but was free, I immediately expected a pitch fest and some hard selling (which is fine, they have to pay for the event and make money some how). The question for me was whether the value being delivered would be worth spending a full Sunday and having to withstand a barrage of pitches (I have actually been burnt before by a free Sunday event which turned out to be an absolute load of garbage. I didn’t stay along enough to see if there were any pitches but I’ll never get that morning back so I was especially weary about this event). I decided to go along because of The Entourage‘s reputation, their pre-event marketing materials (more on that later), social proof – I knew some friends were going and, well, because its hard for me to turn down a free business event :D.

I won’t hold you in suspense, the event blew away my expectations and delivered a huge amount of content with only a small amount of low pressure pitching. I was going to use the word “value” as the information definitely felt valuable but I really have no way of confirming that yet so I’m using the word “content” instead. Further, I have no doubt that some of the perceived value came as a result of the presentation of the content and the whole event rather than being related to the content itself.

In this post I want to report both on some content highlights but also how the event was marketed and run because I thought that was really interesting from a marketing perspective. First of all, the content. There were many speakers throughout the day, some delivering on specific topics, some telling their business stories.

The Content

Sales

  • Ask prospects the questions that will qualify them for your product or service – Identify your perfect customer, figure out the criteria that qualifies them as such, figure out what they would have to say to qualify themselves, figure out what questions you would have to ask to have them give answers that qualify them, ask those questions to prospects so they “talk themselves into it.”
  • Educate prospects with “Ink Spotting” – give interesting and relevant facts and figures that get prospects to say “I never knew that”

Marketing

  • Utilise leverage – doing more with less
  • “Building an attraction model” – credibility and professionalism, be visible (put yourself where opportunity can see you), be remarkable (makes people talk about you)
  • Publish – surround your audience (potential customers) with content that solves their problems
  • Create strategic partnerships – identify those that share your target customer and create a win win partnership with them
  • Recency and frequency – the company that is front of mind is the one that has contacted them most recently or frequently
  • Own your own audience
  • Get PR – leverage off an existing issue, be the exception to the rule, turn disadvantage into advantage

Other

  • Hire your weaknesses
  • Be clear on what you are trying to achieve
  • Identify who can help you, understand their goals, identify how you can help them, pitch a compelling win/win
  • Get credibility – media and coverage, write a book, get creative e.g. symbolic shareholders
  • Presell

Motivation

Several speakers talked partially or completely about their own stories which provided great motivation and an opportunity to learn with examples and case studies. The highlight of these was the story of Braap Motorcycles from founder Brad Smith. Its a great story and was an amazing presentation which felt very genuine. Other speakers talking about their own experiences included Matthew Michalewicz who was very funny and a great speaker and Lisa Messenger from Renegade Collective who had a lot of energy and was all over the place but had some great stories from her many businesses and revenue streams.

The Event

The Entourage’s primary product is a training course called The Scalable and Salable Advisory Program and their primary method for getting customers (as far as I can tell) is through their free Unconvention events that travel all around Australia. It felt like the whole event process, from marketing to the event itself to post event, was very well refined so I thought I’d share some points about it which you might be able to apply to your own business.

Pre-Event

  • Great sales page
  • Regular email marketing – I actually registered for the Unconvention in 2013 but they didn’t get enough interest to run it. However, I was added to their email address and had regular email content between then and now so that when I received the invitation for this year’s event I was ready to register
  • 8 step video series leading up the event with a taste of the information that would be presented
  • Opportunity for people to buy an ‘up sell’ to a prime seating position in the front row of the event and after party with the speakers

At the Event

  • Professional venue and setup
  • Energetic MC to warm up the crowd and keep the day moving along
  • Sound effects guy to add music and sound effects to the presentations and in between
  • Opportunities to upgrade to the prime seating and after party throughout
  • Low pressure pitching for an ‘Exploration Session’ which is a required first step before getting into the Scalable and Salable event
  • Never once mentioned the cost of the Scalable & Salable program

Post Event

  • Post convention webinar to go through the learning from the event (I couldn’t make this)
  • Further follow up emails

Overall it was very interesting to see how the event was executed as well as the event itself. I would definitely recommend this event to others looking to start and grow a business.

What do you think?

02Mar

Young Entrepreneur Fellowship Showcase @ Hub Adelaide

It’s a very exciting time to be involved in startups and entrepreneurship in Adelaide. Everywhere you look there’s events, coworking spaces, government funding, accelerators and programs popping up to help foster startups and small businesses in South Australia. The Young Entrepreneur Fellowship is one such program that has just brought its first program to a close with a showcase event which I attended on Friday Feb 28th.

Young Entrepreneur Fellowship

The Young Entrepreneur Fellowship is a a joint initiative between Hub Adelaide and the State Government of South Australia where a number of fellows are chosen, both teams and individuals, to work on their business ideas over the course of a four month program.

The program helps the Fellows connect with experienced mentors; gain access to Hubs desks, offices, meeting rooms, wifi and facilities; and the opportunity to connect and collaborate with the growing community of 160+ businesses and influencers in Adelaide and over 1000 nationally.” – Hub Adelaide website

Startup Smart reports that the fellowship will continue with recruiting for the winter program starting in March.

Showcase Event

The showcase event was held at Hub Adelaide and featured presentations from each of the 5 businesses that went through the program. Some presentations were more polished than others but all the ideas were interesting and it was good to see the enthusiasm of the participants. More info on the fellows and their startups at the links below;

Declan Brady – StudySmartAcademy.com – Study Smart Academy teaches high school students the principals and techniques of accelerated learning to improve academic performance. Study Smart will also be branching (in the next 4-5 weeks) into running corporate seminars and upskilling sessions, to improve work related productivity and effectiveness in members of an industry.

Anna Malapira – FunSnap.me – Can you help to move them forward? They’re looking for connections to function venue managers, marketing and communication directors, and executive event managers.

Stuart Burfield – Splat-cat.com – Stuart has just launched his first video game, called Splat Cat, which is free and currently out for Android devices with a planned release for iOS. He is developing a business creating video games for smart devices, and plans to launch several new titles in the near future.

Joseph Costa & Patrick DeRuvo – tootz.com.au – Can you help move them forward? They’re looking for connections to business Owners (fashion boutique stores, cafes, restaurants, etc) and connections to traders associations and Precincts or Shopping Malls. Also they are offering a FREE 3 month trial for all stores that sign up before they launch officially on MARCH 31st

Phi Theodoros – phitheodoros.com (blog post from Phi about the fellowship)

02Mar

Adelaide Jelly Coworking – Awesome!

I attended the first Adelaide Jelly Coworking event of 2014 on Feb 21 and it was awesome! The event was held at the Majoran Distillery’s coworking space in Grenfell street and saw a turnout of around 10 people.

What is Jelly Coworking?

Free casual fortnightly coworking in Adelaide. Work from somewhere different, meet new people, visit coworking and creative spaces across Adelaide. Free WIFI. Bring your laptop.” – from the meetup group page

Organiser Richie Khoo told me its called “Jelly” because when a group of people thought up the idea (in Melbourne I think?) and were wondering what to call it, there was a jar of jelly beans sitting on the table so they decided to call it that… I don’t know if I buy that explanation but its a cool name none the less.

Why is it Awesome?

Well, for people like me who usually work from home, its the perfect opportunity to get out of the house and work with some other people. If you don’t usually work from home, I think its still a good opportunity to meet new people and try working in a different environment. Other pluses;

  • Its Free
  • Its a good excuse/opportunity to explore Adelaide’s coworking spaces and see what they have to offer
  • You can find out about some of the awesome projects people are working on
  • You can meet like minded (and unlike minded) people and get to know them
  • Perfect way to end off the week

When & Where?

Fortnightly in a different space around Adelaide each time.

Get the details on meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Adelaide-Jelly-Casual-Coworking

12Feb

Troy Dean from WP Elevation Presentation at Adelaide WordPress Meetup

Troy Dean WordPress Adelaide EventI’m really glad I went along to this presentation at the Majoran Distillery on Tuesday evening. The WP meetups, sponsored by Limesquare, are always great fun and informative, not even considering the fact that its free and there’s also free beer and pizza, but the presentation by Troy Dean at this meetup took it up to another level. Troy Dean, who grew up in Adelaide, is a WordPress speaker, coach and consultant and the cofounder of Video User Manuals which provide video training for WordPress and WP Elevation which is a coaching program from WP developers and consultants dedicated to building exceptional WordPress businesses.

The topic of the presentation was 101 Ways to Elevate yourself and Demand Higher Fees. If you missed it, or you’d like to see it again, you can find a full video of the presentation and an opportunity to download an ebook on the same topic over here. The presentation was extremely well polished as Troy has been developing and delivering it for many years. The tips were directed towards a WordPress developer audience but I still found heaps of tips in there that I think could help me in my SEO business; Wicked Cow Marketing. There were too many great tips for me to pull out a summary but here are some of the key themes I enjoyed;

  • Make yourself exclusive – with tips such as; say no to initial meetings, qualify to find exactly the right clients, dictate your terms of engagement ie. when you have time available for meetings rather than letting them (the client) dictate
  • Set up processes and stick to them
  • Automate as much of your processes as possible
  • Give the impression that you are above average so you can charge above average fees – including; don’t meet in coffee shops, dress sharply, don’t do too much chit chat and become friends with your clients (because then you have to charge mates rates)
  • Make the client feel like they are being looked after and that you have everything under control
  • Focus on how your solution can solve their problem rather than things they probably don’t care about such as plugins
  • Build your credibility – content marketing, email sequences, testimonials & references
  • Productise your services & don’t charge by the hour
  • Add value when you can do so cheaply and easily and make sure to let them know what you did and why

Troy also mentioned a bunch of books and tools and other great ideas. He also stayed after the presentation and hung out, took questions and shared more ideas and tips for a few hours more.

All in all a great event and looking forward to the next one.

Photo courtesy of the Majoran Distillery.

18Nov

Review of The Entourage’s 8 steps to Sales Mastery & Entrepreneurial Success

This report contains notes that event participant Luis Penascoza prepared for time poor entrepreneurs at the Majoran Distillery tech coworking space and kindly allowed us to post here as well.

The event is advertised as follows;

Learn directly from Petar Lackovic, who has generated over $1 billion in sales, and Lorraine Murphy, a BRW Top Young Entrepreneur to Watch member, how to boost sales as a start up and build a multi-million dollar company.

The event was held all over Australia and brought to Adelaide with the help of DVE Business Solutions (I interviewed Jo Shanahan from DVE in a recent podcast).

Here are Luis’ notes;

Hey Everyone. I went to The Entourage Sales Mastery Course today and thought I’d share the valuable info I learnt at the event since most are time poor to attend.

*The day started off with the reasons, why we are doing what we are doing. “Why” – Personally, for me it’s Freedom in the form of – finance/time/control.

*When you approach any activity in building your business, always approach it with the right mindset. Skill sets can only get you so far.

*As a business or as a company, they suggested to reach for Love Mark status.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovemark

* When building your A team, recruit for personality rather than skill. Skills are easy to teach but teaching a personality is hard.

* When approaching decision makers, don’t come off as a wuss. Be the expert and the leader that provides them a solution to their problems.

* Record top 3 objections you get when pitching or presenting. Address and incorporate those objections into your presentation.

For the sales side of things.

– Create the mindset of a buyer.
– The key is not to sell, but to address the problems of your buyers.
– Your role is to know how your customers buy.

SALES PROCESS 8 steps process

– Positioning Strategies
– Opening Strategies
– Buying Strategies
– Solution Strategies
– Promotion Strategies.
– Challenge Strategies
– Start Strategies (don’t use closing strategies) Use “Lets get you started”.
(closing sales is old, time to change mindset and start the sales process).
– Referral and request business strategies. Always seek referrals and suggestions from your buyers.

For more sales and selling tips, check out this interview I did with Tony Manto about his small business selling process.

15Aug

Noah Kagan Adelaide Presentation Thoughts

Noah Kagan in Adelaide

Photo courtesy of the Majoran Distillery

Noah Kagan (founder of Appsumo.com) gave a 3 hour presentation (was meant to be 2 hours) at Majoran Distillery on Tuesday night that I attended. I didn’t make any detailed notes but just wanted to give some of my general thoughts and key takeaways from the event.

First of all, big props to James Martin (Insider Guides) for getting Noah to come out to Adelaide (he was originally going to just do the eastern states) and of course to the Majoran Distillery (Adelaide’s tech coworking space) for hosting the event.

Key takeaways;

  • Validate, Validate, Validate – This was Noah’s key point I think (more thoughts on that below)
  • Winners keep trying – I think this in combination with ‘validate’ above is a pretty good recipe for success
  • Always define your goals – if you have clear goals in mind you can adapt your approach based on feedback and results rather than being ‘married’ to your approach
  • Always define the problem you are solving for your customers
  • Don’t worry about competition – every business idea has already been thought of and the existence of competitors helps to validate that there is money to be made in that market. Further, even if the perfect solution to a problem already exists out there, if your target customer doesn’t know about it yet you can present your solution and still get paid

For more great notes and takeaways check out Kestrel Blackmore’s blog post. Kestrel also links to a fantastic video where Tim Ferriss interviews Noah Kagan.

Noah’s Validation

Noah kept on coming back to the need to validate your business idea before you spend too much time and money on it. He also stressed that validation requires money actually changing hands rather than people just saying ‘I would be interested’ or ‘I would buy it’ because what people say and what people do, especially when it comes to money, can be very different.

His suggestion seemed to be that if you can’t validate your idea within 48 hours its not worth pursuing. I’m not sure if this was a gimmick to illustrate his point or he was actually serious. I think if everyone took this advice, many of the successful businesses around today wouldn’t exist. He also mentioned that he is personally risk averse so I think perhaps this is his preferred and recommended approach to minimise risk.

The presentation also included Noah giving feedback/workshopping three business ideas from people in the audience. His approach to this was extremely direct and in your face and I felt uncomfortable watching it so props to those who actually had to sit in the hot seat while he grilled them. I felt his method was a bit messy and probably could have been improved. On a few occasions I felt he went too far and made jokes that were a bit mean which was disappointing.

All in all it was a good night with a lot of great takeaways. If you missed it, I suggest you watch the video below and sign up to our mailing list so you don’t miss any Adelaide Business Events.

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Nick Morris is the founder of Adelaide Business Events and blogs regularly over at Web Marketing Adelaide.