embrace technology


Adelaide co-working space offers Holden workers career support

12:00AM | Wednesday, 18 December

Adelaide entrepreneurial community and co-working space Majoran Distillery is offering Holden workers support for them to explore new potential careers as the car maker prepares to stop production in 2017.   Managing director Michael Reid told StartupSmart the start-up community was a great place for people to network, embrace technology, re-skill and prepare for the next stage of their lives and careers.   “If the Holden workers want to come, we’ll definitely offer them a discount,” Reid says. “We want to encourage people to come and plan and create their future.”   Majoran Distillery will be offering a 12-week entrepreneurial masterclass program for aspiring entrepreneurs who need to hone their skills around developing and launching tech-based products and services to global markets.   Reid adds most computer coders are self-taught, so anyone with the motivation to tap into the emerging economic boom of tech start-ups can switch careers with the right support.   “Everyone’s got an idea for an app stashed away, so just come and try it. We’re a low risk space to come and give yourself a few months to start learning and exploring. If you’re motivated, there is nothing stopping from you from a completely new career,” Reid says.   Reid says his team has seen a steady trickle of ex-car manufacturing talent for a couple of years.   Majoran Distillery member Saman Attarian used to work for a car parts manufacturer that supplied components to Renault and Peugeot. After the company of 770 people scaled down to 400, Attarian decided to explore start-ups as his next step.   “Initially I was very unsure of the future, but my survival mechanism quickly kicked in and I had to ensure I had the right skills for the marketplace,” says Attarian, who is now at start-up LimeSquare. “Now I know it was the best thing that could have happened to me.”   Earlier this month, Majoran Distillery hosted the Startup Adelaide award. Ex-Holden engineer Jo Shanahan took out the award for Best Pivot for her start-up Animal Therapeutics Online.   Reid adds Adelaide needs to explore new economies and technologies to excel in.   “The closing of Holden will have a massive impact on Adelaide,” Reid says, adding that the shelving of BHP Billiton’s expansion plans for its Olympic Dam mine meant the city needs to do something to boost its economy.   “I’m an advocate for tech start-ups. It would be great if the government could get excited about tech start-ups, which are just going to keep growing.”

How asking ‘why?’ drives us

9:19AM | Friday, 27 September

Before we start any journey, there must be a motivation. A motivation to achieve a result. The result could be as simple as driving to a destination. It is possible that people can start a journey unconsciously, but at some point in the journey they will become conscious of achieving a desired outcome.   Starting a business is just like any other journey. Like any journey, the people that focus right from the beginning are the ones who will actually make it to the destination and will get there fast.   So how do we obtain focus on the journey?   There is a simple one-word answer to this, and the answer is ‘why’.   ‘Why’ is my favourite word in the English language. It disturbs us, it provides clarity, it focuses us and offers motivation.   So why do people go into business in the first place? What drives people to go into business for themselves? Based on interviewing hundreds of business owners over the years as an adviser, it is the dream. The dream of a better life. But what does a better life mean? Often business owners will question this during the journey, posing questions like: is the dream attainable? Will it actually provide a better life?   People will start businesses with the following objectives:   Financial security and independence Satisfying a creative entrepreneurial flair Work-life Balance Pursuit of excellence Control over destiny Creation of a legacy   Naturally we ask and answer questions before we embark on any task. The trick is to ask yourself the right questions. So before you start the journey, sit down and have a think about these four steps and the questions posed. The more we can predict the future, the greater chance we have for success.   Step one: The why   Develop your personal and business why. The why to help you keep the momentum in hard times. Have your why close to you at all times to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Step two: The law of economics   A fundamental law of economics is demand versus supply. Is there a market for the product or service I want to sell not only today but in the future? The past is not always an accurate predictor of the future, so ensure that what you sell will be relevant or adapted for the future markets. Will it survive and/or embrace technology and globalisation?   Step three: Does the business idea have scale?   The size of a business may be limited to the size of the market, the type of product/service that is offered or the ability or the desire of the business owner. The trick is to understanding the possible barriers to the size as early as possible to prevent possible frustration. As there are many possible barriers, prediction of the largest one may be the key to assess the size of the business. Business size can be a determining factor in whether the result is a sufficient return on the investment of time and money.   Step four: Mindset, do you have what it takes?   Starting and running a business is not for the faint-hearted. It takes courage and effort to build a business and realise the dream. Most business owners will fight the stress and pressure demons at some point in their business career. As it is hard to predict when, make sure that you have strategies in place to overcome the stress and pressure that small business throws up to ensure that you remain positively realistic.

Early eCommerce adopters see results while others stumble: Report

8:08PM | Wednesday, 1 August

New research commissioned by PayPal shows business growth increased by an average of 5% in the last year for those who sell online, while those who don’t sell online saw business decline.

March’s top business book

3:32AM | Friday, 16 March

The Big Book of Small Business by Andrew Griffiths (Allen & Unwin, 2011, 368pp, RRP$35)   I first picked up an Andrew Griffiths book five years ago in tropical north Queensland. It was the only business book in the Port Douglas bookshop.