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Take inspiration from these Aussie entrepreneurs who spill the beans on their key goals for 2014

Monday, 6 January 2014 | By Nina Hendy

Some of Australia’s top entrepreneurs have some very lofty goals for 2014, ranging from selling three million coffees a week to taking eco nappies to the global market.


Phillip Di Bella, founder, Di Bella Coffee

Key goal: Sell three million coffees a week


The goals for one of Australia’s largest speciality coffee roasting companies in Australia are lofty, to say the least. Phillip Di Bella reveals that he aims to sell three million cups of coffee a week by the end of 2014.


“To do this, we’ll be focusing on growth in Sydney, Fremantle and online, while maintaining strong operations throughout the rest of Australia,” the caffeine juggernaut explains.


2014 will also see the introduction of KICK Latte (the milk version of its coffee-based energy drink Espresso KICK) and a completely new product; a ready-to-drink espresso martini, which will help fulfil his goal.


Di Bella has the wheels in motion to create compelling marketing to help fulfil his goals. He’s also opening a new retail operation in Fremantle, to complement the Sydney and Melbourne roasting warehouse.


“I’ve always believed in goal setting, because it enables you to have a forward-thinking vision of your professional, personal and family life. Without a clear vision, you end up travelling blind.”


Janine Allis, founder of Boost Juice and managing director of Retail Zoo

Key goal: Integrating a new brand


This hugely successful entrepreneur purchased South Australian Italian-style café Cibo in 2013, which means her main project for 2014 will be integrating this new brand into parent company, Retail Zoo.


Allis explains she will achieve this by creating a clear strategy with great people to execute the solid plan, which is under development.


“One thing you find in business, particularly when you’re the leader of a business, is that often you need to run ideas by someone else, and it’s difficult to find other people in your similar position.


“This is where an organisation like the Young President’s Organisation comes into its own. We have a forum system, where we have a confidential meeting once a month to discuss issues and challenges within a business.”


Carolyn Cresswell, founder, Carman’s Fine Foods

Key goal: Increase brand awareness


The multi-million dollar muesli company exports to more than 30 countries, but owner Carolyn Cresswell says there’s definitely room for growth in 2014.


She’s set the goal of increasing brand awareness by 10% in 2014, saying people won’t buy your product unless they’ve heard of your brand, making awareness vital for business growth, she says.


“We’re currently doing a big piece of research to work out what worked and what didn’t in 2013 so we can learn from the past and do the best we can to raise awareness in the most cost effective way next year.”


Kate Cotton & Louise Ferguson, founders, Skinny Tan

Key goal: Grow retail sales


The Skinny Tan brand gained international success when the founders appeared on hit reality TV BBC show Dragon’s Den, in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel with the money and power to make their business dream a reality.


The brand of skin smoothing and cellulite smoothing self-tanner is on the shelves of Priceline and Terry White pharmacies, along with independent chains, with plans to launch into the grocery retail sector next year.


Rapid sales growth is now the key goal for next year, with the pair aiming to get the Skinny Tan brand onto the shelves of every big pharmacy retailer in Australia and the UK in 2014.


“By being in both hemispheres, it will also give us an all year round summer to summer peak season for the brand,” Ferguson says.


“After six months of planning, we believe everything is in place to hit these goals from February to July in 2014.”


Dean Ramler, CEO and co-founder, Milan Direct

Key goal: Expand the range


The hugely successful online furniture retailer will grow the range next year, adding more ‘fun’ products in 2014.


Milan Direct has just added an ‘adventure’ category to its offering, which incorporates camping furniture and gear, luggage, travel accessories, backpacks, bags and more.


Ramler says he’s inspired by the biggest online retailers in the world and always looks for ways to improve the product range and offering.


“At the end of the year, as always, we take in all feedback from our customers to look at ways we can learn and improve our offering and business and make any necessary changes.


“We plan to keep creating new businesses within our business. In 2014, expect to see a lot more ‘fun’ products added to the range.”


Lachlan Laing, managing director, Ecoriginals

Key goal: Expand export markets


After more than two years of an intense research and development phase, it’s time to meet some heady sales targets set by the eco nappy company.


Laing says the marketing to support this growth phase is in place to ensure the brand can penetrate markets via online and in stores across the country.


Part of the marketing plan involves connecting online with new customers, which is becoming more and more important to brands wanting to grow their presence, he says.


“As a challenger brand in the heavily controlled nappy market in Australia, we intend on achieving big targets through proven sales avenues like online, small and large retailers and looking at overseas distribution channels,” Laing says.


Ecoriginals will also launch at least two new eco products for parents in 2014-2015.


“Not only is our price competitive, but we have cutting-edge biodegradable technology included in our products, such as 100% compostable packaging.”


Eugenie Pepper, owner, PLUM baby & kids fashion

Key goal: Remain ahead of schedule


Discovering that one of her manufacturers in China had recently gone bankrupt has taught Pepper not to put all her eggs in one basket.


2014 will be spent spreading the load of production of Plum garments so one supplier isn’t being relied upon too heavily. Pepper admits it could have been much worse.


“We’ve now sourced manufacturers that are able to turn around our garment in a much shorter timeframe, so we will now have a lot more time up our sleeves.”


Pepper has revitalised the loved and trusted brand, with sales doubling in the past 12 months due to a more dynamic approach to running the business. The brand has also forged stronger relationships with retailers, which has led it to working with David Jones to produce new product lines as well as doing baby accessories for Big W.


Exports have also grown substantially. This means that ramping up production in 2014 will be paramount.


“We believe in transformation of production and business processes is an important factor for growth and development.


“We’ve achieved this through hard work, staying in touch with our markets’ needs, persuing new markets and creating a new and better perception of the brand.”