Ashley Woodcock’s message signs for entrepreneurs

RPM Hire owner and director Ashley Woodcock began his entrepreneurial journey while he was still at university, starting with only three signs for hire. He had low expectations for the business. Never has he imagined that he would grow his venture into a successful enterprise and enjoy the experience along the way.

Supplying variable message signs (VMS) is the core of Ashley’s business. For over seven years, he has expanded his company by doing other product lines and services and now has over 400 signs and other products for hire. It’s a niche industry, but Ashley found huge significance in what he is doing, serving not only their clients but the general public as well. “If we’re giving the public a warning, it allows them to change their habits, take a different route, or use another mode of transport for that day. During road closures, our signs are dotted along a detour route to help them navigate around the closures,” he explained.

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Alex Louey’s lessons on entrepreneurship through smartphone apps

With millions of apps available online that are increasing each year, an average smartphone user has a wide array of options on which ones to use that correspond to his needs. For AppsCore co-founder and Managing Director Alex Louey, whose company has been developing apps, websites, cloud solutions, Internet of Things (IoT), and other technology-based products, it’s more than just building a software. Its mission is to create great customer experiences for their clients and make their lives easier every day.

“We started off as a mobile app company. But now, we’ve progressed from being very focused on apps to focusing on making our customers’ lives easier and better for them to do things,” Alex quipped. “It means that we don’t look into a particular technology. Rather, we look at the problem to be solved and the appropriate technology to do it. We look at the entire life cycle. We look at the customer experience and the problem that they’re facing. Then, we build the software and look at what we can do to help clients engage customers and get the customers to use their business software,” he added.

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Victoria Kluth’s path to being great and being grateful

Be great and Be grateful. These are the two corporate values of Araza, a technology systems integrator and consultancy company, specialising in cloud and digital solutions. Its co-founder and Managing Director, Victoria Kluth, endeavours to live by these values as she leads others towards the vision and goals of her company.

Coming from a big corporate background, Victoria initially regarded herself as a corporate person, with her mind not set on the entrepreneurial road. Becoming an entrepreneur is just one of the many surprises life has brought on her, for which she is thankful that it happened and strives to be great at it. Among the many other unexpected things in her journey was Araza’s growth, now with 350 people in its fold. Going international never crossed her mind and through a partnership with another company, their business has an international offshore component. She is also regarded as a leader in Australia for gender equity, which is another milestone that she has not foreseen to happen in her profession.

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Jason Scher’s energy boosters for entrepreneurs

Speaking from experience, VÖOST co-Founder and Orange & Green Director Jason Scher affirmed that there are many difficulties that business owners encounter along the entrepreneurial journey. “Every single day, you’re going to be challenged with something that will make you think, ‘I’m not good enough. It is not working.’ Then, you start to have those thoughts of quitting,” he said. It takes a lot of effort, time, resources and inspiration to start a business and see it through.

“Anyone that hasn’t started a business or managed a business entirely has a different perception. It’s like the swan analogy where it all looks graceful above the surface, but under the water, the legs are paddling furiously. Some of my friends see our products in different supermarkets and outlets, and they think it must mean everything’s going well. But there’s a lot of hard work, a lot of long hours, and a lot of stressful moments that people don’t see,” described Jason.

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Matt Beesley’s courage to make difficult decisions

“Don’t try to be all things to all people. Have the courage to know what it is that you do well and focus on that.” These are words from Matthew Beesley, Founder and Director at Premier Technology Solutions. It all started in his garage at home, where he began fixing home personal computers (PCs). Never in his wildest dreams had he imagined himself to own and run a company someday.

At the time Matt was working for someone else, he wasn’t happy with how his former boss treated their clients. It was at that point that he decided to go out on his own.

“When I left, I had no ambition to build a company any bigger than just myself. I planned to be a sole trader forever. There was no grand plan to get to a certain size, and there was no ambition to be a large company. I was only trying to solve a problem, and things just snowballed from there,” he disclosed.

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Ben Trinh helps others become life ready

To make other people life ready, Benjamin Trinh, founder and CEO of Life Ready Physiotherapy and Pilates, helps people on their journey towards finding their best quality of life. Understanding what is essential to his life, he builds his corporate structure that starts with his family. He and his wife, Linda, create an annual rhythm as a family, and then he fits his work rhythm into that annual rhythm. For Ben, it’s all about reverse engineering everything around what is important to one’s self.

His strength of coming alongside people and helping them hone their capabilities is what Ben believes as his mission in life. Thus, he would rather have a significant impact on fewer people as opposed to having several relationships at a superficial level. “I want to build fewer but deeper relationships and help those people realise their potential. And my legacy would be a company that’s doing that, a company that emulates those values in reality and that lasts beyond me. I don’t want the company to be dependent on me. The company has to be sustainable and lasting because our mission is to improve the healthcare industry,” Ben stated.

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The colourful business journey of Antoine Bakhache

If one has to describe the entrepreneurial journey of Antoine Bakhache, owner and Managing Director of Bakhache Luxuries, it is a life full of vivacity and hue. Born in Lebanon, Antoine has lived in the US, Thailand, India and Malaysia and worked and set up ventures in some of these countries. From events to jewellery to silverware to food, he has experienced it all – running businesses in various industries and now, expanding to Australia, another entrepreneurial adventure to add to his experiences.

For Antoine, what is central to any business is the people – the staff and the customers. With the former, getting the right people on board is crucial to the success of his ventures. “Your business is as good as the people that work with you. Even if you have the best brand and the best location, but you have the wrong people doing the job, it won’t work. I am blessed to be surrounded by a very good team, an enthusiastic team that is willing to learn, grow and work hard to obtain results,” Antoine remarked. “A sense of contentment and fulfilment for me is to have my team one day look back and appreciate that their journey with Bakhache Luxuries was a journey of learning and self-improvement,” he added.

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Clayton Cross: learning from failure is a step to success

Experience and introspection are what Clayton Cross considers, owner of Predikkta and several other businesses, as his teachers, which guided him in his business endeavours. For him, it was a road full of trial-and-error that honed his capabilities as a business owner.

“I failed a lot more than most people did, and the pain and embarrassment have helped drive me to learn, up-skill and educate myself,” Clayton stated. He never had a mentor or a manual on how to start and manage a business. In truth, he ran his businesses very isolated, as he puts it, preferring to try things by himself. His whole education on entrepreneurship he acquired through practical learnings. From those experiences, he reviewed what happened, why it happened, and how he could improve.

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James Eling’s road to outstanding

James Eling believes that having a vision, adhering to it, and working relentlessly towards it are the important parts of his entrepreneurial journey. He has established and now owns three businesses: Extreme Networks, 4x4earth.com, and Marketing4Restaurants. James works closely with his wife, Tina, in Extreme Networks while he devotes more time in Marketing4Restaurants.

“I couldn’t imagine not working with Tina. We’re exact opposites, but we have a very strong working relationship,” James declared. They met in nursing school, where James thought he would build his career. Interestingly, he started as a critical care nurse, before he made a big leap to IT, where most of his businesses currently belong.

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Nicky Tzimas advocates for people’s rights through education

Nicky Tzimas, founder and Director of the Cosmetic Professional Development Institute of Australia (CPD Institute), is a firm believer in people’s rights. With a solid background in behavioural sciences and mental health, Nicky is an advocate of ethical practice in the cosmetic aesthetic industry.

The creation of CPD Institute was born out of Nicky’s concern over clients who were seeking treatments without thorough awareness of the risks and complications involved. She had patients from other practices approaching her clinic for services, and it was evident that they had previously been uninformed of the potential risks and problems that could have resulted from their past procedures.

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