Recently I went to a Depotnext event at the Powerhouse to watch presentations from three amazing entrepreneurs who shared their stories about business success, it was highly relevant for me and all business owners.
The core theme, common to all three speakers was ‘to value and invest in people to achieve business success’. No news to me! But great to hear the proven results of that same belief reinforced and shared through the experiences of:
- Susannah George, CEO and Founder of Urbanlist. Urbanlist launched in 2011 and is a website profiling the latest and greatest social and cultural attractions of 7 cities. The site attracts more than 2.5 million visitors each month and is one of the fastest growing and most influential lifestyle web destinations in Australia and New Zealand.
- Mark Sowerby, currently Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur and former founder and CEO of Blue Sky Alternative Investments. In 10 years Mark grew the company to become one of Australia’s top 300 listed companies with $2.4 billion under management.
- Tamara Loehr, CEO of healthy home delivered meal company FivepointFour, Tamara helped take the business from under half a million turnover to over $10million in 2 years.
Top 7 Take-Aways
Here are the top seven most valuable take-aways from the Depotnext event for businesses and all relate to investing in people:
1. Tamara’s business invests in people on a global scale through the Buy1Give1 program, for every FivepointFour meal a customer eats, the company feeds a child in need through the Hunger Project. Tamara’s vision is to equalise nutrition globally by inspiring others to make buy one give one a standard practice for small business and consumer expectations.
2. A large component of the success of FivepointFour was through investing in people to provide ‘sweat equity’. Tamara defines sweat equity as “ownership interest or an increase in value that is created from mental and physical effort rather than finance in return for shares in business.”
3. Susannah’s major lesson was to invest in talent to get you there rather than waiting for opportunities.
4. When Susannah lost confidence, her team thought she'd lost confidence in them – keep the faith and communicate with your team.
5. Susannah discovered TRUST was the number one value when selecting team members and in attracting and retaining clients and suppliers. Trust is impossible to manufacture it needs to be authentic.
6. Mark focused on the importance of maintaining a good people culture in an organisation and to retain people who dig in and deal with the consequences of their actions.
7. Mark also shared that the people your organisation invests in through employment also create opportunities for your company.
Great lessons for all business leaders.