The highlights from Startup Grind’s conference

The highlights from Startup Grind’s conference

This week Flippa was at Startup Grind as a sponsor, speaker and also to showcase our offering to small business owners. Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire and connect 2,000,000 entrepreneurs across 500 cities around the world. There were over 70  speakers and presentations across two days, from some of the most recent and exciting innovators. Here were my highlights from the two-day event.

Photo credits Alya Tau Photography

Ruud Hendriks (Startupbootcamp) interviewed by Simon Hudson (Privy)

To put it mildly, Ruud is something of a legend in the entrepreneurial world. The co-founder of Startup Boot Camps, a renowned accelerator program, Rudd started his career as a Dj on board pirate station Radio Caroline. From the beginning, Rudd’s interview was about determination, hard work and above all else ‘hustling’. He was so eager to become a DJ when he was 18, that in 1979 he spent 2 years on a pirate radio ship in the high seas. He later transitioned to a legal radio station and forged a career in TV broadcasting, rubbing shoulders with Rupert Murdoch.

From ‘deep despair to Youtube euphoria’ Ruud understands how hard it is to build a startup.  Startup Boot Camp is now considered one of the top accelerator programs in the world and has helped over 100,000 startups.

Guy Kawasaki (Canva) interviewed by Jules Lund (TRIBE)

The next highlight was marketing specialist and Cheif Evangelist at Canva, Guy Kawasaki. Guy opened his interview with Jules Lund of Tribe by explaining how he got his title for his role at Canva. When asked why more companies don’t have evangelists, Guy replied “well there was Jesus before me”, much to the amusement of the audience. Guy went on to explain that the term ‘evangelist’ means “to bring good news”. Canva as an enterprise is ‘good news’. It allows non-designers (its user) to easily create beautiful designs, graphics and photographs. Guy started working at Canva after they reached out directly via Twitter and his VA vouched for the company.

When asked about his career and how his ‘hunger’ has evolved, Guy replied that it had actually decreased. An understandable response after such a successful career and three kids between the ages of 3 and 17. Guy followed up by saying, “No one will say at the end of their life, I wish I’d worked more”.

Guy then went on to talk a little bit about his time at Apple and how fear is a healthy thing. Fear “makes you train harder and it’s not about whether you have doubt, it’s whether you can push back against it”. Guy explains that doubt is “not a sign of weakness but a sign of intelligence”.When it comes to startups, Guy stressed the simple things that lots of us often forget. Startups don’t take off due to a lack of sales and “sales fix everything.” Do whatever you can to increase your sales in the early days and worry about everything else later.

Wild Wild West – Marketplace dynamics and learnings

Towards the end of day 2 Flippa’s CEO Blake Hutchison shared lessons from his first two months running a 9-year-old marketplace.  Blake spoke about data, speed and humans in his presentation. Starting with data, he encouraged the audience not to “fly blind”. It’s important in businesses of all levels to understand where your revenue is being derived from and what segments of your audience to really focus on at any given time. He then spoke about speed – “don’t let yourself be affected by decision-making paralysis” because it’s important to make decisions swiftly in business. 8 weeks into becoming the CEO at Flippa, Blake introduced ID verification, targeted email lists, an improved escrow service and a post-sales offboarding team. The third thing that Blake spoke about which really resonated with the crowd was that “you do not work for a tech company, you work for a human company.” Blake discussed the emotional layer to tech companies and reminded the audience that “you can iterate quicker with people than you can with humans”.

 

Layne Beachley (8 x World Champion Surfer)

Champion surfer Layne’s conversation touched on how we as humans are hardwired to be negative. It’s a genetic pre-disposition within all of us. She also talked about fear, a hot topic throughout the conference and something relatable to all the entrepreneurs in the audience. Layne said that fear is something that is learned in today’s world and she spoke about a constant running commentary that goes on in our mind. It’s important that we “stop, take a deep breath and re-calibrate our mind”.

Layne shared her “3 C’s” which she lived by – courage, conviction and consistency. A champion for the belief that “choice not chance determines your destiny”, Layne’s talk was filled with self-affirming and motivating quotes and anecdotes. She finished up talking about how comparison leads to a sense of inadequacy, something we can all relate to.

Andi Chatterton (Ingenious.AI) – Bots for Enterprise

The final presentation that I found fascinating was Andi Chatterton’s, the founder of Ingenious.Ai. Ingenious.Ai helps businesses to build chat bot experiences so they can respond to their customers at any time. Chatbots live within channels people use every day and provide frictionless interactions. By 2020, “over 80% of customer interactions will be held without customer involvement”.

Andy spoke about the direction that chatbots are moving towards. They no longer need to learn an interface when reacting to human contact. In fact, in order for chatbots to evolve, a “new style of the broadcast is needed, where users can ask questions”. Conversational designers can now ensure that chatbots identify the tone of the user appropriately and accomplish goals efficiently. But while we’re looking to service AI, customers are also beginning to use AI on businesses. Andi spoke about how Google has developed AI that allows your phone to call a salon, interact with a receptionist and book you an appointment. Pretty amazing stuff!

In summary, Startup Grind was an awesome event with some really engaging speakers, fun panels and even a holiday to Bali up for grabs.

 

Case study: Pixel Football Logos – Sandbox Colour by Numbers

Case study: Pixel Football Logos – Sandbox Colour by Numbers

Platform: Android

Business Model: Gaming app

Business Age: 4 months

Sell Price: $56,000

Pixel Football Logos: Sandbox Colour by Numbers allows users to colour in drawings of their favourite football players and team logos. The game mainly appeals to soccer fans and enthusiasts and to date has had over 500,000 downloads. It has been monetized through advertising and subscriptions and users can pay to unlock premium items like popular soccer league teams.

 

What is the product?

Pixel Football Logos: Sandbox Colour by Numbers is an app that is available for Android and can be downloaded from the Google Play store. On the app you will find a range of football logos in the style of pixel art along with instructions around how to draw on the pixels of world famous footballers. 

 

What makes Pixel Football Logos such a good app?

All logo and player images are illustrated by a designer so to avoid any copyright issues. Users can select from a large range of soccer player drawings and logos to add colour to. In terms of financials, the average monthly revenue is $7,996 and profit is $6,942. This demonstrates how effective the owner has been in monetizing the app and also in keeping costs down. The app has over 100 reviews in Google Play and ranks highly amongst soccer league fans.  

 

Why was it so appealing?

Easy to understand why this app had a lot of interest among the Flippa buyer community. Healthy margins, strong consumer reviews on Google play and high levels of engagement – Pixel Football Logos has over 220,000 active users. All of these combined, it’s no surprise the owner quickly found a buyer. 

 

Who is the Pixel Football Logos app user?

Predominantly football fans particularly those who are creative. 

 

How did Flippa assist?

Flippa’s platform has a large pool of buyers that the Pixel Football Logos app had exposure to. It had over 4,300 views, 20 bids and there was a flurry of discussion and interest surrounding it. On top of this, the owner utilised Flippa’s escrow service which guarantees safe and secure payments.

Seller showcase: Dion Lovrecich, oktoberfest.com.au – eCommerce business for sale on Flippa

Seller showcase: Dion Lovrecich, oktoberfest.com.au – eCommerce business for sale on Flippa

This week we caught up with Dion Lovrecich, who along with his sister Andrea, are the owners of business oktoberfestcostumes.com.au. The business is currently listed on Flippa. Here is the full conversation below. 

Background of the business 

Tell us a little bit about the background of oktoberfest.com.au? I understand your sister is involved in the business in some way?

Yes she is and we can’t believe how this has taken off! Within three months it’s doing $60,000 in revenue and has already made $14,000 in profit. This is my sister Andrea’s business and I’m helping her sell it. She’s had ten years experience in costumes but always in a bricks and water capacity. I told her she had to take it into an online capacity and I was open to helping her since I have worked in digital marketing for years. Within just a couple of months, it absolutely took off and we are still getting sales even though October has finished now.

 

That’s probably a big question and tell us more about your customer base? What do you sell on oktoberfest costumes.com.au?

We sell a traditional German costume with the ladies wearing a dirndl and gents a lederhosen. These costumes are actually used all year round which many people don’t realise. In truth, this a highly seasonal business and we did more than 800 transactions over the last two and a half months. The thing is, customers still come through, but if I’m being honest it is a seasonal business. It has achieved huge growth and the potential is there for someone to build the business with other types of costumes or for a buyer to attach the business to something else.

 

The customer base and how this was grown

 

There are customers coming through thick and fast from the October period, in celebration of Oktoberfest of course. As you have said, the opportunity for the new owner is to obviously take it on in its current form but is it also to grow this into a generalist costume business?

Yeah, it could be a generalist costume business or it could be a closer niche to German costumes or you could pick another niche entirely to get into. There is a lot of organic traffic coming through and we have used social very successfully, along with some paid advertising too. The combination of the two was such a beautiful start. Andrea and I are keen to sell it but she is torn because she wants to keep the business given the phenomenal results we have seen in the first few months. At the end of the day, we’ve decided ‘let’s do this, it’ll be good for you (Andrea)’ and hopefully, we can find the right kind of buyer. Andrea wants to pass the business onto the right buyer.  

 

The business opportunity and marketing efforts to date 

 

Fantastic, when we talk about buyers, we here at Flippa often educate buyers and tell them to make sure that they know how the business is acquiring customers. So from the perspective of Oktoberfestcostumes.com.au, how has it been so successful early on? What are your marketing methods?

You can’t be that successful without paying for traffic. If you see a website that says they don’t pay for traffic and claim to have thousands of viewers, ask them a few questions. In fact, ask the guys at Flippa, they’ll help you out with that.

 

So you guys are buying keywords around the Oktoberfest period and around no doubt the specific product units so lederhosen and dirndl. You mention social, so how has social been beneficial? What platforms have been working for you?

It has been Incredible and the cost per click has been so low. There can be a lot of industry terminology that people throw around. But, at the end of the day, the cost per acquisition/cost per sale was exceptionally low. People liked the adverts, and they were being shared a lot on Facebook and Instagram and that’s how we built the business so quickly.

 

Andrea and Dion’s business is now on Flippa and its Oktoberfestcostumes.com.au. This successful start-up is six months old and has already made $60,000 in revenue. Make sure you check this profitable listing out. 

Seller Showcase: Madeleine Saric Dubleup – eCommerce Business for Sale on Flippa

Seller Showcase: Madeleine Saric Dubleup – eCommerce Business for Sale on Flippa

This week we spoke with Madeleine Saric, owner of Dubleup business which is currently for sale on Flippa. Here are some highlights from our conversation with her.

Can you introduce us to Dubleup and tell us how it all got started?

So Dubleup is on an online e-commerce platform and we sell tech accessories for Apple and Android products, phones, tablets, watches. Everything is on there that you can imagine, from power banks to cables and cases. The list goes on.

 

Your top seller is the credit card power bank charger, so tell us a little bit more about this?

I developed the worlds smallest power bank. It is the size of a credit card and fits into the credit card slot of your wallet. It is essentially designed to give that extra bit of charge for when you are out. That was the idea behind it, I did travel a lot and didn’t need the chunky power bank, I just needed a little bit of extra charge.

 

Let’s us back up a little bit, who are you and how did all of this come about?

I’m Madeline Saric and this came about when I was doing an internship overseas and the boss I had told me, ‘start something when you are young and you won’t regret it’. So I came back to Australia and whilst I was still studying I came up with the designs for the power bank. Working at Apple, I came to understand what consumers wanted and what was missing from the market. This is what led to the evolution of Dubleup and this small power bank. From there I started working with teams in China, R&D and engineers and coming up with the final product which is the power bank.

 

Approximately how many units of this product have you sold into the market?

Apple and Android combined we have sold tens of thousands. Apple is obviously a lot more successful and we have Apple certification as well so it is approved by Apple and supports any products that they sell.

 

Looking at your business, what is there for a potential buyer to take over?

At the moment most of the operations are outsourced, marketing, production, manufacturing etc. You as a purchaser for the business would just simply use your laptop and your phone to run the business. Everything is produced and manufactured in China. It’s a very self-sustaining business with a huge opportunity for growth in terms of building new products and investing in marketing to grow the business. You could get the product into brick and water stores and also grow the online store

 

Do you own the brand and have the ability to continue with manufacturing in China?

Yes and definitely.

 

Why are you selling Dubleup?

The first reason is that I wanted to build a business, get it to a stage where I could sell it and differentiate myself from other people. The second reason is I’m a firm believer in doing something that you absolutely love and are passionate about and as much as I love technology, I’ve lost the passion for it.

 

 

 

Madeleine Saric is the founder of eCommerce electronics business Dubleup, which is currently for sale on Flippa.

Influencer Series: Matt Raad eBusiness Institute – How to start out on Flippa

Influencer Series: Matt Raad eBusiness Institute – How to start out on Flippa

This week, Flippa CEO Blake Hutchison sat down with Matt Raad as part of our Influencer Series to discuss buying online businesses.

 

Matt is the CEO and Co Founder of eBusiness Institute and with wife Liz, they have been recognised as Australian experts in buying online businesses. Their courses help students to look for businesses that they can buy and build and their platform of choice is Flippa.

In this video interview (see below) he reveals some key insights. In referring to their live events Matt remarked about the ease of using Flippa. “When we run a live event, we love getting onto Flippa and we do it unscripted. We are pretty much guaranteed to find a good deal” (2m:34s).

What are your favourite types of businesses?

“We like sites that sell advertising and the next level (up from here) would be affiliate sites, so sites where we promote a product and then (earn money) get a commission if someone buys it.” (3m.40s). Matt also discusses Ad Sense websites and the success he’s had with those. “It’s where we started and we have made a lot of money. What we are seeing now is that where those Ad Sense sites are in good niches, there is a lot of opportunity.” (3m:15s).

Should you be interested in the subject matter?

“It’s nice to start out in your passion but the reality is you don’t need to once you know how the system works” (5m.00s).

When it comes to website audiences Matt mentions that he loves finding sites that he can drive traffic towards. “On Flippa if we can find someone that’s owned a website for years and they were really passionate about it (but couldn’t figure out how to make money out of it) and they have a bit of an audience following, that’s gold. That is what we want” (4m:28s).

Blake and Matt spoke a little about Amazon and the various business models.

Matt remarks that he’s less familiar with ecommerce but that doesn’t detract from his ability to make money from Amazon. He likes affiliate businesses. Matt gives the example of a dog products reviews website. He notes that an Amazon affiliate revenue stream, in this example, is where reviews of a particular product might convert to an interested customer. In this case, interested customers click off and buy. Where they do buy, the website owner is paid a commission. “A reviewer might do a review of a dog bed and (on that basis) say to customers, ‘BTW if you are interested in this dog bed here is where you can buy it on Amazon’” (9m.38s).” If the customer then clicks this link it is tracked and Matt is paid a commission on the sale of between 4-8%.

For more information around how Matt buys websites on Flippa and monetizes them, watch the full interview below.

Matt Raad is the CEO and Co Founder of EBusiness Institute Australia, a digital training organisation and is passionate about helping others to buy online businesses. Check Matt’s website to learn more or you can connect directly with him via Linkedin.