Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Entourage Young Entrepreneurs' Unconvention Wrap Up (Part 1) - Jack Delosa on Entrepreneurial Success!

"99% of success is about showing up"

Once again, I got a little carried away on my usual Friday night shenanigans and was just a wee bit tempted to skip The Unconvention by The Entourage on Saturday. I am quite a morning person but a 9am start on a Saturday with tonnes of accumulated sleep debt can be quite a mission, ya know. 
But HEY, I am another step closer to success since I did show up. :P

On a serious note though, I am SO glad I did as I walked out of the convention with a highly information-saturated brain, feeling inspired and motivated with a few ideas popping up in my head. Definitely the kick I needed to achieve my 2013 goals. :) 

So, just a little background of The Entourage - which I came across by accident via one of the Facebook groups I joined. 

The Entourage is Australia's largest group of real entrepreneurs and executives under 40, which provides a place for entrepreneurs, high-growth business and executives to network, connects Australia's best entrepreneurs with Australia's next entrepreneurs and offers real business education by people with "been there done that" experience.

The Young Entrepreneurs' Unconvention is the largest event for entrepreneurs under 40 (also known as Gen - Y entrepreneurs) in Australia with leading speakers like Jack Delosa (founder of The Entourage), Petar Lackovic (Entrepreneur & Business Coach who generated half a billion in sales for his clients) and Katherine Sampson (Founder of Australia's largest sandwich franchise - Healthy Habits). 

Jack Delosa is the founder of The Entourage - a Gen Y Entrepreneur who has been named in Australia's Top 10 Entrepreneurs under 30 for 4 consecutive years. He is also named "The Young Aussie Millionaire That Didn't Finish Uni" by the Sunrise.

Please handover a blade so I can slit my wrist kthxbai.


SO, what does this down-to-earth bloke have gotta say about Entrepreneurship?



Talent is overrated, said Jack. You want to be successful - you just gotta work hard. There's no easy way. Period.
Whoever tells you it is going to be easy - RUN.


Jack cannot emphasise enough the importance of on - going learning and personal development. 
Ask yourself:

How much have you invested (both time and money) in learning in the last 3 years?
How much have you invested into professional and personal development?

*Just because the guy tells you he has 20 years experience doesn't mean he has 20 years worth of experience. It could probably just be the same experience, repeated 20 times.*

ALWAYS ALWAYS invest and dedicate time into learning.


Lets have a quick look at some stats from the 2012 Dun and Bradstreet Business Start-Up and Failures Report before Jack's Tips to Entrepreneurial Success:

1. Business bankruptcies have increased by 48% in the last 12 months alone.

2. The number of businesses starting has decreased by 98%.

3. Of the business that started between 2007 and 2009, one third have already failed.

What should you be doing (or shouldn't be doing) to make sure your business is not one of the ones that went bankrupt the ones that failed?



1. Lean Start Up

Discover quickly what works and what doesn't.

Jack's #1 rule to start up: To fail and fail fast.
Enter the market fast and find a viable business model before you run out of business funds.

Failure is not the main reason start ups failed - the inability to fail fast and find a viable & sustainable business model is.

2. Branding

Develop a brand that compels people to do business with you.

"When you establish a personal brand and business brand that is visible in the media, opportunity starts to find you"

3. Business Development

Create leveraged ways of generating business through strategic partnerships and leveraged PR/ media coverage.


- WHO is your complementary business/ partner?

So how do we identify a complementary business?

1) Where do my customers go BEFORE they buy my products?
2) Where do they go AFTER they buy my products?
3) Who services the same target market as I do but offers different products and/or services?

- WHAT is the compelling reason for this strategic partnership?

Always lead with what YOU can offer when it comes to establishing strategic partnership.

"If its not free, it has gotta be a SHIT HOT DEAL" 

- HOW to develop compelling offer to consumer that benefits both parties?

The Maccas and Disney partnerships which benefit both businesses over the years, from Happy Meal deals to setting up McDonalds at Disneyland theme parks.

Always remember: 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

4. Online Strategy.

Aim for market leadership online.

That translates to drive more traffic to your website and convert more traffic on your website.

Everything is possible on the internet in today's world - all you need leverage the web technologies to build strong relationships online. 

5. Management.

Implement efficient management that enables growth and this could be done via centralised systemisation

Centralised systemisation ensures that the operations are synchronised across the business, employees have clear instructions and understanding on tasks they are required to perform and most importantly, to maximise efficiency. 

According to Jack, The Entourage systemised almost everything - from operations manuals to reporting and letter templates to the EXACT direction to the nearest post office. I shit you not.  

"Everything that happens twice, we systemised" 
- Jack Delosa on centralised systemisation of The Entourage - 

6. Capital Raising and Acquisitions. 

Know how to raise funds for your business and acquire other business (when the opportunity arises).


Only 1 succeed out of every 4,000 businesses that tried to raise capital.

Many would put the blame on "insufficient funds in the Land Down Under" when it comes to failure to raise capital but really, the #1 barrier to raising capital drills down to not finding the right opportunity and entrepreneurs are often not prepared when the doors open.

Entrepreneurs should ALWAYS be prepared with the answers to these THREE QUESTIONS ON EVERY INVESTOR'S MIND:

1) Will I lose my money?

The investors want to know if you have a solid foundation and business model. What's the concept of your business? Do you have any proof to back these up? Who's driving the business? Do you have a mentor to guide and coach you?

2) When wil I get my money back?

The investors want to know if you have a clear and defined exit strategy which will guarantee their return. What's the timeline/ lifecycle of the business?

3) Will I make money?

The investors want to know if there's any growth opportunity within the business. What are the milestones achieved to date and how likely will the investor make a return? Is the projected future real and realistic?

If you have got these questions covered, your success rate will definitely be higher the next time you meet your potential investor(s). 


Why should I acquire another business when I am planning to sell my business in the short term anyways? One may ask.

According to Jack, the valuation of an average business sold is 2X its profit

For example:
A business is worth $200k, you bought it for $400k and sold it for $800k. You made an arbitrage profit of $400k. 

Such arbitrage profit seems so much more straight forward compared to all the arbitrage profits made through shares and stocks (per my finance textbooks), don't you reckon? 

7. Exit Strategy.

Build significant value (via acquisitions) and sell for the highest possible price. 

"#1 difference between a good and a great company - the leaders of great companies have LONG TERM perspective"

A great business with long term perspective will think of an exit plan at an initial stage.

Whilst you weren't expected to think of selling your business before it is launched but an exit strategy should definitely be included in your business planning as it might potentially affect your business model.

There you go ladies and gets, lot's of information consumption there. I hope you managed to have some takeaway here - just like I did and feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions. Also - since sharing is caring, (pretty please) spread the love via the "Share" and "Tweet" buttons below.



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