Our July speaker: Megan from Freckleberry Chocolate Factory

Our July speaker: Megan from Freckleberry Chocolate Factory

Our next breakfast is scheduled for Friday, July 6 and we’re excited it’s with the founder of Freckleberry Chocolate Factory, Megan Van Oirschot.

Based in South Geelong, Freckleberry is a privately owned local business that specialises in creating delicious and innovatively packaged chocolate products.

Freckleberry quickly became known for its unique packaging, clever concepts and appeal to a broad range of people. Furthermore, the business is known for its quality, using a specific Belgian chocolate blend for all of its creations.

The business also offers wholesale to other business, and early on because a supplier of RedBalloon – a highly sought after gifting platform.

Megan was already supplying to RedBalloon prior to her appearance on Season 1 of Shark Tank, where she was mentored by RedBalloon Founding Director and business guru, Naomi Simson.

“A business I love and know, Megan has supplied her amazing sweets to RedBalloon for at least 4 years… RedBalloon is one of her whole sale clients – she has many,” Naomi Simson writes in her blog post (read here).

Freckleberry thrives on innovation, with new products released yearly celebrating the excitement and versatility of the commonly loved chocolate.

The business doubles as a retail store and has an online store, broadening the business opportunities in making a sale and reaching new clients.

Overall, the business shares the message to create chocolate memories for all kids – big and small.

You can follow Freckleberry on Facebook and Instagram. Visit their website to find out more information.

Purchase tickets to this breakfast event via our website. Tickets are $25 for non members, plus members pay $10 and premium members get it free.

Meet the board: Pamela Dorward from Australia Post Small Business Hive

Meet the board: Pamela Dorward from Australia Post Small Business Hive

In order to better get-to-know our members, we thought it was best we shared who we are are and how we came to Entrepreneurs Geelong.

Find out a little bit more about one of our board members Pamela Dorward below.

What was your first experience with Entrepreneurs Geelong?

The Small Business Hive sponsored a breakfast and I was invited to come along and speak on behalf of the Small Business Hive.

What’s been your favourite memory of an EG event?

There have been many and it is difficult to pick a favourite however a few standouts for me would be, Frank Costa, Dr James Campbell and Peter Wade. The insights into business and the journey taken for their business is always great to hear. We all face challenges and to hear how they overcome the challenges to grow their business is insightful.

Why did you decide to join the board?

I have been attending events for a few years now and I am impressed with the professional nature and format of the events. I believe in the ethos of EG and felt it was time to give something back to the community.

Tell us a little bit about your business/where you work.

I currently work with Australia Post at the Small Business Hive. The Small Business Hive is a co-working space for small businesses and a community resource for small businesses to obtain knowledge, training and assistance for their business. I have previously owned several small businesses in a variety of different industries. Working at the Small Business Hive I am able to share my knowledge and mentor businesses as well as provide a place for business owners to develop and grow their skills.

What’s your mantra as an entrepreneur?

Don’t judge your success based on the success of others. Success looks different for each of us. We all have obstacles of various shapes and sizes to overcome. Don’t compare yourself to others as you are a unique person!

What’s your biggest piece of advice for new entrepreneurs?

Believe in yourself and never stop learning. You may need to change your direction, product or service but never stop believing in yourself as an individual. Ask questions of others, find a mentor and learn from them.

When was the moment you felt most challenged as a small business and how did you overcome it?

Operating a business in a male dominated sector combined with raising a family had its challenges, however being adaptable and continually expanding my knowledge base assisted change. Creating a culture of being customer focused and using creative ways to show a point of difference built a strong customer base and allowed the business to grow.

Read more board interviews here, or find out more about the Small Business Hive here.

Greg Jury on his greatest business decision ever

Greg Jury on his greatest business decision ever

With volleyball running through his blood after playing elite level for Australia, Greg Jury took a leap of faith in opening Geelong’s first beach volleyball Centre after a call about a vacant block in South Geelong.

Ten years after first witnessing the vacant land the business is thriving, with previous experience establishing Vic Beach Melbourne and an understanding of the sport helping Greg establish what players wanted from the centre.

“I was passionate about it and I was coaching all the time, and that was pretty much the secret to me,” Greg says. “All I had to do was to have retention and make sure we had really good customer service and then all I did was live my life really.”

Located next to the well-established Geelong Basketball Netball Centre, you could assume establishing a clientele would be an easy process, however Vic Beach Geelong had to start relatively from scratch.

“It helped in the aspects that it exposed us to those who loved sport, but we really had to go out there and get that retention. We knew that was the secret. Giving our clients the time and giving them customer service they don’t often experience in other centres,” he says.

With all going well in the centre, Greg came across another business venture by pure chance – and one that would see him reach for international exposure.

“I was on my way back from an event in Japan and I was at a noodle bar and this guy pushed down on something and opened up a beer and I thought, ‘This was really cool’,” he says of his introduction to the product in 2003.

“So I bought one home and used it behind the bar [at the centre] and every time I used it people would say, ‘Where did you get that from?’. So from that we decided to import them as trophies and we would give them out at the end of the competition. At the end of that week I think I had about 20 or 30 people come in and ask for them.”

Greg Jury with our president Matthew Fletcher

Becoming aware of the products potential, Greg researched patents and branding in his first steps to bringing this product into the Australian market.

When someone from Repco approached Greg with the proposal of ordering 10,000 products, the possibilities of Bottlepops really came to light. And of course, the experience on Shark Tank in 2015 helped open the doors to the business even further.

“Originally our focus was in the trophy and sports industry, and now we’ve become focused on putting different heads on them to what we’re going into now which is going into licensing which is the main reason why we first went onto shark tank,” he says.

Now with a two-year contract with Marvel, Bottlepops is looking at breaking into the American market, with a clever ‘Mr.President’ creation bearing an uncanny likeness to the current President of the USA.

“We are doing this as a strategic thing to break into the American market,” he laughs.

With a clear vision for marketing and branding opportunities, the challenges for Greg personally lied in the numbers behind the business. Initially “over his head” when it came to figures, he taught himself, understanding the importance of knowing them in a business. “Those things are really important for shareholders,” he adds.

It was understanding the numbers that helped Greg and his business partner Stephen Brooks land a spot on Shark Tank and succeed in gaining a $150,000 investment from Andrew Banks and Steve Baxter.

“We couldn’t have ever asked for better exposure. We had the biggest two weeks of online sales you can ever imagine. It was a great experience,” he says before adding, “I am who I am today and better for it because of that experience.”

Read more stories and entrepreneurial tips here.

This article was written from the insights during Greg Jury’s breakfast event with us. Purchase tickets to our next breakfast event here.

Follow our adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

Meet the board: Dion Matchan from Southern Cross Montessori

Meet the board: Dion Matchan from Southern Cross Montessori

In order to better get-to-know our members, we thought it was best we shared who we are are and how we came to Entrepreneurs Geelong.

Find out a little bit more about one of our board members Dion Matchan below.

What was your first experience with Entrepreneurs Geelong? And how did you hear about it?

I met Matthew (EG president) through Wayne Elliot at Netgain. I was doing a business planning course and Matthew came in and told us about Entrepreneurs Geelong.

What’s been your favourite memory of an EG event?

Meeting a range of people from those starting out to those who have been involved in business for decades.

Why did you decide to join the board?

I have been an entrepreneur before I even knew what that meant, and for the last 24 years have been running a range of different businesses. I become a trainer and facilitated the Certificate IV in small business management, then in 2014 I started my Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Swinburne in Hawthorn. I joined the board to help support Entrepreneurs in Geelong.

Tell us a little bit about your business.

I have done many things in my career and now is no different, I manage a Montessori Kindergarten in Torquay part time, home-school my four children and still do some consulting and problem solving when I can.

What’s your mantra as an entrepreneur?

Get better problems.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for new entrepreneurs?

Be self-aware, your business is limited by your beliefs and views of the world and many of your early problems will stem from these beliefs. If you are aware of this, you can grow as a person and your business will grow as well.

Who area few Geelong small businesses you admire?

The entrepreneurs I admire and whom inspire me daily are my wife who runs a Montessori Kindergarten in Torquay and my daughter who just bought Balmy, an organic skincare business and at 14 is learning all things entrepreneurial while also writing her book.

Read more board interviews here, or find out more about Dion’s business here.

7 “Time Sucks” That Hinder Entrepreneurs with Les Watson from Get More Time

7 “Time Sucks” That Hinder Entrepreneurs with Les Watson from Get More Time

Testament to his ability of managing time, within an hour of contacting Les Watson about this article, he had replied, sent the copy through and an image to accompany it.

Managing time can be one of the most difficult elements of working as an entrepreneur, so we thought there was no other person better to offer advice on the matter than Les.

1. Lack of Focus (lack of goals)

Goals help you focus. They keep “the main thing the main thing” (Stephen Covey). Keeping your focus on the main thing allows you to prioritise: to do the right thing at the right time.

2. Perfectionism

“It’s got to be perfect before I start/launch/show”. Does it? Trial and error is a good thing (in certain situations). Give it a fly. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you now have feedback on what to do differently, to course-correct, and do it better next time.

3. Not prioritising

Lack of priorities sees you doing the less important tasks at the most important time and sometimes running out of time. The result is that you don’t do what’s important. I use a simple A + B system. As have to be done today. Bs get done after the As. If you don’t get to the Bs, it’s okay. And some of the Bs of today will become As tomorrow. And that’s okay too.

4. Procrastination (putting things off)

Someone once said, “Don’t put off ’till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you enjoy it today you can do it again tomorrow”. But most of the times that we procrastinate it is because of the things we don’t want to do: the tax, difficult conversations, asking for _____. I’ve found that when I get the unpleasant tasks done, it frees up a whole lot of energy to be creative and more productive. The five second rule is a good one in this case. If you think of it, do it within five seconds, otherwise it can turn into procrastination.

5. Fear of Failure

Some of the best achievers in the world also failed a lot. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” You would have to start again / people would laugh / you might lose some money. What’s the opposite? “What’s the best thing that could happen?” It’s successful / you achieve what you set out to achieve / you hit your goal / you make some money.

6. Doing everything yourself

There is a saying: “If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Team. Create a team. You don’t have to put on three full-time people. You can start with outsourcing. Outsource your admin. Outsource some of your social media. Maybe Fivr is a method you could use to get some of the small tasks done on a tight budget. Virtual Assistants (VAs) will help with your emails. Get a mentor. Invite someone onto your team. If you haven’t done so already, check out Gen Harwood and the Greatness Principle.

7. Unfinished Tasks

Incomplete tasks create “brain clutter” and distract you from the task at hand. Take all those incompletions out of your head and put them onto paper. Place them in a trusted system so you know where they are, and then act on them.

If you’d like to find out more about getting more time in your day, or just to hear more of what Les Watson does, head to his website here or his Facebook page.