Brad Parsons is the CEO and founder of Brisbane company MOVUS, which develops and provides an intelligent device that monitors the condition of industrial equipment. The MOVUS FitMachine is attached to industrial machinery and uses a sensor to monitor the machine’s vibration, temperature and acoustics. It sends an alert, using artificial intelligence, at the first detection of machinery malfunction, saving business owners’ valuable time and money.
Since its inception in 2015, the company has grown to 25 full-time staff and has moved to a new office in Spring Hill. Along the way, the company has been supported by several government grants and was also a finalist at the 2018 Lord Mayor’s Business Awards.
“Employees are very much at the heart of everything we do,” says Brad. “One of the most unexpected benefits of owning a small business in Brisbane is building a top-notch team; Brisbane has become such a vibrant, diverse and multicultural city over the past 20 years.”
What type of business do you have?
A proprietary limited company.
How did you get the idea to start your business?
My inspiration came from my time working on the Strategic Conditioning Monitoring Program, when I was employed by Sydney Trains. At the beginning, I started selling my idea through a simple PowerPoint presentation.
Had you run your own business before?
No, this is a first for me.
What’s your professional background?
I spent 25 years in a corporate career that spanned national and global positions at Flight Centre, News Limited, Aurizon and Multiplex.
How did you raise the capital to start your venture?
The Queensland Government’s Ignite Ideas Fund [which provides grants to support start-ups and small-to-medium businesses] and a series of state and federal government subsidies and tax rebates.
What are some unexpected benefits of owning a small business?
The opportunity to work across a variety of business areas, from operations to technology, and from sales and marketing to exports.
What value do you place in business plans?
Business plans are valuable to set direction, but they need to be fluid so the business can adapt to the changing landscape and new opportunities.
How do you market your business?
Our Marketing Manager, David Barzilay, focuses on brand awareness, public relations and demand generation. Government programs and networking are also pillars of our go-to-market strategy. We are a member of industry organisations such as the Entrepreneur’s Programme, Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre and the Australian Industry Group.
What’s the biggest challenge in running this type of business?
Educating the market. Because our product is so unique and innovative, we need to educate the industry, prospects and clients.
What’s been the best financial investment you’ve made in your business?
Talented and experienced people. Our team has skills that span engineering and technology disciplines. Our technology team is world-class – in fact, three-quarters of our workforce are engineers. It is our industry experience that sets us apart.
How do you stay up-to-date with the latest business information?
The Australian Financial Review and The Australian for business news, mostly online. Industry news varies depending on the industry. LinkedIn, e-newsletters, lots of reading and sharing among our team.
Who do you seek advice from for your business?
MOVUS has a great board of advisors, comprised of accomplished and experienced professionals with lots of business and industry experience.
How do you manage risk?
We work on our projects as a team, so we can consider different viewpoints and experiences. We then get a good grasp of what can go wrong, and minimise those risks.
What three things should someone consider before starting a business?
- What is the problem you are trying to solve?
- What is your experience in the market(s) that faces this problem?
- Who do you know in this market(s)?
Where do you see your business in a year or five years’ time?
In one year, we will be expanding to the Americas, and potentially Asia. In five years, to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
What’s the greatest lesson you have learned in business?
Always have the long-term vision in mind. At MOVUS, we aim to preserve the Earth’s resources by improving the efficiency and life of industrial assets.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
I think it’s important to believe in your decisions and learn from your mistakes; I wouldn’t have done anything differently.