“It was actually the limits of what was available in terms of technology to support elite physical performance that was the main driver for the company getting started,” Jose explains.
“The frustration of having nothing more than stopwatches and old time consuming equipment which took too long to set up led us to work on more refined ways in which we could collect, store and manage data that could help those looking for the edge in their field.”
“We specialise in providing ways for clients to analyse the longevity of all kinds of human performance, be it endurance, GPS, heart rate variability, sleeping patterns, Medical and rehabilitation data - anything really. While we work closely with the likes of the Australian Institute of Sport and Paralympic Committee, we also work with clients in the military and police sectors.”
It’s an impressive portfolio for the company which began life in a Brisbane incubator before launching in 2003 and one which Jose says owes much to the city’s business friendly environment.
“Brisbane’s a great place for entrepreneurs,” he enthuses.
“Australia is the world leader in sports science and the attitude of people here in Brisbane towards entrepreneurship means we have been able to play a significant part in contributing to that.”
Now employing more than 30 staff and with a global client base that includes serial championship winners including English Premier League Teams in the UK; National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer teams in the USA; and most Australia Football League, National Rugby League, Australian Rugby Union, A-League and Netball clubs in Australia, it’s safe to say that Fusion Sport have the edge when it comes to exporting their technology.
What is your greatest business learning?
It’s important to base your product on functionality and design. How will the end result of what you do improve the performance? What are the benefits? What good does it do for them? You must be able to answer these questions instantly.
What is your greatest business success?
That we have grown the business organically, most of our competitors became externally funded quite quickly but we don’t report to anyone in the market and are able to drive our own destination.
What three things should someone consider before starting a business?
- Identify a problem to which you can be the solution.
- Ask people what their experience of the problem is to ensure you have input from clients
- Work out how you will balance opportunities. The point at which you’re able to say no to a prospective client is the point at which you know you’ve made it because you will be deciding your direction on your own terms.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
I might have identified earlier on that engineers don’t always design products that work for the end user in terms of how they look.
The appearance of your product is crucial and gives an important indication of its functionality.
What have you found to be the most effective way to promote your business?
We are a B2B business. For us, the best means of promotion is excelling for our customers.
If we disregard them then we have no business as it’s on their recommendations that new clients come to us.
We always look after our clients and ask them how we can improve for them. This is important because the moment you stop asking what’s next is the moment that someone else comes along, does it and overtakes you.
How do you stay up to date with the latest business information?
I use Linkedin. I have around 8000 connections in the sports science and military sectors and refer to Linkedin every day. It’s like my newspaper!
Where have you sought business advice?
I keep in touch with people who operate $100 million or $1 billion industries and ask them how to deal with issues.
I used to work for GlaxoSmithKline so I keep in contact with a people I worked with there too.
What financial factors should be considered when wanting to grow a business?
It’s really important that growth in your revenue aligns with growth in your profit. Keep a track of your numbers so you’ll know the point at which it’s worth increasing the size of your staff. Headcount per Revenue is a key metric for Fusion Sport.
How do you manage risk?
We don’t do sponsorships. If your product is good enough for the market, don’t give it away.
What value do you place in business plans and why?
There’s a danger you can get lost in business plans. They do have value but it’s more important to focus on the things you’re trying to do well and make sure everyone in your organisation is aware of them – it helps keep things simple.