A slice of business advice

You may have noticed a rather well known face pop-up on our Business in Brisbane Facebook group recently - locally-based founder of pizza chain Eagle Boys, Tom Potter.

Tom, who went against the grain and launched his start-up, Pizza Guardians, during the coronavirus pandemic, jumped in to answer some of your questions about doing business in the river city.

Check out his top tips below for some slices of business wisdom. 

How have you shaped your business for success?

We opened our new pizza business in April and have had a huge customer reaction. I think it’s a combination of knowing there has been a big gap in the market and customers wanting high-quality product at a reasonable price.

Interestingly, we have deliberately positioned Pizza Guardians in a ‘value proposition’. We don’t sell $5 pizzas and we don’t have rules and codes and 45 pizzas on our menu. In fact, we only sell seven pizzas and the customers love the one price, one size, one type simplicity.

What advice can you give on finding resilience in business?

It’s critical to ask yourself if you’re focusing on what matters as far as the success of the business, as opposed to getting bogged down on the small stuff.

Plenty of the right research and asking the right questions of the market is also key. Don’t do it yourself as you won’t hear all you need to hear.

In the current climate make your focus:

  1. Survival
  2. Good leadership and direction to your staff and customers
  3. Being prepared for when restrictions lift to market your brand aggressively

What do business owners need to think about when looking to adapt/pivot?

If it’s time to shake things up, try asking yourself:

  1. Who is my customer and where are they?
  2. Who is the competition and what do they do well and badly?
  3. What is my message to motivate people to come and trial me?
  4. How do I distribute that message to them efficiently and consistently?
  5. How do I gauge the results?

How do you go about finding and managing staff?

My suggestion is to ‘employ for skills and culture’ and spend plenty of time interviewing and doing background checks. Ensuring that you have the right team is essential and it pays dividends in the long run.

A good culture means better staff retention and a more productive output, so do your research on people and ultimately trust your gut.

What’s your advice to those looking to purchase a small business?

The price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) on a small food outlet is usually one to three times your profit. Start-ups are notoriously dangerous and will falter over 90% of the time. You need to consider that before doing anything.

Adequate planning is key. Have you done your market research and defined your unique selling proposition? What will set you apart from your competitors? There are so many moving parts to running a small business, which include human resources, accounting, operations and customer service. You’ll need to be across all of these in order to succeed.

Finding support

If you own or operate a small business in Brisbane, Council is dedicated to helping your business.

Our new Business in Brisbane Facebook group is a place for like-minded business owners to connect, share and offer support. Join the discussion

Council is committed to supporting local business and has a range of services including our Business Liaison Officers and our 24/7 Business Hotline. You can also find out more about Council’s business relief package and other ways we’re supporting businesses during coronavirus.

Related links

Date posted:
Last updated:9 July 2020