2014’s Hot 30 Under 30: 6-10
Michael Bell and Nic Blair
Company: Search Factory
Age: 30 and 28
University mates Nic Blair and Michael Bell went through eight failed business ideas before coming up with Search Factory, a content marketing and search engine optimisation business based in Brisbane.
The business has really hit its straps recently with 20 full-time staff and the hiring of a general manager.
"You can't do everything yourself and manage the day-to-day tasks of running a company this size," Bell says.
'That gives us a bit of breathing room to focus on what the next steps are and where to go from here."
Kersh cracked the cabling market in 2007, because she was fed up with the "stale business model" of traditional cable companies.
Making her own cables, Kersh became Australia’s first online cable distributor. 4Cabling now offers more than 2000 products and has moved from working with niche markets to corporations and governments.
Last year, 4Cabling began teaming up with installation companies to provide larger companies with 'end-to-end’ installation packages. Kersh and her team are also developing a range of e-commerce sites providing customers with more cabling services.
Kersh expects 4Cabling to be turning over $10 million by the end of the financial year and she is committed to "making cables sexy".
Jesse Hunter's online photography supplies company turned over $7 million in the last financial year.
"The business model has been to combine a strong e-commerce presence with a boutique retail presence, and the goal has been to give the customers the best of both worlds," Hunter says.
"My plans are around increasing online relevance and innovation in the e-commerce based business, while expanding the reach and number of our retail outlets."
Company: MouldMen, GRM Exports, IBT International, Sunshine Trading Company
An entrepreneur since he was a teenager, Gerard Murtagh started his first "real" business when he was 19.
At first his young age was his greatest challenge, as he struggled to be taken seriously.
"I was basically walking into offices and banks pitching what I wanted to do, but they would say I was only 19 and ask where my degree was."
Now it's a different story. Murtagh’s exporting businesses GRM Exports, IBT International and Sunshine Trading Company were a success, and Murtagh has since started another venture called the MouldMen.
MouldMen is a group of cleaning companies specialising in mould and pest removal, and the cleaning of rental properties which have been used to produce methamphetamine. Having launched in 2010, the group now turns over $10 million.
Now, the biggest challenge for Murtagh is keeping up with the growth and finding the right people to help the businesses continue to prosper.
Company: Expo Centric
Stan Kruss, who left school at the age of 15, started Expo Centric from home.
"The problem with working for other companies was the small clients. I was interested in going into exhibition, which can then lead to doing lots of things," Kruss told SmartCompany.
Expo Centric designs and constructs exhibits for company trade shows and pop-ups in Australia and New Zealand. Recent clients include Panasonic and Santos. "It's [been through] the conversion phase from rapid growth to stability."
Kruss expects Expo Centric’s revenue to top $6 million this financial year. And what’s his advice for young entrepreneurs? “Stay focused, keep your eye on the ball and try not to diversify too much."