Founders: Damien James, 38
Head Office: Victoria
Industry: Health and community services
Damian James’ parent didn’t think it was a good idea. Their son had finished his degree and they thought he should go and work for someone else. James has other ideas.
“So I grabbed the Yellow Pages, turned to ‘nursing home’ and started calling potential clients to see if they were interested in what I was offering. By lunchtime of the first day on the phone I’d secured enough sales meetings to provide $70,000 a year revenue if I converted 100% of my sales meetings,” he says.
“At the time I was 24 years old and broke, but confident I was onto something. It hasn’t all been rosy but I’m proud to say we now employ 40 fantastic team members, treat over 3,000 patients a week and we’ll easily exceed $5,000,000 in revenue for the 2012-2013 financial year.”
James’ initial marketing efforts may have been as simple as a phone book and a phone, but he has now become a bit more sophisticated – and unusual.
James invested $2,000 in a set of “Talking Bags” that he sent round to his clients. When opened, the bags had a recording summarising the results of Aged Foot Care’s latest third party audits. James claims the bags helped him secure contacts that will be worth more than $2 million over their lives.
“Our most effective marketing campaign produced a ROI of 17,493.86%!”
James says his best pieces of advice is to change the way you think about planning – and to plan to have time to really think.
“Develop 90-day plans that help break down your goals into smaller chunks, then set aside time in your diary each week to work on your 90-day plans and review each team member’s progress towards their 90-day plan every week.”
“Business is an intellectual sport, so every Thursday between 2pm and 4pm I answer a list of questions about my business. For me, this thinking time has become a ritual. I even have a dedicated thinking chair and a thinking pen!”