Four years ago entrepreneur Brandon Evertz’s father gave him $500 to start his business.
“I got a few business cards for myself,” Evertz says when asked what he spent the cash on.
He also bought a book to sign up customers and a website with a single landing page. Four weeks later, Evertz says he had earned more than $8000.
“[I started] with something that was going to produce revenue from inception because I want to be able to live off that,” he says.
Today, the 22-year-old is the founder and chief executive of Big Review TV (BRTV), a platform that connects 14,000 small and medium businesses and has produced more than 16,000 videos.
Big Review TV is owned by Big Unlimited, which listed on the Australian Securities Exchange at the end of 2014 and of which Evertz is an executive director.
“We’ve grown by nearly 50% quarter-on-quarter,” Evertz told SmartCompany.
At this rate, he says Big Unlimited’s annualised revenue looks set to top $6 million.
Evertz has not only expanded operations across Australia, Hong Kong Singapore, UK and Australia, but the team he leads is nearly 100 strong.
“We’d like to have 30,000 business on board by the end of the year,” he says.
BRTV is also looking to build out its platform for larger enterprises through the provision of training and corporate videos as well as video presentation tools.
“In Australia, we’re the largest video provider for SMEs,” he says.
“We do it at a fraction of the traditional market costs.”
Research the market and look for real gaps
Before launching BRTV, Evertz says he studied the market for producing video content.
“I researched quite a lot of business models out there in the market,” he says
“The future of the internet is video content,” says Evertz.
But Evertz saw that for SMEs, producing high-quality video content was out of reach due to the expensive production costs involved with creating small amounts of content.
He says this gap he spotted potentially affects a market of SMEs that is worth more than $1 billion.
“Growth in demand for video content is becoming very, very high,” he says.
“Since January this year, we’ve had more than 1 million views per month.”
Solve the problem
Evertz realised that through app technology there could be a way to solve the high production costs of creating video content for businesses.
“When you’re thinking of a business model, there [should be] a product that people really want and need,” he says.
He also noticed that customer review platforms such as Yelp that helped SMEs get exposure were purely text based.
Connecting the dots, Evertz created BRTV.
“[It’s] the world’s first video review platform,” he says.
“Consumers are able to download our app and do video reviews instead of text reviews.”
BRTV also uses IP-protected technology to produce a high volume of videos for SMEs at a fraction of industry rates.
“We promote the business in an interesting and positive light,” he says.
When hiring new people to come on board Evertz says his approach is to always meet people and observe their interpersonal skills.
“In any type of company, you need to be able to engage with people,” he says.
When it comes to hiring, Evertz says his top priority is passion. And while BRTV is often approached by job seekers, Evertz says he tries to uncover their deeper motivations to help find the gems in the crowd.
“Why do they want to be involved in the company? What’s their vision? Are they here for a long-term career to grow with the company? Do they really want to make a change?” he says.
“If someone is passionate about something, they’ll learn as much as they can as fast as they can.”
Have trusted advisors
“My first advisor would definitely be my father who has given me great motivation through the years,” the entrepreneur says.
And as BRTV has grown, Evertz has kept his eyes open to new people just as passionate as him and who want to help spearhead BRTV forward.
The decision to become a publicly listed company was directed by one of Evertz’s trusted corporate advisors, he says.
“You just meet people along the way.”
Read and learn from those who inspire you
Evertz breathes business, he lives it and he enjoys it.
“I’ve always liked business and had a fascination for it,” he says.
He has spent many a day reading about business leaders who inspire him, including Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Wozniack.
“They just became ultimately obsessed with what they do,” he says.
“I think business is fun, it’s creating something from nothing.”