If a week’s a long time in politics, ten years is a lifetime in business.
And that’s what it’s been like with The SMART Group. I’ve been able to grow and develop with the company I started as a 21 year old door to door salesman that turned into an ASX listed corporation.
Back in the year Sydney hosted the Olympics, my best mate Will Scott and I spent the last $500 left on our credit card to offer News Limited a trial run selling the Herald Sun.
Remarkably, News Limited entrusted Melbourne’s most read newspaper to our sales and marketing dream.
A million sales and ten years later, and our trial run turned into an established industry leader.
Trusted by some of Australia’s largest blue chip companies to enhance their name and sell their brand, every chapter written by SMART has a fantastic story to tell.
So let me share it with you. Because I want to celebrate SMART’s decade in business. To look back on the audacity of the dream we started with.
To remember the courage and effort it took to build a business from scratch, not because it was easy, but because we were prepared to have a go. From one door to door contract, we became a $70 million ASX listed company before either of us turned 30.
After starting out in a cooped up office at the Baghdad end of Melbourne, we’ve expanded to three states and six major cities. A lot of SMART’s story has been about growth.
Our growth has been phenomenal, but it’s also been sustainable. It means we can employ someone almost anywhere in Australia. And it’s an amazing feeling to be able to give someone a job. But it’s even better to mentor a person’s career and inspire them to become a leader themself.
Someone like Gavin Devane, who started out selling energy contracts door to door. He’s now been voted Amex’s number two salesman. In the whole world.
But you can’t live the dream without surviving a few storms. SMART’s success in charting a course through the global financial crisis showed its not luck, but sheer tenacity and strategic acumen that gets you through a crisis. When many of our competitors folded, SMART consolidated our base, while boldly going after new opportunities.
The industry we work in has changed dramatically in a decade. It’s harder to recruit good people, and with more competition, you’ve got to be at the top of your game to win over new clients.
SMART has a reputation as a fun, dynamic, rewarding place to work. We’ve been voted by BRW Magazine the best sales and marketing company to work for, and celebrated more than a few staff weddings, too.
SMART doesn’t just compete for new clients - we compete for staff as well. Because we want the most enthusiastic, people focussed professionals with us, not with our competition. It’s our business model that gets the clients, but it’s our people who break the sales records.
Join me again soon to share in another snapshot of SMART’s 10 years of success.