Let’s Be Mates Podcast – EP07 – iBuyLocal.com.au

Podcast | 8 January 2020

In this weeks episode we are talking to a new business that has been built completely in this COVID time.

We at MATE feel it’s more important than ever to support local businesses in this beautiful country of ours.

A lot of small businesses have taking a massive hit during the last few months and it’s our obligation as people of this great nation to get out there and support these businesses.

iBuyLocal is delivering a great way for Aussies to start supporting these businesses more and in a way that benefits not only the business but also the consumer.

Scott from iBuyLocal is here to tell us more. Visit www.ibuylocal.com.au and download the iBuyLocal app from Google Play or Apple App store. Spread the message to local businesses on how they can get involved in this great initiative.

You can learn more about Mate internet and mobile plans at www.LetsBeMates.com.au.

Subscribe to hear the latest episode each week on Youtube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or your favourite podcast player.


Transcript:

Faz: Welcome Australia. It’s that time again for another podcast, from the Mate team where we try and get into your head with stuff that makes us sound smart. Sit back and relax. It’s time for us to be Mates.

Hi Australia. Welcome again for another podcast from the make team I’m FAS and here in the room as usual, we’ve got Dom and Bosco boys. How are you doing today? Good. Good, good man. Awesome. Good to see you again. today’s episode, in today’s episode, we are talking to a new business that has been built completely during the COVID time.

we at Mate feel it’s more important than ever to support local businesses in this beautiful country of ours. And Mate is a locally grown business as well in Australia. A lot of small businesses have taken a massive hit. And I’m thinking everybody in their local area have seen their local cafes and local bars closed down and they’ve all taken a massive hit during this COVID time.

and I think it’s our obligation as people, as residents of this beautiful country to try and give back as much as we can to small businesses in this country, which are the livelihood of everything that we do. today we’re talking to a company called . I buy local is delivering a great way for Aussies to start supporting these businesses more and more, and in ways that benefit not only the business themselves, but also the consumer today, we’re going to have on Scott.

Scott is the founder and the creator of ibuylocal, Scott. Welcome.

Scott: Thanks guys. Really appreciate you having me today.

Faz: Awesome. So Scott, without obviously all of our audience will be the first time they’re hearing from you. Tell us a bit about you and your career today, and then you can maybe tell us a bit about how Ibuylocal came about.

Yeah,

Scott: thanks Mark. I run a couple of businesses with some co-founders one’s in artificial intelligence and the other one’s in digital performance marketing, but I’ve had a career across consumer goods, digital marketplaces. So I used to be the managing director and CEO. iselect, where I first met yourself, Mark 20th century fox and, and all the way back, many years ago, I started in retail.

So I’ve had always had a career. Expanding retail, consumer goods, and really products that customers customers. And to your question around, how did the Ibuylocal come about we’re in amplifier, which is the digital marketing company we have, we were dealing with a lot of clients who, as they faced into COVID-19 was scrambling to respond, to changing customer demands.

So a lot of people were being forced to go online, start to shop online, use a commerce sites. And a lot of companies weren’t ready. You know, I think it’s something like over 50% of small businesses don’t even have a website. and so as we were starting to talk to these clients and trying to figure out how can we help it dawned on us that actually this problem is not just the couple of clients we’re dealing with.

There’s a problem in all local businesses where. They don’t really know their customers. So, you know, I walked up to our local cafe, just up the road from us and they, you know, most of their trade was sit down, meals, breakfast, lunches. and I was talking to the team there and they cause they, they started baking bread every day.

And I said, this is awesome. So we’ll come up, support local, we’ll go and buy a loaf of bread every day, instead of one from the supermarket. And I said to them, how are you telling everybody about the fact that you’ve switched now? And you can buy bread from you. And they said, we actually don’t know because all of our customers are walk in.

So they actually, haven’t got a CRM system that I have their email address and they won’t even connected on social media. So when the customers aren’t, and, and I guess the other inspiration, a friend of mine operated a microbrewery & restaurant. And we were having a chat to her about, again, trying to brainstorm some ideas.

How do you manage going from a physical business, into a online world? And during that conversation, they had pivoted really quickly to selling beer online. So take away and pick up, which was great. but the majority of the revenue came from the restaurant, which was obviously with the restrictions shutdown.

And so I asked a really simple question. I said, well, why don’t you on the global delivery platforms Uber Eats or, or Deliveroo? And she said, well, look, I actually don’t make the amount of margin out of the food that can cover their commission costs. Cause they usually, you know, around that 30, 35% of the meal order is what they take in a fee.

And, and that, that sort of stuck with me. And then I guess the last one we were, we were talking to another cafe operator and he said, same thing. He said, I just can’t afford these delivery platforms. That’s where everyone’s going. Yeah. I don’t have the online presence to connect with my customers. I’m sort of stuck, you know, and that, and that was sort of where a lot of these customers, so we, we, we came up with the idea, well, how do we run a two sided marketplace?

So how do we give the. The tools for, for, I guess what we can, what’s become ibuylocal. And I guess describing it ibuylocal is a marketplace for people that want to shop locally support their local businesses, be that a cafe restaurant, Chiro, physio, electrician really doesn’t matter. The industry we’ve looked at it and said all the local businesses out there are important.

And what the idea is is someone, the business gives a. A voucher like a special, so they might say, all right, we’ll give you $120 worth of, credits, you know, voucher and the voucher. And you only pay a hundred bucks. So you sort of get, get the cash. the customer gets the deal, but the idea behind it is we said, well, what if the customer could pay that forward?

Because the venues need the cashflow now so that they can operate their business, pay the bills. And now that way of starting to reopen really get their business moving again. And so we gave the functionality to pay it forward. So we can, you can do both as a customer, either pay it forward or pay it later when you use the product.

but the idea is that way local businesses can connect digitally. They can put an offer on there, and that can have multiple offers. And then a local customer is, is buying that special. So. Now the big differences is we were only charging a 5% fee and the merchant credit card fee. So instead of 35%, it’s way cheaper for these locals, local businesses to be able to jump on the platform.

And

Faz: what I like about the, Ibuylocal and we’ll get into more detail about it, but I cafes and. And restaurants. And if I take them as an example, their expertise is cooking food and delivering a service, their expertise is not marking potentially. Right. And we always say it, mate, that partnering with people that are, partnering with people that are experts in the things that we need are going to allow us to be more successful because then we’re not wasting our time burning cash on things that we don’t know how to do.

And I think that’s what your platform does, right.

Scott: And I’m sure you guys are saying it, the, the amount of customers now and the amount of people that have moved online, like we’ve been forced to move online. Yeah. I think it was Facebook released a stat that their usage was up over 50%. Yeah. So the time on those screens and devices during, during COVID-19 and the number of people that had that aha moment, which was I’ve placed an order, I’ve had that delivered.

And that was really easy now, whether that was shopping or, you know, the local store or supermarket or Amazon, whatever it was, they’ve gone through that process of, hang on i, shifted online. And I think the difficult thing is a lot of small businesses actually don’t know how to do that. Or it’s a, you know, it’s a big step to understand that you can segment and target advertising on Facebook.

You can do that through Google, you know, using paid advertising. and I guess that was the skills that we had. So we knew. That a lot of these businesses were struggling with that transition. We were, we were helping them at amplifer to do paid social media, paid Google advertising, help them build their website.

And so we said, well, what if we brought all of that together, which is what I buy local is. So the idea is we’ve built the website, but that’s a platform where you can go in and you, you search your local postcode and you say, all right, I’m looking for a plumber, right? So it’s a business type and your local area.

Or you might say, actually, I’m going to travel away this weekend. So I’m going to go up to the, I have the Grampians in Victoria, but I want to know what locals there and support that local economy. And you look post the Bush fires. Everyone was saying, take an esky and buy from them. It’s things haven’t gotten easier since the fires were going straight from philanthropy.

COVID-19. And so what we’ve done is built the web, a website that those businesses can register these specials, they list their business. We give them the tools to then create a micro site. So they get a mini website as part of that. as part of  I Buy Local, then we’ve built the app so that customers can have when they buy a special, they, they basically keep that.

Voucher and a digital wallet and that’s an iOS or an Android app, and then they redeem it. So you might go down to the local pizza, shop, redeem your voucher for 20 bucks for the pizza comes off it, and you’ve still got a hundred dollars’ worth of credit in that digital wallet. So the business is then able to transact.

So they dont have to go to the cost of having all this, you know, to develop an app and an ordering app and a website. They just joined eyeball, which is free to join. You know, again, we’ve made all the tools available. and then the flip side of that, we, and why I call it a two sided marketplace earlier is and like Mate, who we’re partnering with, we’ve gone to businesses and said, look, you’re really interested in supporting, these small businesses, local businesses.

So what are the types of offers or benefits or hints and tips or things that you can bring to the local business to help them? Because ultimately there’s a lot of big businesses out there that. Reliance on tried with local business, whether it’s an energy company or a Sensis, one of our other partners.

so they want to see the local businesses thriving again. And that was really how we said, well, how do we connect the consumer or the customer, the local customer, the local business. And then some of those big companies that actually want to obviously do business with, with a small and medium enterprises.

so we’ve, we’ve really created all the technology platforms so that local business can, can look much bigger than what they are.

Faz: Now I see the future of I buy local from a B2B perspective. I mean, you could theoretically turn yourself into a bit of a buying group to help these little businesses as well, where, whereas if you’ve got all these little businesses that are signed up to your platform, then you can go out to the electricity companies.

You can go out to Telcos like us and. And ask for a special deal if everybody signs up or something like that. And so you can not only are you delivering customers to these businesses in a, in a very effective way, but you also can go to the point where you’re delivering value to these consumers, for the things that need every day, like their utilities and all these different things as well.

And I see that, that, that is the, you know, there’s plenty, I’m sure you’ve got so many different evolutions to this and ideas. And I just think it’s got so much, so many legs for that type of platform. That makes sense.

Scott: Yeah. And then I guess that’s how we’re seeing, you know, because these things aren’t free to run, you know, they’re, they’re expensive to develop developing now that we’ve put all of our money and our time, I guess, while we’re locked down in COVID-19 with the amplifer team and our developers, we went and invested in the website and building the apps and the infrastructure.

And we looked at and said, how do we keep the fee to the local businesses low as possible? And so we decided that, look, if we can monetize be that through advertising or. Or deals on the other side, so we can run the business, and a large business, but we can use that collective buying as you described it.

So we can go to a company like Mate. So look, and when you, when you think about the numbers, like the numbers in small and medium enterprise are enormous, there’s over 7 million people are employed through local. Small and medium businesses, but that’s an enormous amount of every, every working Australian and it’s, it’s estimated to deliver 54% of our gross domestic products or all of the businesses done in Australia, the money that the country is making.

So although, you know, international, tourism’s not happening at the moment, the fact that local domestic tourism employs something like one in 13 Australians, you know, it’s like 97% of businesses by number by count. local businesses, you know, so that this is not a, a small sector of our, of our economy.

This is not, something that, you know, it’s easy to forget about those high street shops, the little butcher, you know, the beauty therapist, the electrician, the plumber there, they all employ the majority of Australians. They give all of our kids jobs. They keep the money in the local community. They’re the ones that support the local sporting clubs.

You know, so without them, the fabric of our community doesn’t operate,

Faz: we don’t think enough in that way. Right. I don’t think that’s pointed out enough to what you’ve just pointed out is, you know, even in my mind, it’s not pointed out enough to the everyday person to understand that.

Scott: No, it’s a

shame because we, we think, you know, and you look at the press, they’re picking up the big employers, the big banks, the big supermarkets and natural cause there’s, you know, hundreds of thousands of people employed them and they’re they’re high profile, but they forget the fashion retailer who employs two staff and a casual, you know, and that, and for them, that’s, that’s their whole career.

That’s all the money that they’re supporting and they’re, they’re making a living, but. There’s millions of them. You know, there’s a couple of million of those businesses, all employing spending money locally. And if you look at, there’s been lots of research showing that if money’s kept locally, as opposed to even a national chain, so forget, you know, the money’s going overseas and there’s lots of companies and, you know, we’re seeing a big trend towards, buy Australia.

Creating in Australia, not have the money or the tax dollars go overseas. All of these little businesses. pay tax. Yeah, they’re not, they haven’t got off shore tax arrangements where they’re paying zero tax. they’re, they’re, they’re having to stump up the money and that’s, that’s paying for our roads, our hospitals, the schools, you know, so not only are they supporting all the local components of our, our kids jobs, you know, jobs for the community and all the things we do, they’re ultimately the ones that end up funding a lot of the national investment.

If you like, Yeah.

Dom: And you say obviously, local businesses supporting local other local businesses, but often they family businesses as well that, you know, not till COVID time  for seeing that the, the two or three staff that they might employ are the husband and wife and the kid and their sister or brother in law.

And that’s now whole families that are losing their income overnight, unless they’ve sort of adapted and move

forward.

Scott: Yeah, they are. And it’s really tough because often these small businesses and people forget the owners might not be drawing a salary. So they’re covering the cost of goods, that stuff they’re buying or selling, covering the staff labor.

And to your point, the decisions to shut down or, or put lay staff off over this period. They will often, if they’re not family, they were friends. So even though they’ve often been, they’re employed with them for a long time, you know, and we were talking to one of the I buy local partners and the staff had been with for 15 years, this, this is not a, you know, a short term casual job.

you know, when you go and see somebody for 15 years, every day in, day out, you’ve got a relationship with. So all of a sudden you’re now faced with a, I can’t meet my cashflow. No, we don’t have the bill, all the government’s come in and said, I’m sorry, Jim operator, you have to shut down completely. You can’t do any form of trading.

here’s some job keeper at, you know, hopefully cover the bills, but it’s been a pretty tough situation for local businesses and, and not, there’s not one industry that hasn’t been impacted or touched. you know, some are doing better because they were set up more for e-commerce or their businesses, or, you know, in demand you look at food retailing and take away.

But the vast majority of these businesses have really struggled. So, and that, and that’s why I look we from their original idea to, in market. We only launched last Monday. it was six weeks. So we, we felt it was really, really important to turn around the site and help a bit local businesses. And then customers find and spend with those local businesses as soon as we could, when we started to reopen, you know, cause this, this journey is a good year or two.

before the economy’s back and we’ve got full employment again. And, you know, it’s, it’s not a, a couple of weeks thing where we’re in, in this for the long haul. So, but we felt it was super important to get, get everything up and running the first day we could. So we started exactly when on the 1st of July, when all the businesses could start to reopening again.

Bosco: I think. Yeah. And I think what’s really interesting about this concept is although it was created, as you said, as part of the actual COVID situation, that it’s probably a long-term thing. I mean, Mark, you mentioned that, before that a lot of these businesses, don’t have the expertise, but I think they also don’t have the time when you’re running, when you’re running your own business.

As you know, most of, you know, spare time is. Yes at a minimum or not available. So not only do they not have the expertise, but they also don’t have time. And that the only time there have you spent running the business, they can’t think about other things like marketing or eCommerce, et cetera. So, even when we come out of the COVID period, I see this as a, a wonderful concept, longer term, to keep, all, to give these businesses opportunities to, to, you know, I guess getting to e-commerce make sure their marketing is up to scratch or example where they can do it.

Then you guys obviously can come in and help them there.

Scott: So, yeah, I couldn’t agree more also. And I think the, when you look at it, Small businesses, you know, that they’re often working six or seven days a week. They don’t have the big infrastructures of corporates. and to do something simple, like say for example, right, I’m going to create an ad for my business and I’m going to promote that in my cafe.

Let’s use that cafe example. I’m going to promote the fact that I’m now selling bread. I don’t want to target that in a 10 kilometer radius of my cafe. That’s really easy to do in through Facebook. The tools are there. you have to know how to create ads. You have to know how to optimize that. You have to know how much to spend, how to do the geo-targeting.

And although a relatively simple task, you’re going to spend hours on it researching and going through all the tips from Facebook on how to do it. And it’s to point, when do they have time? You know, I’ve gotta get ready for the orders that Sunday night I’ve got to place the orders for the groceries tomorrow.

and, and so that’s where we see the opportunity for. Other businesses use amplifier. And that example where we do digital social media for other companies, we’re in the marketplace for I buy local on the other side, as a service provider, so that local businesses can find all the services that they need to help them run their business better.

And if you look at the forums on, be it through Facebook or other online forums where small business owners turn to ask questions, they’re always. I need an accountant. I need this advice. I need tax advice. How did you guys do that? Who’s the best web operator. It’s the networking groups and they’re out there and they have thousands and thousands of members.

They’re always, how do I run my business better? Or I’m trying to solve a problem. I just don’t know the answer. I’m struggling to find the way to, to get it. And I guess that’s where we saw the opportunity then to help bring all those in the, in the marketplace providers to local businesses, how can we help them be better?

How can we bring those providers that want to help support local businesses and connect them? Just so we’re connecting on the other side with a customer, to their local local business.

Faz:  I see

one example that I see this has been a massive benefit. and so where I live in Gregory Hills, there’s a, brand new shopping center and the guy John they’re open a news news agency, you know, the old school news agency, and this guy is old.

School’s been in the game. In that type of environment for 20, 30 years. And, and he has no online presence whatsoever or right now, I think it was, I think it was Australia day and  or for Australia day where you buy the paper and you get a free flag or something like that. And, and what happened?

He got delivered, I think five boxes of flags versus one. So yeah. He could say he had a, he could have told he’s the local audience say, Hey, come and buy the paper from me and get five flags instead of one that you would from anywhere else. And he had no platform to tell anybody, all right, unless they are walking past the store.

Right. And that’s a very basic example, but I mean, with, I buy local, he can do things like that. He can, you know, you can build your, you can, you have your own sort of site on the, on the page as well. People can physically find you. And then during the COVID time, you had no way to communicate to his, to his audience about what was available.

If he was open, can people still come and get a birthday card or get a paper and all these different things. And, and you know, he’s not a social Facebook person. He’s not, you know, he doesn’t do any of that stuff, but on the I buy local platform, he could literally his audience that, that platform brings the audience to him.

Does that make sense, Scott? I think that’s, that’s the benefit, right?

Scott: It, it you’re absolutely right. Mark. I think, you know, you look at, when we talk to friends and family about the ideas we’ve gone through, you know, there’s those businesses that you just want to support, you know, it’s the local hairdresser, the local biker, you got to the cafe that you’re always dropping into.

So even if you think in your local area, like, like your example of the news item, it’s someone that you visit regularly and you want to help them out. And this time, you know, you want to see them thrive again. You don’t want to see them shut down. Have an empty shop in your street. Cause it, cause that impacts the community.

That impacts house prices. The whole fabric starts to undo. And I guess for us, that’s why we made it really simple. Where you registered your business. We asked you about, you know, Facebook or Instagram accounts we go through and talk about hours of trade. what type of facilities you have. So it doesn’t matter the industry, you can, you can populate that.

And it’s like a directory where everyone can find all that information easily. And then, you know, we, we’ve worked through with a couple of the cafes that are jumping on board and said, look, you know, you might do now, you know, buy 10 coffees, get one free. but someone might be willing to buy a hundred and do that voucher.

Now, if they’re going to get 20 free, you know, cause they’re gonna go well, I got there every day. Anyway, I’m going to use it. I’m really happy to do that said I see. So, but, and that helps the cafe. Cause all of a sudden that got that 300 bucks for the cash straight and they pocket, you know, and that can help them run their business and reestablish or start a marketing campaign to grow their company.

And I think that’s why we tried to make it really simple to onboard, but then give them the flexibility to start to use some of these tools to list their business online. To help them advertise it to run. We’re not limiting the number of promotions they can run. So it’s more about, you know, then, then jumping on and trying different stuff, but we want to help it help little businesses to be able to connect with their local community and whether that’s local community or the example I gave earlier, tourism, you know, people traveling cause everyone’s happy to spend locally when you’re, when you’re.

Spending the tourist dollar domestically and that’s critical. You know, like I said before, it employees 1 in 13 Australians, I mean the tourism industry domestically has been hurt, has been hurting following fires and now COVID. so they that desperate for getting people to travel again.

Dom: So Scott, a pretty,

pretty aggressive timeline from Idea to launch.

what was the conversations with the team? What, what, how did the product evolve, I guess, as, as it’s gone, what’s. What’s still to come, I guess. yeah.

Scott: yeah, a lot, is, is the short answer we, we set out and I guess it was different because when you got a purpose and you go, you know what, this is the right thing to do when you’re saying all these businesses who in theory, there’s, there’s alternatives out there.

So, right. Like I touched on before the global delivery platforms, they’re a great alternative, really easy to use. And everyone’s jumped on board and order a Friday night meal. But people don’t realize that the couple of dollars that goes to the delivery driver, everyone thinks that’s the fee that’s getting paid.

But I miss the fact that this 30% of the, you know, 50 bucks, a hundred bucks, you just spent on the meal that goes back to those platforms and then, you know, not paying tax off, off shore, the money goes. So that money is basically all the margin for the venue it’s gone. And so from our perspective was to, to answer your question Dom is really.

Easy to go, you know, how do we do something? We’ve got skills and capability. We’re a local business ourselves. How do we help others? And COVID, you know, we’re all sitting around not being able to go anywhere. So it’ll always, it was, Hey, great time to do it. but when we looked at it, we said, look to do this.

I guess it was a what do you call an MVP? So what’s the minimum bar product. How do we get out something that’s functional? you know, we pushed ourselves pretty hard to get if the apps approved and get them developed. Cause we knew unless you had a digital wallet, you couldn’t really redeem it. and there’s other ones out there there’s other concepts.

Like I buy local that I’ve launched, but you’ve got to do paper vouchers or an email and you know, you’re going to lose them. So we said, look, isn’t it much better. If a local pizza shop does the voucher, you’ve got the code in your digital wallet. So it’s where the smartphoneyou just walk in a store, give the number yep i’m redeeming my 20 bucks.

Don I’ve still got a hundred to go. And that way we’re taking away all the effort for these businesses. So I think that was what we said, set ourselves as, as sort of an MVP. So there was a lot of late nights, weekends, few early mornings, some very early mornings. I think one day it was about 5:00 AM when I finished.

So it was, you know, get, get up and have an hour sleep and go again. but we thought it was pretty important to launch on that first to July, first to June. Sorry, the, The date when all the businesses could reopen, because we felt if you’re starting that journey, now’s the time that we need as many people supporting them and supporting local businesses.

So we wanted to get a product out that was usable. I think the next iteration is where we start to build out other products and services. Like we touched on how do we help them easily share through social media? How do we help them? Connect with more businesses. And we’re in discussions with a couple of big corporates about bringing some deals to the marketplace or a special offers that they couldn’t get elsewhere.

So we’re starting to build out that functionality. one of the ones that team’s doing this week actually is, and this is a response to, you know, market feedback, like local business feedback, restaurants and cafes have to track everybody’s name and phone number. When you go in you’re booking in case theres, an outbreak of COVID.

Now, like we touched earlier, They’re already busy enough. They’re already, they’re already trying to run their business, let alone now, you know, you might go in for three coffees each time they have to take your name and phone number, which is just slowing, you know, staff and labor is some of your biggest costs when you’re running through food businesses.

And so we were developing functions like a check in function. So if you’ve got the, I buy local app, you go into that cafe. All you do is go, yes, I can consent and check in. and your details get passed across in the event. There’s a COVID outbreak and added to report, so they don’t have to then record it separately.

We can just give them that report. So I was like, how can we use technology that we’ve got to help make these local businesses jobs easier? And so we’re, we’re looking for those types of things where whenever we can find a way to make

a process, easier connect, you know, for a local business and a customer or a local business and their suppliers, that’s the type of stuff we’re really looking to develop so that we.

We make the job of running a business, you know, it’s hard enough already. We want to take away that hassle.

Faz: It’s another

perfect example of partnering with people to deliver a need. Right? So, you know, you talk about the things change, right? COVID came around, there’s needs to track people’s names and things like that.

Now to a small business, if they had to do that themselves, it just, it takes someone away from doing what they do best, which is, you know, provide the service or whatever it is. And even in the telco space just recently, it was the. The new law passed around porting mobiles, right. We had to do a two port or two step authentication and we need to go and build that.

Right. And so we, luckily we have the in house capabilities to deliver that, but I mean, a small business that their expertise is delivering a service. And now they’ve got a whole new way of capturing details, which is. You know, something they’re not used to and having to go and do that takes away the focus of doing what they do.

Right. you know, it reduces revenue, it gets people taken out of the core everyday of what’s going on. And now the system I buy local is delivering to them without them having to stop their business. Right. And so I think it’s, it’s another great value, right? And we talk about, you know, putting a database of local businesses together and be able to search them and, a business be able to broadcast their business.

But now I buy local is allowing them technology for them to deliver or do things that they have to do based on whatever the current dynamics are.

Scott: and look, you guys? I mean, yeah. You’re providing fantastic internet plans to customers who are shopping and buying this stuff. They’re jumping online.  And what’s what COVID-19 based on his forced us to pro probably five years worth of digital transformation or adoption it’s happened in five weeks, you know, it used to be, Oh yeah, it was a bit of a pain to do.

My, my groceries online, it was only a pain when you set up the first time and then it becomes really easy. Or, you know, you realize you can get this stuff delivered now. And I think making sure that we help local business transition that divide. of I’m not online or run my whole company physically it’s yeah.

If you look on a global basis, it’s something like only 8% of business is done through e-commerce the majority still physical business. And so even though we all feel like we transact everything digitally at the moment, we still do go into shops. We still do visit. The problem for a lot of local businesses is they haven’t even made that first step of a website on how to interact on social media, without Facebook or Instagram.

I’m using them as a selling tool. They’re not just there to post interesting stuff each morning and happening. I’m actually there helping to engage and sell. And so all the things that we see big corporates do local business in one way, there’s never been a better time to run a business because all of these amazing tools are super cheap and available.

Like 10 years ago to set up a website, you were talking millions, you know, it was a, it was a big effort now, you know, Shopify you’re online, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s actually not hard. It’s, it’s that knowledge gap and that fear of, or as you pointed out earlier, I just don’t have time to stop and do it. And, and I think that’s where a lot of the local customers are already adopting.

Yeah. why the delivery platforms or the global voucher companies, you know, the deal with day type ones, why have they been successful? Is the consumers are already there. They’re using it. They’re transacting at the comfortable. They’ve got, you know, we’re glued to our smartphones. So it’s so easy to go.

I’ll just place an order instead of going walking to the pizza shop and placing your order. but we don’t think about the downside impact. We don’t think about the damage that. Yeah, the fees they’re charging and taking away. I mean, some, some of the global deal with day sites take half of the advertised price.

So you feel like 50% commission, your 100 dollar voucher, the venue might give you $200 worth of value. And that venue on he realizes 50 bucks. I mean, that’s just outrageous. now it’s great if you’re getting acquisition and bringing your customers, but you know, it, wouldn’t it be better to do that at 5% and you get the majority.

No, that that’s, that’s when we sat back and said, how do we help these businesses? I’ve got a tough enough time as it is, but the technology’s there that’s available. They probably don’t know how to use it. Well. So how do we bridge that gap? and then bring the technology to them and do it in an easy way that they can connect with customers because customers are ready.

They’re looking for this stuff and I’m yet to meet anyone that says, you know, the idea of paying it forward. I want to support that business. I’m happy to do that. You know, I think it’s a good idea that, but again, consumers are struggling to find ways to easily do that. So,

Faz: well I think, I think it’s, we need to, business these days need to work smarter, not harder.

Right. And I think, there’s so many tools and platforms out there that bring the audience or to the, to the, to the business. And I think people just need to research it, get involved and they’ve got an audience waiting. They’re just not there yet. And I think that’s a, that’s a big thing. And I think I buy local is literally doing that.

You know, you spoke, you spoke about spot smartify. Before Shopify, there is actually, there is something called smartify, which we’re talking to next week. but so Shopify is something that, you know, creates your online presence and be able to transact straight away. You know, we always talk about, building fans of our brand.

Right. But my thing is that we need to build transactional fans, and that’s, and that’s, connecting with the brand, but also having a way for them. Then it turns back to transact easily to buy the product that you’re selling. But, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna change gears for a second Scott, because I love your story and the things that you’ve done on an a, we were obviously entrepreneurs where we’re, you know, we’re running a business, that’s taken over our lives and you’re obviously running three businesses at the same time.

And you’ve obviously had a long career in the corporate world as well. And what, what is the drive that keeps you, what is the thing that keeps you going? And what’s the, how do you get your drive?

Scott: I guess it’s a great question, but I guess a long time ago. So my, my, my first job when I was 12 was, you know, a newspaper boys throw the newspaper and cruise around the streets of, up in Newcastle at that time.

and then I went into retail, so I worked at Woolworths, in, in, started, in the training, like a training manager. So I have like a cadetship. And I just really liked working with customers, you know, and I remember I had a manager at the time, he said, just focus on the customer’s needs and everything else will fall into place.

You know, don’t, don’t try and go and win out another customer from another business. If we’ve got someone in the store. How do we help them? And the better we make the news, the more money, you know, you’re going to earn, you’re going to earn their customer. And I guess throughout my career, I’ve always been in customer facing businesses and whether that was in sales roles or, you know, dealing with customers, but, but ultimately take that example.

I’ll still be thinking about an end user and my customer and how do I help them meet the customer’s needs. So I’ve always had that career focus and I guess that’s. You know, I, I like to do help build new stuff. We, you know, w we saw an opportunity where there was a gap and we knew a bit about, you know, having come from iSelect when you were a lot about running two sided marketplaces.

And I guess that was the pace that, how do we take what big businesses are doing and bring it down to the local businesses. And, and, you know, we’re dealing with clients who are struggling with exactly the same problem. And so I’ve always been one that. I guess in a way, synthesizes ideas, I see something from somewhere and I look at it in a different industry or category, and I’ve worked across lots of different industries and markets.

I’m not going to say a solution to a problem. And so, I don’t know, I guess I’ve always been a bit of a, you know, how do we fix that? How do we get there and help out and provide a solution? And if we know there’s, something to your point, you know, we’re, we’re that partnership concept where we can be a partner in this.

How do we do it that we can give access and don’t know why that people, you know, we make it simple. we just saw an opportunity to really help local business. And this is, this is not a, like I said, it’s not a money making scheme. It was a bit of us. How do we help our local community? How do we help our local businesses and how do we do it for as low as possible?

you know, cost so that the business gets the money. Ultimately that’s, that’s where we saw the opportunity.

Faz: You know, I, the conversations that we had over the last, you know, couple of months, and in talking about your three businesses, you, you, you always say that you start that business because somebody needed a solution.

And that’s what I love about it. You, your ideas. Yeah. What you’ve done, you’ve built your businesses on, you know, people need a solution for X, Y, and Z, and that’s how it started. And I guess that’s your drive, right? driving solutions to make businesses be more successful and look up.

Scott: I, I don’t see enough, unfortunately, in this country, we just haven’t seen enough of the entrepreneurs celebrated.

Yeah. And. You know, you look at mate, yeah. I mean, you guys started literally in the, in the back shed and you built an amazing business. With friends and family that, you know, and literally building up out of the back shed too, to what, you know, massively successful telco nationwide. And, you know, you look at Iselect, it was a, it was a very successful business, a built from nothing.

And I don’t see enough of that. Aussie invention celebrated, you know, we were a bit of a tall puppy, you know, we like to cut down the tall poppies, but. There’s amazing. Like as a, as a nation, we punch well above our weight. When you look at the types of innovations, you know, wifi was Australia venture, all of this say commerce wouldn’t be happening without it.

So, but, but you sit back and you go, well, look at all the local businesses. I mean, that’s a huge step. As you guys know, to start your own business, to take that, that risk. Lots of people. Don’t lots of people never take the risk of leaving the, I guess, the comfort of a corporate. And taking off and realizing, okay, I’m up for now working 24/seven.

hopefully I can make, pay the bills and I’ve always just respected that, you know, the, the harder you work, the luckier you get and local business personifies that, you know, local businesses are the ones that are working hard seven days a week. And, you know, we want to just help them be successful because the more they’re successful, the more the rest of us are successful.

I look at it and go. You know, if we can help these companies grow, we know we’ll win business, hopefully with amplifier, you know, so we’ll help them do their digital marketing. And that’s awesome. We can do that. You know, it’s, again, it’s that the concept of in this day and age, and I think you referred to it earlier around the partnership, but it’s almost like that network of other businesses you deal with the better you get that group of companies around you or small businesses that help you.

You know, get a great account, make sure you’ve got someone that can do the books, you know, get great suppliers and people that you can rely on to deliver the products, you know, get a great banking partner, someone local that can help you again, manage those times. The better you connect, all those pieces of the puzzle, the better your business is going to be.

Absolutely. Everyone thinks about the product, but they forget all the other stuff you have to do running a company. and it. No, it doesn’t change. Whether you’re running a, an ASX listed company or the local news agents, just the number of zeros. You still got to serve a customer. You still got to do the ATO, expects you to do all the same stuff.

you know, I still go to market your business. You still gotta account for it. Run a profit loss of balance sheet. It’s all there. just the zeros change quite dramatically.

Dom: So I, Scott, how easy is it for small businesses to get involved and what do they need to do?

Scott: Well, it’s really easy if they just go to, I buy local.com that I, you, you jump on that can be a local consumer.

So any of your, your amazing customers, if they want to support a local business, you go to the same spot, the web address www.Ibuylocal.com.au. You can register your business and you go through a process where we ask for ABN details, or if you’ve got a website you’re opening hours facilities. any of the like photos, so maybe a brand and some of the images around your company and then your bank account details.

And that’s only so we can pay you. When we, you know, we, we take the batch of money with them, deposit it straight into your bank account. once you’ve got your business registered and that that’s been approved to go online, then you simply go on and start creating specials. So you can create, like I said, we might have those coffee vouchers or.

You know, buy a hundred dollar, get 150, whatever the voucher, the cup, the local business wants to create. And again, that’s, you can create as many, so it can be as creative as you like now for, for consumers, you go to the same site, you simply type in the service you’re looking for and the postcode. So where you live.

So we’ve designed it for locals everywhere. And that way, if it’s in your local area and you want to support the companies within your local community, your local neighborhood, it’s really easy to search by postcode, but again, when you are traveling away and you want to do it, you know, like we’ve just had the Queen’s birthday long weekend and new South Wales, VIC, SA .

I want to wait for the weekend. You jump on board and you can then search what, what local businesses now I don’t, I’d also encourage you. If, you know, cause we often know, someone who’s running a local business, or we’ve got friends and family that encourage them to jump on board and send it to them, get them to register.

tell them it’s easy because the more we collectively do it, the more that we’re helping, Ibuylocal, keeping the money in our local businesses, the mall, our whole neighborhoods, you know, will, will foster and, and thrive. Yeah,

Faz: well to our customers, we’re going to send you something very soon with information on how you can get involved.

But I mean, it’s, you know, Ibuylocal.com.au you get on board. It’s supporting all local business. It’s giving you an easy way to broadcast your business. And as a consumer, it’s giving you an easy way to support your local business as well. Scott. Really appreciate your time. Thanks for joining us.

we love supporting local business. That’s what we are as well. I love your passion and how you keep going and you know, it really resonates with us. And so a little thanks for your time and we’ll definitely, I think we’ll get you in, and maybe in a couple of months to get a bit of an update of how the business is going.

I think our listeners would love to hear about that, but for the moment, thanks for joining and we’ll see you soon.

Scott: That’d be awesome. And don’t forget to download the app,

Faz: download the

Scott: app. Cool.

Faz: android or the

Scott: app store. Really appreciate the support. Thanks. Thanks Scott.

Bosco: Thanks for listening to the let’s be mates podcast by the team at Nate

Dom: search for the let’s be mates podcast on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and it lets me make stop company where you hit subscribe to get the latest episode each week for all your telco needs.

Bosco: Choose a provider. You can trust like a mate. visit LetsBeMates.com.au, Google MATE, or call us on 13 14 13 to sign up today.

Faz: See you soon, mate.