Would you take business coaching advice from a 30-year-old bloke who last year tipped three of his companies into liquidation with debts of nearly $2.4m?
Would you take business coaching advice from a 30-year-old bloke who last year tipped three of his companies into liquidation with debts of nearly $2.4m?

'Never mind failure, buy my advice': Failed businessman

BUSINESS COLUMN

Would you take business coaching advice from a 30-year-old bloke who last year tipped three of his companies into liquidation with debts of nearly $2.4m?

Well, that's what Brisbane's self-appointed start-up mentor Jock Fairweather (illustrated) is doing with his latest venture, dubbed "Business Future Re-engineering''.

Fairweather sent out emails this week to pump up interest in his new undertaking, which flags a revamped blog and the upcoming launch of guides (costing $2500 to $3120) on "How to start a profitable retail or service-based business''.

We are not making this up.

Jock Fairweather
Jock Fairweather

"By learning from the best, using their processes and putting them into practice, we're building profitable enterprises and guides so that you can take control of uncertainty,'' the website promises.

The enterprise, based in the CBD, is an arm of Fairweather's entity Impact Media, which he only launched in late June. His co-directors are US-based Evan Shay and 22-year-old Malaysian national Brayan Song.

It comes just 14 months after Fairweather wound up his Little Tokyo Two, a business incubator and co-working space enterprise, as well as related entities Happy Panda Two and Enjoyable Lifestyle Company.

In addition to co-anchoring The Capital hub in the Queen Street Mall, Little Tokyo Two had outposts in Spring Hill, Petrie Terrace, Springfield and the Gold Coast.

It collapsed with debts of $1.85m, including 38 unsecured creditors owed nearly $380,000. Among them was Brisbane Marketing, which lost $72,154. The other two companies fell over owing nearly $523,000.

Liquidator Jamie Harris told City Beat on Wednesday that the group had been losing money for quite a while and was financially propped up by related parties, primarily Fairweather's mum. He confirmed that unsecured creditors retrieved nothing from the wreckage.

Fairweather maintains he is completely transparent about his past business failings and acknowledges them in the course material. "I've gone through more than anyone else and I've learned the hard way,'' he said.

So what lessons did he learn? "Understand your business model at the beginning, be 100 per cent customer focused and never be too emotional about any of it.''

Sounds like plenty of other business courses out there!

PANDEMIC SQUEEZE

No surprise that Jamie Pherous and his Corporate Travel Management have taken a wicked haircut from the pandemic squeeze.

The Brisbane outfit revealed on Wednesday that it had suffered a $10.6m loss in the last financial year, down from an $89.4m net profit in 2019.

The value of all transactions plummeted by 29 per cent but overseas corporate charters, car hire and government work kept cash coming in the door.

Jamie Pherous
Jamie Pherous

Despite more than 1000 staff redundancies, CTM said it had retained nearly all its clients and will increase its focus on domestic travel.

Like other senior executives, Pherous took a pay cut, with his remuneration package tumbling by a third to $436,010. Of course, he still controls more than 21 million shares, worth $285m at the close of trade.

The annual report shows the collective remuneration for other CTM top guns nosedived from $7.28m last year to just $2.62 in the year to June 30.

The biggest single loser was global chief operating officer Laura Ruffles, whose income went from nearly $2m to just $145,251 as long-term incentives dried up. Ouch!

FINAL HURDLE

Brisbane mining minnow Mayur Resources chalked up a major win on Wednesday.

The firm revealed that its planned $US350m cement and lime project in PNG has been granted a 20-year mining lease, thus clearing the final hurdle standing in the way of construction.

Chairman Rob Neale described the green light as one of the most important milestones achieved by the loss-making company since it floated three years ago after raising $15.5m from investors.

The debt-financed project, about 25km outside of Port Moresby, "is now effectively 'de-risked' and 'shovel-ready'," Neale said.

Rob Neale
Rob Neale

Mayur's undertaking has the potential to meet all of PNG's demand for cement, allowing the country to wean itself off of Asian imports.

Managing director Paul Mulder said the plant would help boost the country's ambitious building agenda.

"With a number of multi-billion-dollar resource and infrastructure projects in the pipeline in PNG, we expect that the demand for cement, a key ingredient of concrete, will increase dramatically," Mulder said.

KAVA TO CHINA

A Brisbane outfit flogging kava products from Fiji has established a beachhead in the lucrative Chinese market.

Fiji Kava, headed by entrepreneur Zane Yoshida, announced Wednesday that it has struck a distribution deal in China that will see it reap at least $8m in revenue over the next three years.

The potential is huge, with China's demand for vitamins and supplements estimated to be worth $30bn a year, the second largest in the world.

Investors welcomed the news, sending the company's share price up nearly 80 per cent to a record high of 28.5 cents.

Zane Yoshida at the Fiji Kava's kava plantation in Fiji
Zane Yoshida at the Fiji Kava's kava plantation in Fiji

The deal follows Fiji Kava's agreement with Coles earlier this year to stock more than 800 stores with its extract capsules, all aimed at promoting sleep, soothing nerves and relaxing the mind. It also has a foothold in New Zealand and North American.

The company, which launched six years ago and has its manufacturing plant in Fiji, floated on the ASX in late 2018 later after raising $5.2m from investors.

But since then Fiji Kava has largely depended on capital raisings to keep going and has yet to turn a profit. Although revenues are growing, it suffered a $4.76m loss in the 2019 financial year.

Balancing that out is the fact that the world's alternative and complementary medicine market is expected to swell to more than $US210bn by 2026.

Originally published as Never mind failure, buy my advice



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