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Support Home Grown Small Businesses this EOFY

Announcement posted by Red Balloon 05 Jun 2017

5 June 2017
Support Home Grown Small Businesses this EOFY
RedBalloon Founder Naomi Simson urges thousands of Australian business owners to ‘keep it local’
Sydney NSW: There are close to two million small businesses in Australia. One of the greatest challenges each and every one of these companies face is finding, and keeping, customers. Competition is tough. According to RedBalloon Founder Naomi Simson, for each small business to be an expert in marketing, sales, finance, and people leadership – and everything from SEO to GST – is at best expensive, and at worst impossible.
That’s why, for more than 15 years, RedBalloon has set about marketing on behalf of thousands of small ‘things to do’ businesses via the RedBalloon website. In 2016 the company also extended this approach to new, innovative and creative products by offering similar marketing services to Australian manufacturers and start-ups via its recently launched wrapped.com business.
“Starting a business is the easy bit,” says Simson, author of Ready to Soar and Red Shark on Channel Ten’s Shark Tank. See Naomi’s ‘Journey of an Entrepreneur’ infographic here.
“Growing a business and consistently delivering an excellent customer experience is the hard part. And I know this first-hand after decades experiencing the fundamentals of business change at a rapid rate.
“There are literally thousands of messages being thrust into our faces every day; each one trying to attract a customer. And keeping customers loyal is just as difficult. When I started RedBalloon it cost roughly five cents to find a new customer - now across the board in the businesses I deal with I see it costing upwards of $20 to find that same customer. This is completely unsustainable for small business.”
With consumers having more choice than ever, a fickle and challenging market and with the end of financial year fast approaching Simson is imploring small business owners to support other small businesses and keep it in ‘our ecosystem’. “Buy local, buy Australian,” she said.
“When a business owner buys RedBalloon vouchers to give to a client, supplier or employee gifts, they are supporting small business in Australia. They are helping thousands of small business owners, who are employing thousands of Australians via the RedBalloon ecosystem. If we as small business owners procure from other local businesses we have a real shot at not just sustaining each other, but helping each other to grow.
“RedBalloon’s latest addition, Wrapped.com, was born from Simson’s exposure to the unrealistic challenges small businesses face through her role on Channel 10’s hit show Shark Tank.
“I have witnessed first-hand how hard it is for the companies to get their products ranged in the big retailers. And let’s not even talk about the payment terms they are offered. So how can a business owner realistically get their product to market, and still make a living? That’s precisely why wrapped.com was born – to support partners to get their amazing Aussie products in front of the eyes and in the hands of customers.”
In the past 15 years RedBalloon has delivered more than 3.5 Million customers to its 1,500 ‘things to do’ suppliers. And since the launch of wrapped.com late last year they are on the same trajectory to support and help grow small manufacturers of innovative products.
According to Greg Evans, Managing Partner of long time RedBalloon supplier V8 Race Experience, “RedBalloon's marketing savvy has contributed to creating thousands of jobs for a vast range of small to medium businesses.”
“Early on we were fortunate enough to intersect with Naomi and her passionate team at RedBalloon. We had the cars and RedBalloon was our highway; accelerating our expansion and encouraging us to invest to make the experience available Australia-wide,” Mr Evans said.
“In the case of V8 Race, in the last decade we’ve built 27 cars, contracted over 200 professional instructors and 500 part-time employees, delivering the 80,000 experiences our clients have purchased through RedBalloon. It’s easy to underestimate and hard to really measure the economic contribution of RedBalloon to our business."
Similarly, Skydive Australia has been a supplier since RedBalloon launched in Simson’s family home almost 16 years ago. They were recently an integral part of RedBalloon’s Guinness World Record for the most tandem skydives in an 8 hour period.
“We started with RedBalloon when they were founded back in 2001. Our growth to over 21 jump sites across Australia and New Zealand could not have been possible without RedBalloon’s sales and support,”
Brooke Grundy, Skydive Australia Marketing Manager said.
And one of RedBalloon’s proudest small business success stories is a mobile massage offering that grew from one therapist a decade ago, to a team of more than 50 nationally.
“Over 14 years ago RedBalloon gave my business a chance to expand nationally in Australia. We have not looked back and my team of over 50 therapists provide massage-at-home experiences to thousands of RedBalloon customers every year,” Tracey Blanch, Founder of Bliss Health & Wellbeing said.
As for the new kid on the block, Wrapped, it’s a similar story. Designers and creators of bespoke marketing, presentation and gifting solutions, Corban & Blair have been selling products through RedBalloon for some years, and were one of the first suppliers to move across to the new Wrapped platform in 2016.
According to Founder and MD Gillian Corban, since moving to Wrapped the home grown company has found it even easier to maximise their sales.
“The Wrapped technology is fast and slick, and having easy access to real people who are there when we need them, makes the selling process easy,” Corban said.
“The Wrapped staff are genuinely interested in what we do and how we can work best together. Corban & Blair always like to partner with sellers, and the team at Wrapped has taken time to meet with us to plan strategies and explore new ideas, like adding unique and personalised touches such as monogramming a selected set of our products.
“This is not only smart business practice, but also generates new sales possibilities. As a result we have more than doubled our sales through the new Wrapped site since coming on board last year.”
So what is Naomi’s message to business owners this end of financial year? “Let’s all buy from Australian small business, and everyone wins.” And as an incentive, RedBalloon are running a competition to WIN a one-on-one business mentoring session with Naomi. Visit redballoon.com.au for more details.


For further information or to arrange an interview with Naomi Simson or Greg Evans, please contact:
Gemma Dodd, gdodd@porternovelli.com.au / 02 8987 2121 / 0410 309 760
About RedBalloon
RedBalloon.com.au is Australia’s most awarded online experience retailer and home of ‘things to do’. We’ve been a trusted leader in the experience market since 2001, connecting customers with almost 4000 unique and amazing experiences sourced from 1500 business partners across Australia and New Zealand. We've come a long way from our humble beginnings – RedBalloon was an experiment to test whether a company could be successful simply by listening to its people and customers and delivering a great experience to both, and we remain committed to this 16 years on. RedBalloon is the marketing partner of these businesses - it not only delivers customers but it also provides business tools, education and digital marketing expertise to those listed with RedBalloon. When business partners are successful then so is RedBalloon: An Australian small business, supporting other small businesses. Together we are stronger.
About Wrapped
Early on, RedBalloon recognised a need for small businesses to get their unique and hand crafted products onto an e-commerce platform and to market accordingly. Not an easy task in a world with the likes of Amazon to compete with. From this business need, our sister brand Wrapped was born. wrapped.com is the marketing partner and e-commerce engine of hundreds of unique and personalised gifts. Using the group resources and experience it uncovers and brings products to market. Launched in late 2016 we were born from RedBalloon, so gifting runs in our DNA. When people or businesses buy from wrapped.com they are supporting other small businesses throughout our network.


Media Contacts

Gemma Dodd



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