My Business meets Mimmo Lubrano, CEO of Sandhurst Fine Foods

Sandhurst Fine Foods is a family-owned business that has quickly become a household name. CEO Mimmo Lubrano shares his business insights with us, and reveals that he relaxes by playing in a band!

Q: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started in business?

A: That it takes 20 years to become an overnight success!

Q: What are your most effective work habits?

Getting stuff done quicker than most – probably too quickly!

Q: The most important person in my business is?

A: My customers and their perception of us, because it’s what they think that matters to me.

Q: Best business decision you’ve ever made?

A: To go beyond the normal scope of a small family business and trust that someone else (outside of the family) can bring value to the company.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in business?

A: I once trusted the wrong customer, which ended up costing us a lot of dollars when they went bankrupt.

Q: How did you fix it?

By realising that the issue wasn’t going to resolve itself and knowing when to draw the line.

Q: How do you delight customers?

A: By sourcing and manufacturing the highest quality food from all over the world, that satisfies the Lubrano family seal of approval – in other words, the best tasting olives, semi dried tomatoes, eggplant and so on that you can find.

Q: Share your number one sales technique with us

A: Follow up, follow up, follow up until they have no choice but to buy!

Q: What’s your secret team-building tactic?

Establish rapport and speak to people on an even level. Treat everyone with respect and dignity.

Q: Favourite piece of business technology?

A: Probably the iPhone – because you can look at emails whenever and wherever you like!

Q: Best tip for managing people?

A: Ask questions.

Q: Who do you most admire? Why?

A: Les Schirato because he combines Italian passion for coffee with a single minded pursuit of teaching Australians how to drink Italian coffee – we do the same thing for condiments.

Q: What’s more important in business: passion or preparation? Why?

A: Passion will always get you an audience. I have never been prepared for anything but seem to wing it anyway – and if you are like me, then you need to gather people around you who have better organisational skills than you do!

Q: Favourite websites and why they add value to your work?

A: The food research websites that we can get product information from – these also make for good training materials.

Q: What do you drive and why?

A: I drive a Toyota because the brand is all about reliability and so makes customers for life.

Q What’s your favourite networking activity? Why?

A: Family Business Forums. Because you are with like minded business people that have a vested interest in seeing you do well – FBA FORUM rocks!

Q: How do you relax?

A: Playing Bass and singing with Agent 69.

Q: Favourite sporting team? Why?

A: Every 4 years I love watching the Socceroos We love the ultimate underdogs.

Q: If someone gave you $100,000 and said “Invest this in your business by the end of the week – or lose it” what would you do?

A: Buy some stock for the business and negotiate a good buy price so that I could sell it for a decent profit.

Q: Generation Y: are they as demanding as everyone says?

A: They are the future – learn to live with them!

Q: The Internet is a massively disruptive force. What’s your reaction to disruption?

A: It’s part of life – roll with the punches.

Q: How do you foster and express creativity?

A: By not having a closed mind about any idea!

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