The founder of a multimillion-dollar media business says SMEs have a key competitive advantage in the business world, and to ignore this opportunity is to miss out.
Alborz Fallah established the online car review and information portal CarAdvice, of which a majority stake was sold to Nine Entertainment Co. in mid-2016 for $35 million.
He says larger competitors could quite easily have killed off his start-up business in its early days, but were too slow and bureaucratic to do so.
“There was a clear sense that the old media was quite afraid of the internet and didn't understand it or didn't have the resources or willingness to move quickly on it,” Alborz tells My Business.
“In all reality, in the early days or even five years ago, if News [Corp Australia] or Fairfax [Media] could get their s*** together for five minutes they could have killed our business; in a sense of their audience is so massive and their resources are so huge that if both of them put together a decent media platform online, we could have become useless the next day.”
According to Alborz, who continues to run CarAdvice and also mentors other entrepreneurial start-ups, smaller businesses should use their size to their advantage to get new opportunities to market quickly.
“It's one of the things of being a nimble business … we made decisions quickly, whether they were right or wrong, without spending weeks or months debating,” he says.
“It probably took us a day or two to make a decision and we would go with it. Most of the time we were right; sometimes we were wrong. But at least we were wrong quickly and we found out and then reversed course and did it the other way, rather than waiting enough time that the decision was [redundant].”
Alborz adds: “I think that's generally one of the biggest benefits of a small business, and if you don't exploit that, then I think you're missing out.”