Mindset: the final piece of the success puzzle

Rapid changes in competition, demand and technology are making it more important than ever for business owners to be able to respond and adapt with pace.

While the business world focuses its attention on buzzwords like disruption, transformation and innovation, there should be another term met with equal importance amongst business owners – mindset.  

" Thinking about 'what’s next’ is critical to any business’ survival” - Adam Budai

If the arrival of online retail behemoth Amazon has taught us one thing this year it is Australian businesses have the means and capability to change the way they do business.

In many ways, Amazon’s arrival in Australia – its 13th marketplace globally – has been a tipping point or catalyst for local businesses, especially retailers, to assess their business models and online presence.

The mood appears to be one no longer about treading water – it is sink or swim. In other words, it’s time for a shift in mindset.


As a business itself, Amazon is also a good case study in diversification, meeting the ever-changing needs and wants of the modern-day consumer.

Once an online book store running out of founder Jeff Bezos’ garage, 20 years on Amazon has grown into the world’s largest e-commerce site and sells everything from electronics to cosmetics.

What’s more, the company is constantly evolving what it sells and how it sells its products. The checkout-free Amazon Go supermarket is a good example of this – where customers only need to tap a pass on entry, choose products off the shelves, confirm the purchase and then simply walk out without ever standing in a checkout line.

There’s been a lot written and said about the way Bezos leads, but what’s clear is he possesses a mindset fixed on seizing new opportunities, resulting in a company which constantly disrupts itself – not a company waiting for others to disrupt it.    

I’m fortunate in my role at ANZ to meet and talk with many inspiring small-and medium-sized business owners. A few key things have stood out to me in recent conversations:

  • Data drives the way we do business, offering powerful insights into customer needs and wants;
  • Bi-directional communication is more prolific than ever, where business and consumer relationships are 24/7 across almost all industries; and
  • Customer expectations are rapidly evolving and what were once considered value-adds are now the new norm.  

What’s next?

A business owner I believe exemplifies a strong growth mindset is Adam Budai, founder and owner of four businesses in the architecture and design industry.

Budai started selling architectural glass and hardware through his Ecco Hardware business, but quickly realised his builder and designer customers wanted one shop for all their building and renovation requirements.

This growth mindset led to two new businesses, Ecco Living and Ecco Leather, selling a wider range of housing products including flooring, tiles, tapware, furnishings and rugs, among many other products.

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Tips for growing your business from entrepreneur Adam Budai 

  • Offer a product or service which solves an existing problem
  • Know how to differentiate yourself from your competitors
  • Consider how you can do things differently and better
  • Emphasise hiring the right staff – it can make or break your business
  • Offer superior customer service, nothing less
  • Protect your branding, ideas and IP
  • Contribute to the industry you represent and study it
  • Be proactive, not responsive.
  • Reflect on your business performance regularly – take stock of its strengths and areas for improvements (and make those improvements.)
  • Learn when to cut your losses and listen to the market. If a product or service is not working, move on 

Budai’s most recent venture, SalesKik, was born out of a frustration of not have a single software available to manage his existing businesses from point of sale through to payments and collections.  

“At the time, we were running three businesses through multiple software systems and saw the opportunity to develop a solution to administer all of our operations from one central software system,” Budai says.

“When developing the cloud-based SalesKik solution, we took into consideration the needs, wants and wishes for every one of our employees to make their jobs, easier, more efficient and enjoyable – we never set out to be a software business, but saw an opportunity.”

Budai says thinking about ‘what’s next’ is critical to any business’ survival.

Businesses which evolve to expand their products and service offerings are not a new concept, but the pace of change has sped up at a rapid rate, he says.. Opportunities in a hyperconnected world are limitless.

“Staying relevant, current and conscious about the ever-changing climate is central to any entrepreneur – don’t be a follower, have the mindset to be a leader,” Budai says.

Guy Mendelson – General Manager, Small Business Banking at ANZ

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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