With bikes outselling cars for more than a decade in Australia, a website established to be a one-stop e-commerce shop for bike manufacturers, traders and customers has been named the 2012 Telstra Victorian Business of the Year.
Bike Exchange or BikeExchange.com.au, which was also announced as the MYOB Small Business Award, was joined by reusable coffee cup business KeepCup of Fitzroy, North Melbourne environmental educators Firestarter, Melbourne IT consultants Kiandra IT and vibration analysis trainers Mobius Institute of Merricks North as winners of the 2012 Telstra Victorian Business Awards.
The South Melbourne-based bike website was launched by Jason Wyatt and Sam Salter in 2007 because they believed the industry was highly fragmented at a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer level although it was growing at a rapid pace.
Their single-source platform provides a consolidated experience for cyclists, offering more than 50,000 bike products, bike reviews and information about 200 bike holidays and hundreds of cycling events. The owners say the site has reached one million visitors a month, markets to a database of 120,000 cyclists nationwide and hosts more than 400 independent bike websites.
Mr Wyatt said: “We were motivated to help Australian retailers compete in an increasingly competitive online climate by providing an affordable, world-class ecommerce business solution.”
Telstra Business Group Managing Director and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, Will Irving, said BikeExchange.com.au had many attributes that made it a stand-out among the 23 finalists in 2012.
“Judges were particularly impressed with the clarity and vision of the business to expand its geography and product, its strong sales plan, execution and measurement, its people and its customer advocacy andrelationship management,” Mr Irving said.
The Telstra Australian Business Awards were launched in 1992 to recognise the achievements of small and medium businesses and to encourage strategic planning for business growth.
“I’m pleased to see that each year we uncover exceptional small and medium businesses, such as BikeExchange.com.au, and I encourage all Victorians to nominate businesses now for the 2013 Awards,” he said.
MYOB CEO, Tim Reed, said it never ceased to delight him that there was such a deep pool of talented business owners, such as BikeExchange.com.au in Australia. “Telstra Australian Business Awards finalists and winners can be just as much an inspiration to industry leaders as they are to their peers, staff, family and friends. They demonstrate the heights that can be reached with the application of passion, strategic vision and a strong execution plan,” he said.
The winners of the 2012 Telstra Victorian Business Awards announced tonight in Melbourne are:
Telstra Victorian Business of the Year
BikeExchange.com.au, South Melbourne
HTC Start-Up Award
KeepCup Pty Ltd, Fitzroy
KeepCup founders, brother and sister Abigail and Jamie Forsyth have sold more than 1.5 million of the barista-standard reusable coffee cups since 2009. They’re exporting their alternative to disposable cups to 32 countries. Judges were impressed with the business’s sound growth plan, its organisation and management structure, succession plan and its social responsibility and staff policies.
News Limited Micro-Business Award
Firestarter Pty Ltd, North Melbourne
In 2003, Arron Wood launched Firestarter, an environmental business offering communication, management, education, promotion and major event organisation. More than 50,000 children across Australia have undertaken its Kids Teaching Kids Program. Judges praised the business’s unwavering commitment to its goals, its marketing, and its ability to transcend political, cultural and religious boundaries.
MYOB Small Business Award
BikeExchange.com.au, South Melbourne
Commonwealth Bank Medium Business Award
Kiandra IT, Melbourne
Kiandra IT was formed in 1995 to support companies with no IT staff and to consult to organisations that need specialist skills. They provide IT infrastructure implementation and support and custom software development. Judges said the business had exceptional staff engagement policies to ensure it was an employer of choice and was led by three outstanding individuals.
Telstra Regional Award
Mobius Institute Pty Ltd, Merricks North
An expert in vibration analysis of machines, Jason Tranter created interactive training products and established Mobius Institute in 1999. It has licensed training centres in more than 50 countries and has trained in excess of 10,000 people. Judges said Mobius was a world-class business operating in regional Victoria and praised its business model and documentation.
1300Australia / Telstra Phonewords People’s Choice Award
Rebecca Cahir developed InkLink, a device comprising a refillable ink reservoir that fed into specially developed printer cartridges. In 2005 she founded RIHAC which provides a value for money alternative to costly brand name inkjet printing cartridges.
Open to all entrants in the 2012 Awards, the People’s Choice Award is decided by a public vote, allowing customers, staff, suppliers and colleagues to show their support for their local businesses.
The winners of the Telstra Victorian Business Awards will be judged against category winners from other states and territories in the lead up to the national Telstra Australian Business Awards to be announced in Sydney on 29 August.
Winners of the 2012 Awards receive a share of $500,000 in cash and prizes and become part of an exclusive national business alumni.
For more information about the Award winners or to nominate for the 2013 Telstra Australian Business Awards, visit telstrabusinessawards.com