GOOD FORTUNE

GOOD FORTUNE

IT all started printing recipes for Meat and Livestock Australia, but eight years on Yeahpoint has changed the face of retail solutions on a global scale. Co-founder Matt Cudworth’s vision was to link up retailers and suppliers through value-adding informative products. He tells Brisbane Business News how a not-so-secret ingredient of foolhardiness helps the company to double its revenues each year.

Despite all the inspirational business biographies that have been published in the world, Matt Cudworth’s motivation boils down to a simple fortune cookie message.

“I had a fortune cookie many years ago that said ‘those who say something cannot be done are usually interrupted by someone doing it’. I carried that message around for around five years, but I just lost it recently,” he says.

“The term entrepreneurship has been muddied over the years – it comes down to risk taking, believing in what you’re doing and not accepting how the market is.

“I felt like an entrepreneur many years ago but that’s not the way I feel now. I feel like I’m stuck in the trenches– it takes a certain foolhardiness to do things others say you shouldn’t.”

It was a philosophy that led Yeahpoint astray at first, but after talks with customers the company came up with printed recipes for independent butchers, leading the way for David Jones as its first high profile client.

“What we initially envisaged was a little bit foolhardy, the idea that advertisers would pay to be in stores, because the reality of relationships between retailers and brands was not what we realised, but after talking with customers we found they’d need something that’s higher value to them,” says the 33-year-old.

“With Meat and Livestock Australia we printed recipes for independent butchers and then at David Jones for a while, and that set us on our path – Australia is the largest consumer of recipe books in the world per capita, so it was always going to work.

“Austrade managed to see our solution in David Jones and were about to go on a trade mission to Singapore, so through them we expanded there with Cold Storage Supermarkets and that set us on an interesting course.”

Cold Storage Supermarkets has links throughout Asia so from that deal alone Yeahpoint was able to access an extensive market, providing marketing for brands such as Fosters Wine, Pernod Ricard and Stanbroke Beef.

“Once you’re in markets overseas you can’t go back, so anyone considering it has to be careful because you can’t do it half-heartedly,” says Cudworth.

“We’re now doing work with a leading multinational company called Biverla, one of the leading manufacturers of deli scales – every supermarket in the world has these things and our software can give a lot of solutions, and we’ll have interface software that will be kiosks in three continents alone very soon.

“It has low value for the short term as far as dollar values are concerned, but it goes to a mass market.”

With annual revenue of $3.5 million and 24 staff, Yeahpoint has chosen a business model based on licensees and partnerships to broaden its distribution channels.

“It makes for a business model that’s much more profitable in the long run. Obviously it’s not as profitable in the short run, but we find we’re giving a better solution.

Cudworth highlights that Yeahpoint, which he co-founded with business partner John Anderson, has embarked on a broad spectrum of retail solutions, from printer cartridges to pet stores.

“A great example is in South Africa with a cartridge ink selection product next to where the cartridges are. A lot of people forget which printer they have so our program allows them to find their printer,” he says.

“Another one is Mars Pet Care where we went through veterinary libraries to get everything we can about the health of pets and put that into a touch screen solution that allows staff most importantly, and customers, the ability to access a friendly service that gives them information.

“The staff are pet lovers but they’re not necessarily pet experts, so we assist them with pet knowledge and that leads to better service – it’s not just about getting the data but expressing it in a way that’s valuable, that differentiates the experience, which is why we don’t do it in niche markets.”

With major solutions projects coming up in Vietnam, France and Eastern Europe, Cudworth is confident that the business will grow by 100 per cent annually at a minimum – not a bad way for the cookie to crumble.

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