SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR REAPS REWARDS AFTER SEVEN YEARS OF FAILURE

SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR REAPS REWARDS AFTER SEVEN YEARS OF FAILURE

HIS mantra is "you don't learn until you launch" - wise words that saw Dan Norris turn seven years of failed businesses into an entrepreneurship success story.

Now 35, the Gold Coaster runs a web development company, launched a website application, is a bestselling author and is soon to give Burleigh Brewing a run for their money with his sights set on opening a brewery in 2015.

The serial entrepreneur's first victory was WP Curve in 2013, a business providing a worldwide team of WordPress developers to assist with unlimited small website fixes and support to businesses around the globe. 

The company became profitable in 23 days and has grown to provide its services to close to 1000 clients and is turning over more than $1 million a year.

"WP Curve came out of desperation, because I had worked on a couple of businesses for a long time, but they hadn't worked out and I found myself in a position where I was going to have to move away from the Gold Coast because I couldn't see any opportunities here for what I do," says Norris.

While brainstorming the idea of WP Curve, Norris says he consulted fellow entrepreneurs and asked if they thought a monthly subscription providing unlimited repairs (up to 30 minutes) on websites was a good idea.

He says the majority thought it was a terrible idea, however he is proving them wrong with a team of 45 now working out of seven different countries.

In addition, Norris recently co-launched a new website app, Helloify, which allows businesses to message and live chat with visitors on their website. 

"Consumers have come to love the ease of messaging their friends via apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp," says Norris.

"But what about messaging businesses? We believe consumers want the same ability to interact with businesses and not have to resort to painful experiences like calling and leaving voicemail messages."

Norris also released The 7 Day Startup - an eBook that became a top 10 bestseller in three Amazon categories around the world, is being translated into three languages and has been ordered more than 30,000 times.

The book gives advice from generating ideas to gaining first paying customers and aims to turn 'wantrepreneurs' into entrepreneurs.

"The tagline is you don't learn until you launch and the message is basically stop pissing around asking your mates how good your ideas are and trying to validate your ideas," he says.

"In the start-up world there is this idea of validation where you can get scientific and try and prove that an idea is actually going to be good before you launch a business.

"For most of us, I don't believe that is the case.  I think you launch something, like I did with WP Curve, and you really have no idea if it is going to work, you just work at it and see what happens."

In 2015 Norris is aiming to write another bestselling book, grow WP Curve into a $2 million business, have Helloify installed on 5000 websites and start a physical brewery with Black Hops Brewing on the Gold Coast.

"Why a brewery?  Probably the same reason every guy wants to open a brewery, just because it is cool," says Norris.

Norris says the craft beer scene is thriving in all major cities in Australian, however the Gold Coast is underrepresented.

Black Hops is currently looking for a space to house a 20 hectolitre system with 40 hectolitre fermenters and aims to produce up to 18 kegs a week when it first launches, with the goal of scaling up to produce more than 300 kegs a week.

Industrial sites in Currumbin and Miami are currently being looked at.

Norris was voted Australia's best small business blogger by the readers of Telstra's Smarter Business Ideas magazine in 2013.

Picture - Dan Norris (right) pictured with Helloify co-founder Luke Ronalds 

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