Marketing Magician. Entrepreneur. Investor. Mentor. These are just some of the words that have been used to describe Mark Bouris.
He is also a Disruptor–and extremely vocal when it comes to Australia’s SMEs.
And rightly so. SMEs are the largest employer in Australia, contributing more than half of the national GDP.
But does Mr. Bouris think these businesses get enough of a sayin this country?
“No, I do not. I definitely do not think they have enough of a voice. They don’t have any voice which is a real shame.
“There’s not one other community in the country that doesn’t get a say, ”he said.
Yet, with over 2.2 million business owners in this country that employ another five million people, it’s the biggest sector by far.
The solution, he says, is to build “a warrior army of small business owners” to ensure they are being listened to by decision-makers.
“It’s very lonely being a small business owner. Small business owners need someone to talkto, to share ideas, find resources.
“Running a small business is a tough gig.
”Best known as the founder of Wizard Home Loans, Mark Bouris is one of Australia’s foremost financial advisors and trusted business voices.
Having sold Wizard Home Loans in 2004,heis now the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a knowledgeable speaker and presenter, TV personality, podcaster, author, and respected mentor.
What drives him the most is sharing his knowledge and experience to help other business owners succeed.
One way in which he is doing this is through the Mentored Platform.
Believing SME owners are Australia’s unsung heroes, Mark uses Mentored to share ideas, support, innovation, disruption, and other business owners ‘experiences.
However, this inspirational platform came from humble beginnings.
“About eight years ago, me and my business partner started talking about podcasts. No-one else was doing them in Australia at that time, so we decide to do one, ”said Mark.
“It was called The Mark Bouris show. We just hired a studio and started doing it, talking to business owners. We wanted to build a platform for business owners to share stories and experiences.”
Mentored really took off when Mark joined forces with Uber–creating the UberPITCH!
In order to give small businesses and start-ups a leg up, Mark came up with a plan.
“If someone wanted to pitch their idea to me, they had to request a ‘pitch ride’ on Uber through the app. If they were successful, they would get seven minutes with me in the carto pitch, and then seven minutes of feedback,” Mark said.
“We got 5000 applications in two hours! We had no idea it would be that big!”
Turbo charge your business
Today, Mentored is packed with podcasts, live events, and a wealth of resources and templates.
Mark himself has drawn inspiration in life and business from Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates.
“You have to draw from the past[and]listen to other people’s stories, ”he said.
“The logic is that you can’t learn everything on your own. What you learn is related to time.
“So, if you talk to five business people who have 60 years’ experience each, that’s 300 years of experience!
“You would never achieve that on your own.
“Mentoring mathematically makes sense–and helps you turbo charge your business.”
In2015, Mark was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the finance industry.
Paying it forward
His impressive knowledge and experience–coupled with a straight talking approach to life–was embraced by Australians, leading to the TV shows The Apprentice, Celebrity Apprentice, and The Mentor.
Mark has also written several books–the latest being RISE. He says it’s all about sharing information and paying it forward.
As a self-made man himself, Mark believes anyone can better themselves; they just have to think big and empower themselves.
RISE focuses mainly on entrepreneurs, sole traders, small business owners and the self-employed. The message is clear: It’s time to rise up as a collective and rebuild our nation.
“Let’s be the envy of all those who observe us and be an example of excellence”, Mark says in the book.
“That is why we need to build ‘a warrior army of small business owners’.
Stop and listen
“If my hunch is correct, and Australians do care about our business community, then I think there’s enough of us out there to get together, and shout loud enough that the government will stop and listen.
“We need to gather as much momentum as possible and be a proper platform. It’s not for the small business owners to fix, they are too busy running their businesses.
“I’m hoping that over time I can do something-but it will take time. I want businesses to go to my website and make contact. I want to know why people want to be part of this. What are they missing? What do they need?”
In the past few months, Mark has spoken out strongly about the Reserve Bank and political parties inflicting cash rate pain on Australian homeowners and small business owners.
He believes interest rates will fall in 2024–but says businesses should play it safe.
Time to be frugal
“If there is a recession, you can’t control it-but you can control what you do, ”he said.
“You need to be really conscious of cost control. This is not a time to take risks with investments. Be careful where you spend, what you spend.
“This is a time to be frugal–not for the rest of your life, but for some time to come.”
To find out more about Mentored–and to join Mark’s army–visit www.mentored.com.au
As the founder of Wizard Home Loans–and Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road–Mark Bouris believes non-bank lenders play a crucial role in Australia.
Yet earlier this year, the RBA said on-bank lenders have the potential to undermine financial stability.
“It is very important to have non-bank lenders because we need as much competition for the banks as possible, to put pressure on prices, to make housing more affordable, people’s lives less stressful, ”he said.
“Some people just can’t get a loan from a bank. I disagree withtheRBA-I think not havingthat competition undermines financial stability.”
This war isn’t new. Back in2007, Mark criticized the Big Banks fort heir response to non-bank lenders in the Australian Financial Review. He was angry and made it known.
Having founded Wizard Home Loans in 1996, he had made it one of the biggest non-bank lenders in the country.
Upset the status quo
But then, Mark enjoys creating disruptive business models that upset the status quo! He says disruption and entrepreneurship are vital for Australia to survive.
In March this year, talking to Sky News, he was scathing about cash rate rises, saying the RBA had shown a massive lack of empathy for those Australians struggling to pay home loans.
As Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, Mark believes all Australians deserve access to quality, affordable financial services and advice.
To find out more, visit www.ybr.com.au