Melbourne

Shop Sharing – Something Fishy Is Going On

Business share a lot of things these days: a healthy rivalry, customers and if you’re a hip Melbourne small business – a shop location! At first, this might sound counter-productive: two different businesses operating in the same locale. Allow me to explain…

Two businesses – one shop: it’s an idea so crazy there’s no way it can’t work. The first one I came across was a clothing store with a barber shop inside it. Genius, when you think about it. People who are going to get a haircut want to look sharp – and the clothes being sold right here complement their new look. Or perhaps while you’re trying on a shirt you notice you look a bit scruffy – hey presto! – there’s a barber shop right there to fix that. That’s the beauty of shop sharing.

So what we’re seeing is two businesses that feed off each other’s clientele but don’t infringe on the sales. Plus, I’m sure the split utility bills help too.

More Examples of Shop Sharing
Shop Sharing

Think of it as the business version of ‘friends with benefits’

Another that stuck in my mind was this delightful little bar called The Catfish, located on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. Inside is a food stand/kitchen called Sparrow’s Philly Cheesesteaks. Again, both feed off each other. Hungry and feel like a drink? Thirsty but could use a bite to eat? It’s the perfect combination (PS: the Philly Cheesesteaks are to die for).

This outside the box thinking is a prime example of small business passion and ingenuity. They’ve found what they’re good at and focussed on it. Then they’ve found someone else who complements them (and vice versa) and formed a perfect symbiotic relationship. This is nothing new; the Clownfish has been ‘shop sharing’ with Sea Anemones for centuries!

– Lachy

A Peek Behind The Scenes

We recognised Shane Warne’s star qualities in early 2006 when we pursued him to be an ambassador for Messages On Hold. After some nine months of negotiations with his brother and manager at the time, Jason Warne, we agreed to a sponsorship package that worked for both of us.

We launched our association at a press conference in Melbourne on October 2006. With every Australian media outlet (and a number of overseas TV crews) assembled, the reporters were eating up the story. Some were distracted by the “ironic” link between Messages On Hold’s recorded promotional messages and Shane’s text messaging. The fact was, we don’t do text messaging, but various media chose to ignore that fact as it would have ruined their “angle”.

Shane “padded away” the stupid and insolent questions and chose, like a true professional, to steer the focus back to the business association. He was a focus machine – I guess that’s what separates the good players from the great ones.

During that same conference, Shane mentioned confidentially to a well-known Channel 9 journalist, that he was separating from Simone. After the press conference, that journalist (who was also a friend of Shane’s) ambushed him, shoving a microphone in his face asking questions about the split. PR whiz, Max Markson, had to jump in and shepherd Shane from the zealous reporter.

Unfortunately that didn’t stop Channel 9 Melbourne from leading off their bulletin with a story about “Shane’s Split”. Interestingly enough, they were the only ones to run with that story. Fortunately for us (and of course, Shane), the launch was a huge success.