Transcript of Mike O’Hagan’s Interview with Wayne Bucklar
Wayne Bucklar: My guest today is Mike O’Hagan who joins me from Mike’s Business Tours. Now for those of you who might be familiar with the name but can’t quite put the business into it. Mike is the founder of Mike’s MiniMovers, famous with a lot of us in Australia for having packed up and shifted us across the suburbs when we moved house and has been a serial entrepreneur now for many years. Mike, welcome to the program.
Mike O’Hagan: Thank you, great to be here. And it’s say, it’s just plain MiniMovers as well, I have ten other businesses today. Semi-retired I am, as you would be.
Wayne Bucklar: So you’ve given up lifting boxes and shifting pianos?
Mike O’Hagan: I’ve actually never done that. I still own the business until today and I’ve never actually moved a lot furniture. I always worked on the business, I think if you do want to grow a big business, you should only work on it and not in it.
Wayne Bucklar: That’s a good advice. Now Mike, speaking of good advice, fill us in about Mike’s Business Tours. Where did this idea come from and what is it you’re trying to achieve?
Mike O’Hagan: Yes, cool. Well, I think it’s pretty common knowledge that during the GFC, my Minimovers got into a bit of trouble. In fact, quite serious trouble there for a little while. I managed to turn the company around and save it by moving some of the processes to the Philippines. I learned a lot of things by doing that, what works very well. I also learned what you shouldn’t do. And I started sharing that with some business mates 5 years ago. A whole lot of business mates came up to Manila with me, showing them around and at the end of that, they kept saying, “That’s the most amazing learning experience we’ve ever had.” So out of that, I grew this Mike’s Business Tours. It’s a three day intensive learning experience in Manila and in Clark, we go to two different cities. Fifty percent is learning about offshoring, what to do and what not to do. Fifty percent is probably challenging your business model and probably getting that on to more for growth ball. And highly successful, 360 people to date. It’s just that, a great way to learn, it’s just a massive great learning experience about what’s happening on the leading edge and how you can really change your business.
Wayne Bucklar: Now Mike, speaking of the leading edge, it does seem to me that in the last couple of years, lots of Australians, I guess small and medium businesses have been outsourcing to the Philippines. Is there a trend going on here? What’s driving this wave of change?
Mike O’Hagan: At the core, it has to be the difference in wages, say Australia has the third largest minimum wage in the world and the Philippines is probably in the other end of that scale. It’s quite normal for a Filipino with one or two university degrees to be earning about a hundred Australian dollars per week. They’re well educated and in Americanized system, they speak English, this is the third largest English speaking country in the world, connect the internet to it, connect the internet and suddenly, you can employ online and tap into this lower cost resource. And I think it’s progressed a lot more than that now. I think a lot of us are not using it to replace Australian jobs, but we’re using it to invent complete new jobs. I know that in my MiniMovers business their whole marketing lead generation system, it was completely designed and built in the Philippines and you couldn’t even think of doing that in Australia. A lot of the new jobs … when you connect two and two together and it mixes well. Overall, the industry started 22 years ago. Process workers for big corporates. It struck change in this trend, SMEs have entered the market 6 or 7 years ago and that’s massive upward trend. They don’t want process workers the same way, they want thinkers and doers. The models that we engaged with are changing and are much better and it’s that change in that trend that I show on the tour, I show you exactly all of the different ways you can go about doing it, why they exist, why they don’t exist. It’s all about tapping into the lower cost and smartly educated Philippines to be able to grow your Australian business.
Wayne Bucklar: And Mike what are the industries sectors that are coming on the tour? Just to give people who are listening an idea. Is these butchers and beekeepers or who are the people who are coming?
Mike O’Hagan: Look, it ranges right across. It really does and professional services more and more, and more accounting are very much is coming up. That whole business is not like our MiniMovers service businesses are putting whole teams up here as well. Look, anything that’s facing a computer can be done in the Philippines. Their education is better, the English is as good as I said, the big gap in the market is that they don’t understand Australian, they don’t understand your business. And I teach on the tour that if you can bridge that gap, you train them up. Then, you’ve got an amazing resource and that’s the key to it.
Wayne Bucklar: Mike, it’s been a pleasure having you with us and we look for to hearing more from you in the weeks to come. Now for people who want to get hold of you and hear more from you, can they get in touch with you directly?
Mike O’Hagan: Absolutely. You can message me through firstname.lastname@example.org. I have another website at ohagan.com.au either of those websites, you can message me directly, no problems at all. Happy to chat to anybody, Skype chats, what I really do well.
Wayne Bucklar: Mike, thank you for your time.
Mike O’Hagan: Thank you.