Franziska and Christo – founders of BasicBananas.com

Franziska and Christo are entrepreneurs, popular speakers, adventurers, mad surfers, authors and the founders of BasicBananas.com – a fast-growing marketing training organisation and small business community.

Known for their out of the box thinking and quirkiness, they don’t play by the rules of convention. They are regularly featured in the media for their uniqueness in business and lifestyle, including the SMH, The Age, Channel 9, BRW, Daily Telegraph etc.

Before embarking on his entrepreneurial journey and buying and selling businesses in the surf industry, Christo was a professional surfer for seven years travelling the globe. Lucky guy!

Franziska grew up in Switzerland and after working in Egypt, South Africa and Costa Rica, she moved to Australia where she met Christo on the beach in Manly.

When they are not teaching creative marketing strategies, you can most likely find them in the ocean, organising philanthropic events or adventuring around the world growing a global business community. Basic Bananas was the first business to adopt a whale in 2012.

We are excited to see our small business community grow every day with so many success stories.

basicbananas.com @basicbananas facebook

 

Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?

We founded Basic Bananas about five years ago when we realised that most small business owners need help with their marketing and there was nothing really great in the market. Franziska came from a marketing and advertising career and Christo owned a few different businesses in the surfing industry. Together we created a few marketing education programs for small business owners. It didn’t take long for the word to get out and five years later thousands of business owners have gone through our programs and not only learnt how to market their business, but also met some incredible people along the way.

We are excited to see our small business community grow every day with so many success stories.

Please explain your business model.

Our core offering is The Clever Bunch program, which is a ten month marketing education program run across Australia and launching in Los Angeles this year.

We have a big following of clever business owners and also run an online program called The Legend Lab, which is for people who want to learn how to market their business properly online.

What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?

We are working on launching Basic Bananas in the US this year, with the first city being Los Angeles. We are really excited to bring our model and way of teaching marketing to a new market.

How do you make ideas happen?

We have a very young, motivated and engaged team so there are always great ideas flying around the office. We are pretty fast implementers, so if we like something, we just do it! We strongly believe in the ‘fail fast’ and ‘take risks’ concept.

What does your typical day look like?

We tend to get up early, go for a surf or beach walk, depending on the conditions, map out the day and set some goals, then sometimes we get some work done from home before heading to the office a bit later. We’ve got a great team so it’s fun to come into the office when we are in town.

We speak with our members, run webinars for them, eat delicious banana bread Jess sometimes bakes, celebrate achievements, talk about fun things and get stuff done.

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?

Hmm as with most small businesses, starting a business is not easy and definitely not for everyone. Capital was definitely a challenge in the beginning as we didn’t really have a lot of it and it took a few months for the business to make money. There were many moments of doubt but the client success stories kept us motivated and going!

What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?

I’m willing to give away pretty much any idea! Just ask!

What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry at the moment?

Hmm we like pretty much anyone who is doing ethical marketing and doing it properly (as we stand against any BS methods). Also any company or organisation involved in social business is worth supporting.

What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?

A huge change! In fact, I believe that in today’s age and in the future businesses can and will have a much bigger impact on social change than charities.

Speaking of affecting social change, is there a particular charity you’d like our readers to support?

We support a lot of social causes and generally try to go directly to the source. So for example we’ve got a project in South Africa with funds going to children to be able to go to school.

We’ve also adopted a horse in Mongolia and a whale through the International Fund of Animal Welfare.

Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?

Yes absolutely, we always have opportunities for interns to join our team.

We’re aiming to build a community of Australian idea makers helping each other. If you could have one question answered about startups, marketing, social media, accounting, monetization, product development etc. What would it be?

Hmm that’s a tough one as I tend to just ask the question as it comes up! With the internet and so many great experts around, it’s really easy to have any questions answered.

What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?

I really love the Mexican tapas bar called Mexicano, right around the corner from our home, they’ve got the best Margaritas.

We thought it would be cool to crowdsource an annual prize to award to the interviewee’s choice (each person interviewed gets one vote) winner for the year’s best interview. Are you willing to kick in a prize?

Absolutely. Happy to give away a ticket to one of our marketing seminars.

You’d be bananas not to subscribe!

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