Melbourne-born, Nick La is one of Asia’s foremost young bar talents and has worked in dozens of top bars, lounges, and cafes on several continents.
For the past decade, he has worked his way from the perfectionism of the F-and-B scene in Australia to being one of the key players in building HK’s nightlife. Nick moved back to Melbourne and set up Cutting Edge Group, which included a portfolio of F&B venues and a recruitment and training services company.
After facing a reoccurring problem himself, he decided to explore the problem and has now since launched Weploy, a digital platform simplifying the temporary recruitment process.
Tell me a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
Whilst working at one of my restaurants I kept having staff call me up last minute calling sick which was driving me mad as it meant I had to step in and do the work. Having owned my own recruitment company I was lucky in the sense that in most cases I was able to find a replacement reasonably quick. But it dawned on me that majority of the population doesn’t own recruitment companies, and if you’re a small business, the costs of engaging a recruiter can be unfeasible. So after some time of experience the problem, I thought that there had to be a better, more accessible, simpler and cost effective way of doing this. That’s when the idea of creating a digital platform that could automate and simply this problem was created.
Please explain your business model?
We provided pre-vetted staff for labour hire and charge an hourly service fee.
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next year?
I am currently working on Weploy;
Weploy is the easiest and fastest way to find quality temporary jobs quickly. Weploy matches you to immediate hourly, daily and weekly jobs that you can choose to accept or decline with a simple tap or slide. Allowing you to work whenever and wherever you want. No more need to search job boards for hours, no more need for resumes, no more need for job interviews.
How do you make ideas happen?
Have an analysis of the concept, look at a business model, analyse if it’s a viable product. If it ticks all the boxes get into production; seek funding, build a team and devise a business plan. Most importantly execute! No point dreaming and not acting on it.
What role have mentors played in your business life?
Tremendous. Having a bouncing board and close network of successful friends and family is always value. It paints the pathway to minimise risk and gives you a second opinion on the idea at hand (post-production). Being an entrepreneur there is always some level of risk, having mentors to give you constructive feedback is priceless.
What does your typical day look like?
5am starts, get the kid ready for daycare, head to the office and work for 12-15 hours a day. Being a CEO/director of startups ,your life isn’t very scheduled. It comprises of a lot of meetings and digesting daily information and extrapolating the information into a plan/strategy for action. We work 70-80 hours week to avoid working 38 for someone else.
What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?
Working capital, cash flow and access to experts in the field. Having been working in Victoria for quite a while I have realised the not all specialist such as accountants are created equally, hence you should always get a second or third opinion before you settle with a provider.
What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?
Work hard like it’s a sport. There is only two results win or lose it’s up to you to fill in the gaps and make it work.
What companies do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment?
What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?
Inspiring the youth of what it takes to success in today’s current age.
Is there a particular charity or social enterprise you support?
Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers.
Startup Grind: Great information and news on startups
Business: A great resource on incentives and grants
LinkedIn: A great way to keep up to date with your sector and people in it
Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter.
Janine Allis: Boost Juice founder
Naomi Simson: Shark Tank and Red Balloon founder
Malcolm Turnbull: Prime Minister
Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea?
Most definitely we are always looking at smart money (a strategic partner), interns and social media experts.
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?
What is the best strategy when launching a product
What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?