10 Business Lessons We Can Learn From Peter Irvine

10 Business Lessons We Can Learn From Peter Irvine


As the guest speaker at the AIB Leadership Masterclass in Brisbane on May 21, Peter Irvine captivated the audience with his inspirational business advice. As the co-founder of the Gloria Jean’s Coffee franchise within Australia, Peter has over 40 years of experience in business at a high profile management level. In 1996 Peter, along with business partner Nabi Saleh, established Gloria Jean’s in Australia. Today, Gloria Jean’s boasts more than 1,000 coffeehouses across 39 countries worldwide, including over 460 in Australia alone. During his presentation, Peter shared a number of key points for anyone wishing to start, grow or improve a business. We compiled ten of the many business lessons we can learn from Peter Irvine, which were discussed during the fantastic Leadership Masterclass.

1. You need a vision
Without a vision or a plan of your business venture, it is easy to lose focus. Choose one venture, aim high and you will continually work towards achieving that vision. If times are tough, refer back to your vision and alter it to the current business landscape you are facing.

2. You need to build people
The people who work for you are your greatest asset. If you get the right people working within your business, they will treat it as if it is their own, and work tirelessly through issues in order to benefit the organisation on the other side.

3. Make decisions for the future
Never make a decision based on the moment, make decisions based on the future results you would like to achieve. Concentrate on your vision and make educated decisions focusing on where you’d like to be.

4. Develop a ‘yes face’
Delivering even the worst of news with a ‘yes face’ can make the world of difference. The act of letting an employee go can even be made positive with a ‘yes face’.

5. Commit to lifelong learning
Regardless of your educational background, commit to lifelong learning. Listen, learn and most importantly, apply your knowledge. If you don’t apply your knowledge in a practical way, there is little point in undertaking the study.

6. You need to build relationships
Regardless of your role, effective relationship building is critical. Learn how to communicate with people in order to get the most out of them. Create a workplace of fun, and you’ll see great relationships form.

7. Never stop promoting
In times of financial hardship, always keep your marketing staff employed. Don’t be afraid to do things differently, and ensure that your message is clear and consistent across all marketing channels.

8. Stop using previously effective practices
As Peter put it “stop messing with dead things”. If a practice, process or product is no longer successful in today’s market – don’t hang on to it. Don’t be afraid to make changes where necessary, and embrace new ideas.

9. Partner with the community
Engage in socially responsible activities, and partner with a charitable organisation. Not only are you supporting a charity, you are also likely to gain positive publicity and impacts on your own brand.

10. Ensure you’re passionate
If you’re not passionate about your business idea, don’t pursue it. At the end of the day, you must have passion and drive not just for success, but for the product or service in which you are selling.

What do you think?
Did you attend the Brisbane Leadership Masterclass? We’d love to hear about any other key business lessons we can learn from Peter Irvine’s presentation and add to the list. If you weren’t able to make it – which of these business lessons can you relate to most?

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