Adelaide, Australia (PressExposure) February 11, 2009 -- IAN Scarffe founded the Adelaide-based franchise company OFFICE, which provides on-site services to companies and homes. OFFICE began in 1992 and has franchises throughout Australia and South-East Asia and plans to export its franchise system to the US, the UK and Europe later this year.
How did you learn about money? My late father, Len Scarffe, taught me about money, just before I started my own business when I was 16. He suggested I start my own business straight away without any training. He told me I would have to learn to manage my own income and expenses and learn from my mistakes. Soon after starting, I was employing 10 staff.
What is your best investment? I didnât listen much at school but realised soon after starting my first business that I would need to increase my personal development to succeed. I invested in a few personal-development programs that helped change my thoughts, focusing on what was important â and thinking outside the square.
The worst investment? A needle-less syringe company near my home in Kent Town, which ultimately went into receivership in the early 1980s. I lost my money but it was a gamble and I was aware of that before parting with my money.
If you had $10,000 now, how would you spend it ? Either by reducing some debt or investing in an idea or a business and trying to increase it five-fold.
Ian Scarffe is a true entrepreneur; he claims he is unable to stop thinking of ideas and how to make things better and more efficient. I could think of hundreds of businesses to start, with just $10,000 â some of them new and perhaps some of them with better or more efficient methods.
Do you invest? I invest in personal development and use any spare or surplus capital to reinvest into my companies. I have a few properties, and in 1999 I could see the services provided by Melbourne IT would become a major Internet boom in Australia, so I invested in that company.
How important is money? Ultimately, happiness and health come first, but having the income to be comfortable and being able to give something back to the community is also just as important.
Has your business given you special insights into money? I have made thousands of mistakes and will make many more. Each time, Iâve learnt what not to do next time. You grow from that and make better decisions. I have had to teach myself or employ others to teach me how to read, write and understand financial information â mostly to do with business. I make it a habit to read the financial pages and worldwide magazines to extract information and try and see into the future and predict where the markets are heading.