"One Good Deed Sparks Another"
At Lazy Gramps ‘homeless eat free’. When Mark witnessed escalating job losses and saw businesses struggling due to the pandemic, Mark wanted to ‘create a risk-free, low cost, start-up business that is accessible to anyone that has a passion for ‘real food’, along with ‘social responsibility’.
With the help of Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs Business Mentor, Daniel Gayton, Lazy Gramps is now enjoyed by Cheltenham locals and he is now in the works of opening a second ‘Lazy Gramps’ trailer in September.
Mark shares why he started his own business, the challenges he faced, and advise to new entrepreneurs.
What motivated you to start your own business?
I witnessed massive job losses and businesses closing down due to COVID 19 that has hit Australia and we were in stage 2 restrictions. I wanted to create a risk-free, low cost, start up business, that is accessible to anyone that has a passion for real food, along with a passion for social responsibility.
I ran the idea past my Business Mentor, Daniel Gayton, from Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs, who gave it the thumbs up and helped me draw up a business plan and budget. LAZY GRAMPS Cheltenham was born and six months in I have a full-time team behind me and struggling to meet demand. LAZY GRAMPS philosophy is based on a saying my dad will always say, ‘one good deed sparks another’. It’s every business responsibility in these unforeseen times to contribute a little to the community and that’s why at every LAZY GRAMPS’ burger trailer “Homeless eat free” and I wanted to have a LAZY GRAMPS trailer in every postcode in Australia where any homeless or vulnerable peoples needing a meal can just approach the LAZY GRAMPS counter and ask for a free burger 🍔 with no questions or no judgement. “No one in this day and age should go to sleep hungry”.
What was the most valuable information you learned from the NEIS training?
The importance of accounting and budgeting to the success of any business venture – big or small.
What is the one piece of advice you can give to others thinking about starting their own business?
Simply go for it. But work backwards starting from worse case scenarios and then move forward from there. That way you are managing your expectations every part of the journey. You are prepared for the worse, as well as the best.
What have been some of the highlights of operating your own business?
Being able to share this success with the local community, by being able to give back and support good causes.
Considering the success of your business, do you have any plans of expanding?
The second LAZY GRAMPS trailer which will specialise in Grilled BBQ kebabs is opening in Moorabbin 4 Cochranes Rd in late September. I have since also teamed up with a renowned franchising family and the journey of LAZY GRAMPS being accessible for Australia wide that has started with the first LAZY GRAMPS in QLD to open on the Gold Coast in October.