No IPO but Retail Zoo in best shape ever

Boost Juice founder Janine Allis says its business as usual for parent company Retail Zoo after plans for a public listing were suspended last week.

Allis, who will share her entrepreneurial insights at CCIWA Boost Your business: tips from a modern-day entrepreneur breakfast on November 14, said she had not lost a “wink of sleep” as the company had “never been in better shape” despite the failed attempt to float.

The IPO could “potentially” go ahead at a later stage, she said.

“Retail is in really good shape, the business is really strong the underlying performance is fantastic, you can’t control external factors. It’s one of a number of floats that never happened this year and it is the market it is,” she said.

“At the end of the day we’ve got private equity in the business, often they like to be in the business for a period of time and then they have an exit plan.

“But they are also smart business people and they have no intention of selling their shares at a cheap price – and why would you, it’s hard enough to find a good business let alone selling it cheap.”

Allis has built the Boost Juice franchise from a single store to now being executive director of Retail Zoo, which has three other businesses including Salsas, Betty’s Burgers and CIBO, which together have more than $2 billion worth of sales globally.

She’s appeared on Shark Tank, was a contestant on this year’s Survivor and spent more than a year as a stewardess on David Bowie’s yacht before kicking off Boost as a single store in Adelaide in 2000.

Why your best deal may feel like your worst  

In fact, she describes the purchase of that first store a “terrible” deal, but also the best she’s ever done.

“Was it a great deal? No. It was a terrible deal but the reason it was the best deal is because it got me going. At some point that’s all you have to do is get going,” she said.

“It didn’t have very good air conditioning, it was a heritage listed site so we couldn’t really do much with it, it was falling apart, it was a shocker.

“But quite often what you think is terrible at the time ends up being fantastic when you look back on it.”

Allis says a good deal is one when you and the other party are “a bit unhappy”.

“If one person is estatic then normally it’s at the expense of someone else,” she said.

“Good deals are always designed that it’s a win-win for both parties, so in other words whenever you’re doing a negotiation, you always put yourself in their shoes to see what’s in it for them.

“If all you’re doing is negotiating what’s in it for you, well you will find that the deal really won’t go anywhere.

“So it has to really be a win-win and at the end of the day both parties need to be a little bit unhappy about the outcome.”

► Janine Allis is passionate advocate for the entrepreneurial spirit – hear more tips from the award-winning businesswoman at The Westin on November 14.

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