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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative that was launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Ben Neumann, VIC (b. 1981)
Name: Ben Neumann
Age: 29 (Born: May 1981)
We’re sure Ben Neumann has been called the life of the party many, many times. But it’s just too good a line to pass up.
Neumann is the owner of Melbourne-based Liquid Infusion, a full-service mobile bar, beverage and cocktail caterer. From Singapore Slings to Mango Madnesses, from corporate functions to ladies’ nights, from capable waitresses to those crazy, bottle-juggling bartenders, Neumann puts it all on the road.
The idea for the company came years ago, when he toiled for large catering companies while working at high-end cocktail bars. Why not take the atmosphere and quality of the latter and fuse it with the former, he thought.
In many cases, Liquid Infusion works with other major caterers, taking the reins of the bar and beverage service. The partnership is often seamless. “Thousands of people have experienced Liquid Infusion without even knowing,” Neumann said.
Not that this is a shrinking-violet company. Far from it. Ask to describe Liquid Infusion’s personality, Neumann replies: “Audacious, eccentric, loud and unabashed.” He says his most visible marketing tool, outside the flash of the events themselves, is his truck fleet. All have a splashy color scheme on a gloss-black background. “They’re our moving purple elephants,” he says. He’s even paid people outside the company to put IF signage on their trucks, to create an illusion of larger market presence.
Liquid Infusion also builds buzz and expands its client base by hosting several events a year at no charge. The events include A-list after-parties and gatherings for AFL clubs. While the staff struts its stuff, Neumann and his sales teams schmooze and network. “A deadly sales tool,” he says.
He prefers to measure his company’s progress by the glass. When the business started in 2005, he was fortunate to book two functions a week and serve about 200 cocktails a month. Today, his bartenders are pouring up to 5,000 cocktails a week and more than 250,000 a year.
Neumann has an intriguing answer when asked about his drive to succeed. “I’m not sure if any true entrepreneur knows the real reason behind the drive, except to know it’s there, and it’s overbearing. Your business is the first thing on your mind when you wake and the last thing when/if you sleep.”
Ben Neumann’s words to live by:
“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
— Benjamin Franklin
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.