Proudly supporting our local  community

Proudly supporting our local community

Devenny Payne is proud to support the 15th David Calleja Memorial Car Show.

To be held on 2 February 2020, the event is expected to attract over 2 000 people from all over Victoria with more than 600 car enthusiasts displaying classic, historic and modified cars, trucks and bikes.

All funds raised are donated to Djerriwarrh Health Services (DJHS) to purchase medical equipment to improve patient care. The event also promotes awareness of the health services DJHS provides to the local communities of Bacchus Marsh, Melton and Caroline Springs.

DJHS relies on the generosity of patients and their carers (past and present), individual donors, community groups and corporate supporters to supplement government funding in order to ensure vital improvements are made to benefit patient care.

Salvation Army Food Drive

Salvation Army Food Drive

Devenny Payne is committed to giving back to our community, especially over the holiday season when so many people out there are doing it tough. 

We are a registered food drop off point for the Salvation Army Food Drive. All items donated are made into hampers to make Christmases a little brighter for the less fortunate.

Please pop in and see our front office staff with any donated items you would like to give. The final collection date is the 17th of December. 

We appreciate the support. 



Finalists at Ballan and District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2019

Finalists at Ballan and District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2019

We are pleased to announce Devenny Payne has been recognised as a finalist at the recent Ballan and District Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2019 in the category of Professional Services.

We celebrate this achievement with our team of hard working experienced professionals who every day strive for excellence in the service of our clients and thank our valued clients who believe in our vision of helping small business do big things.

 Devenny Payne’s recognition for its excellent contribution to the broader community reinforces the strength of the firm in connecting with the local community and engaging with our clients.

Devenny Payne has been serving small and medium sized businesses for over ten years and we are honoured to have achieved recognition for our team’s commitment to service our clients and community.

There is nothing more rewarding than seeing our clients make an impact and achieve their goals as a direct result of our financial and strategic advice.

The Awards showcase the local community’s talented business pool and Devenny Payne congratulates all the Award winners.

Innovation in the Food and Beverage industry

Innovation in the Food and Beverage industry

Technological advances and changes in food science are presenting new opportunities but innovation is needed if these industry players are to prosper.

There is relatively little risk in trying a new flavour or version of a product. For retailers selling own-brand products, there is even less risk – they can test the product in store and if sales are poor, then they can simply remove the product from the shelf. However, the reality is it is more difficult to be a food or beverage manufacturer in today’s markets. It is a highly saturated market, with fierce competition. Moreover, retailers have driven down prices and squeezed low profit margins. Not to mention the average household spends a smaller proportion of their income on food than they did 20 years ago. Consumers have driven change that seek companies to source ingredients sustainably and ethically, however it has been difficult to pass this additional cost onto their consumer. In addition to this, the food and beverage industry are facing changes in food safety and regulatory requirements that pose further challenges.

Consumer Behaviour

We are seeing technology transform consumer behaviour and expectations. With most people connected to the internet through a smartphone or a tablet, it has enabled consumers to communicate and do business remotely, and now individuals demand food and beverages that match their changing lifestyle. Not only is there an upward trend of demand in healthier foods that promote physical and mental health, there is now a conscious assessment of the impact on your body holistically regarding what you are eating.

Regulation and Food Safety

The food and beverage industry continuously face consumer demand for minimally processed products containing natural ingredients – the “clean label” trend – however, they are still under pressure to maintain shelf life and comply with food safety standards. Companies must put in place a rigorous food safety strategy that evaluates the risk of harmful pathogen contamination (listeria and salmonella for example). There are also rising concerns about the traceability of ingredients and products, coupled by pressure on manufacturers to understand their entire supply chain, to prevent food fraud and unethical practices. It is also important to note that governments and legislative bodies regulate the industry. Take for example the UK’s proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. It is imperative to understand the different international regulatory standards to ensure compliance.

Innovating Today for a Brighter Tomorrow

Today’s consumer has a very busy lifestyle and is often time poor. There is less time to prepare and eat three square meals a day. We are seeing innovative ways where food providers are catering to these changing needs and providing solutions. This can be anything from tasty and healthy home-delivered meal kits, retailers offering consumers the ability to order groceries while waiting for their train, with options to pick up or get delivered, or the rise of industry players such as Uber Eats, that essentially deliver some of the city’s best food options right to your door.


Why Do Businesses Fail to Grow?

Why Do Businesses Fail to Grow?

There are many reasons why a SME will fail to grow or even fail completely, but if you don’t know what you are doing wrong, how can you fix the problem? What are some of the main reasons a business fails and how can you avoid these to develop and grow your business successfully?

Understand Lifecycles

Businesses have a lifecycle, much the same as any product does. The three lifecycle stages are start-up, growth and maturity. Each of which poses a unique set of challenges, needing different approaches at each stage to grow the business, gain and maintain market share.

For a new enterprise or start-up, the introduction stage of the cycle can be the most expensive. The costs of marketing a new business or the research, development and consumer testing of a new product can be very high. In these earlier stages, management capabilities are crucial to product success and business survival.

It’s all very well to have a great idea, or the enthusiasm to turn an interest into a business, but is it really a good opportunity? Don’t make the mistake of thinking because you have a passion for something that others will too. Are there enough people out there who want what you are offering, and for the price you are offering it at?

It’s critical to do your research before starting any new business venture to ascertain if it is a viable proposition. Develop a business plan to help focus your vision and objectives, support this with a strategy to detail how you will achieve your business goals. Do you have the necessary skills and sufficient resources to put the business plan into action?

Growing Pains

Okay, the research and planning are complete, you’ve launched your business and even established a client base. What now?

This should typically be a period characterised by a strong growth in sales and profits. The business can potentially benefit from economies of scale and an increase in overall profitability. This makes it possible to invest more in promotional activities to further maximise the growth potential at this phase.

Or not. It is also a time when many businesses flounder and aspiring entrepreneurs fail to realise their business goals. Reasons may be complex or simply due to a lack of attention but are often to do with business operations and leadership. This is perhaps due to burnout, or it can be because they were more enthusiastic about the creative side of the business but lacked the motivation and ability to undertake those other necessary and often mundane tasks.

Every aspect of running a SME is important and each functional area from marketing, sales, finance and inventory control should to be given the attention necessary for a business to thrive.

Common reasons organisations fail to grow in this crucial stage are due to one of more of the following:

Lack of time management

Spending time on critical tasks and leaving seemingly less important jobs unfinished or lacking the skills in certain areas to get the job done. Plan your day, make time to include personal development, find a couch, attend classes or study online. If you don’t have the abilities in certain areas, employ someone who does.

Poor money management

Most of your funds where invested in the business start-up or you failed to implement an adequate budget and now you have insufficient financial resources. Not having enough cash is a frequent cause of SME failures. Cashflow is critical to paying your bills and access to capital, via investors or a loan, is crucial for growing your business.

Ineffective sales and marketing

Do potential customers know what you offer and where to find you? Learn the basics, seek input from employees. If something doesn’t work, try a new tack. Social media offers a low-cost option to help raise awareness of your brand.

Bad customer service

Attracting customers is only part of the challenge, exceptional customer service is fundamental to keeping them. Losing customers through poor customer service not only loses you that customer but potentially many more through negative feedback and negative word-of- mouth. Pay attention to what your customer wants and have the inventory stock on-hand when the customer wants it. Respond to feedback, return calls and emails promptly. Identify and anticipate needs, make your customers feel valued and appreciate.

There are also external influences that can have an impact to why some SMEs grow, and others don’t. Market size, demand and competition are certainly contributing factors. Other barriers to development and growth that some small business owners fail to consider include government regulations, access to foreign markets that provide new sales channels for inventory stock, and the challenges of recruiting skilled and qualified employees.


By the time a business has become established and reached the maturity stage, innovation is crucial to maintaining the market share already built up. Consider any product modifications, variations of inventory stock or improvements to the production process which might provide a competitive advantage.

An efficient learning organisation seizes technology, to improve business processes and inventory control. They invest in R&D innovation and employee training, and translate strategy into action by exploring new market opportunities to expand channels and improve capabilities in diverse areas.

Leading the Way

A good leader will listen and learn from others. They will build a talented and trustworthy team of employees, include staff in decision making processes, appreciate and recognise hard work and provide development and training opportunities for staff.

Passion alone is not enough. The most successful business owners and entrepreneurs follow a path of continual learning, they network, study and reach out to coaches and mentors to help improve their leadership skills.

How to Engage and Sell to Gen Z

How to Engage and Sell to Gen Z

That segment is none other than Generation Z. Born after 1995, the oldest Gen Z consumers are still in their early 20s, but their numbers and retail influence are growing rapidly. According to Fast Company, Gen Z “makes up a quarter of the U.S. population and by 2020 will account for 40% of all consumers.”

If your store caters to these teens and early twenty-somethings, keep reading. In this post, we’re discussing the key traits of Gen Z along with tips to help you sell and market to them.

Gen Z traits and characteristics

What’s Generation Z like and how are they different from (or similar to) other consumer groups? Here are a few key characteristics:

They want to be part of product development

According to the National Retail Federation, Gen Z shoppers “like to be part of the product creation process, and are much more willing to share feedback and product improvement suggestions with brands.”

This is one of the biggest differentiators of Gen Z from millennials, notes the NRF, as the former “want brands to cater to them, and expect purchases to reflect their personalities and values.”

Gen Z shoppers want to do good

This isn’t to say that young consumers aren’t without their values. Like millennials, Gen Z-ers is driven to do good. Research has shown that this particular generation cares about various environmental issues (76% are concerned about humanity’s impact on the planet) as well as social causes such as racial, gender, and income inequality.

Studies have also shown that 60% of Gen Z consumers “want their jobs to impact the world”, and “26% of 16-to-19-year-olds currently volunteer.

They trust influencers more than traditional celebrities

Out of all consumer segments, Gen Z-ers are the consumers who trust traditional advertising and marketing the least. This is particularly true when it comes to digital influencers versus traditional celebrities.

A report by Fullscreen found that “over half of teens would prefer to see a brand advertise via social influencers rather than produce TV commercials, pre-roll video ads, sponsored articles/posts or banner ads.”

This generation is practical and realistic

Majority of Gen Z-ers are “are risk-averse, practical, and pragmatic,” notes Fast Company.

The publication found:

Whereas millennials were criticized for their lack of focus, Gen Z are determined to plan ahead. Gen Z have been strongly shaped by their individualistic, self-reliant Gen X parents and they’re committed to avoiding the mistakes their meandering millennial predecessors made. “I need a job that will come out with money, otherwise college will be a waste”, says Marcus, 17. “I want to pick a career that is stable.”

They appreciate brick-and-mortar stores

Here’s something that might surprise you about Generation Z shoppers: to them, physical retail is far from dead. A study by CrowdTwist found that “57% of Generation Z prefer shopping in-store… Despite being digital natives, Generation Z prefer to shop in-store rather than online, and a slightly larger percentage of them compared to Millennials prefer to do so.”

That said, offline shopping still needs to be aided by technology. According to research by HRC Retail Advisory, to the vast majority of Gen Z-ers (over ninety percent) having a strong Wi-Fi signal is essential to a great shopping experience.

This is because while young consumers like to shop offline, they prefer to do so with technology (smart devices, in-store tech) close by.

“[While Gen Z] was born with a smartphone in hand, it doesn’t keep them from shopping – and even preferring to shop – in brick and mortar stores, as long as they have access to their ever-important social network,” said Farla Efros, President of HRC Retail Advisory.

How can retailers market and sell to Gen Z?

Now that you know have a better idea of what Gen Z is like, it’s time to figure out the best way to market and sell to them.

Here are some ideas of what you can do:

Be real and inclusive

Out of all that generations and shopper groups, Generation Z has the least amount of trust for traditional ads and marketing campaigns. These consumers can see right through those perfectly touched-up commercials, and they’re not impressed.

To move and engage Gen Z shoppers, you need to be authentic. Feature real people and stories in your campaigns and build a brand that’s down to earth and relatable.

One example of a brand that’s doing this (and seeing results) is Abercrombie & Fitch. After falling from grace a few years ago, the company set out on a new strategy to reinvent itself. One of the things it did? Revamp its marketing strategy.

As Glossy reports, the company “moved away from the scantily clad, thin, white models it was known for, and instead embraced diversity across race and size.”

It also launched its “Made for You” campaign in which it featured real people (instead of “hot” models) showing off the brand’s clothes on the streets of Memphis, Tempe, and Austin.


Engage Gen Z through technology

Gen Z-ers appreciate brick-and-mortar stores, but they still love their technology. Remember, this generation comprises of digital natives. They grew up with the internet, and unlike Generations X and Y, they know very little about analog technologies.

For this reason, you can’t afford not to adopt technology in your business.

Start with great connectivity – For starters, make sure your young customers can access the internet from your store. Shopping is a social experience, and for Gen Z, the “social” component comes in when they whip out their phone to share an Instagram Story or post about their experience on Facebook.

Encourage social media shares – Speaking of which, make sure your store is social-media-friendly. Create spaces that are snap- and share-worthy. Your young customers will thank you for it. You don’t even have to splurge to get this right. Sometimes, a witty or empowering sign outside your door can do the trick.

Here’s an example from Isalis in San Francisco.

Consider non-traditional payment methods – If you’re only accepting cash and credit cards, consider expanding to other payment options such as mobile payments. This is particularly important if you’re selling to younger customers.

These consumers love their phones and there’s a good chance they already have their payment details stored on their devices. Why not make it easy for Gen Z shoppers to use them?

Don’t forget the non-customer-facing tech – They’re not exactly sexy, but the technologies that power your inventory management, point of sale, and reporting are still critical to the shopping experience.

Case in point: stock control. 66% of Gen Z-ers would shop at a store more if they could check inventory beforehand. This means that if you want to win over these customers, you need to make your inventory available online and ensure that it syncs with your offline catalog.

The only way to do that is through a retail management system that seamlessly connects your various sales channels.

Personalization is also an important factor when selling to Gen Z (or any generation for that matter). Shoppers today want to you to cater to their specific needs and preferences, and the only way to do that is to collect the right shopper data through a robust CRM.

Team up with influencers

As we mentioned earlier, Generation Z trust influencers more than traditional celebrities. Rather than teaming up with a celebrity to endorse your brand, you’ll find more success (and likely spend less) teaming up with influencers or even just real people whom your customers can look up to.

Here are some ideas:

Scouring the web – Use tools such as Alltop, Alexa, or even good old Google to search for bloggers in your niche. Sort through the websites, check out how authoritative or influential they are, and then take note of the ones you could approach.

Searching on social media – Use the native search features of Facebook and Twitter, or leverage a tool like Social Searcher to find mentions of your products or brand. Hashtags can also do the trick. Tiffany Willson, co-founder of home design app Roomhints says that they make use of hashtags to find influencers in their space. “Retailers can find the right influencers by searching relevant hashtags on Twitter. The key people within the industry will pop up.”

Look through your database – You may not have to look too far to find the key people you need. Customers who love your store would likely be more than happy to refer their friends or talk up your brand. Go through your database, find your best customers (Hint: these are your top-spenders and frequent shoppers) and see if they’re up for the task.

Once you find people who can help amplify your brand, get in touch and strike up an agreement on how you can work together.


Invest in corporate social responsibility

As we mentioned earlier, Gen Z consumers care a great deal about various social environmental issues. That’s why it pays to invest in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Depending on your business, there are a number of ways to do this.

Donating to charity – One idea is to donate a portion of your sales to charity. Find a charity or cause to support, then pledge to give something every time shoppers purchase something from you.

TOMS does this through its One for One® program, an initiative in which the company provides “shoes, sight, water, safe birth and bullying prevention services to people in need.”

GAP’s Give Twice program is another example. For every gift card sold, the retailer donates 2% of the purchase to organizations such as CARE or Communities in Schools.

Sourcing and producing your products responsibly – CSR can also mean being more conscious of how you source and produce your merchandise. Are you implementing human- and environment-friendly business practices? What about your suppliers or vendors?

If the answer is no, consider aligning yourself with suppliers or manufacturers who have the worlds’ common good in mind.

Consider Everlane, which only works with factories with integrity and values. “We visit them often, and build strong personal relationships with the owners,” says Everlane on its website. “This hands-on approach is the most effective way to ensure a factory’s integrity. As an added assurance we also require stringent workplace compliancy paperwork.”

Enable product customization

Gen Z shoppers love being part of the product development process, so be sure to seek their input when you’re trying to decide what merchandise to sell.

Or better yet, why not let them build the products themselves? If it makes sense for your business, see if you can enable your customers to build and customize their merchandise. Consider Build-a-Bear which specializes in stuffed animal customization.

Shoppers truly make a toy their own by choosing everything from the type of animal, to its clothes, accessories, and even sounds and scents.

Not selling items that can be “built” on the spot? Then let shoppers built collections of products instead. Birchbox does this really well through its “Build your own Birchbox” program.

While the company still says curated boxes, it also offers shoppers to literally create their own boxes. All they need to do is pick the box size they want then select product samples to put in it.

Your turn

Do you have a lot of Gen Z customers? How are you selling and marketing to them? Let us know by tweeting at us or dropping us a line of Facebook.

Retail Giveaway

Is there any area in your retail business that you need help with? Perhaps you need expert advice on improving your sales, marketing, or merchandising.

Whatever the case, we’ve got your back. Vend has teamed up with not one, not two, but THREE retail experts to bring you the ultimate retail giveaway! We’ve joined forces with retail anthropologists Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender, as well as RetailMinded founder Nicole Reyhle to give youa retail training bundle that can set you up for success.

We’re giving away exciting prize packages to 5 lucky retailers who need help taking their business to the next level.