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Hi, I'm Simon

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Simon Hampel, 29th Aug, 2016.

  1. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    24th Aug, 2016
    Posts:
    158
    Location:
    Sydney
    Hi there, welcome to BusinessChat.

    I'm Sim' (Sim' rhymes with time), aka Simon Hampel - the founder and administrator of this site.

    I have been in business since 2005 when I launched an IT consulting company to handle the side-gigs I was doing - mostly developing small websites for family and friends. When I was made redundant from my job in 2007 I decided to work on my consulting business full time and I still operate this business today - although in the past 18 months my focus has changed quite significantly.

    Since 2002 I have been operating online discussion communities - starting with helping Jan & Ian Somers re-launch the Somersoft Property Investment Forums. I was administrator of Somersoft from 2002 until it was archived in 2015, and took the site from being a small but passionate community and grew it into Australia's largest and most respected online community for property investors, with nearly 27,000 members and just shy of 1.3 million posts. I still maintain the Somersoft archives on behalf of Jan & Ian although the amount of work required now is minimal.

    With Somersoft being archived, I had the opportunity to launch a new site for that community to move to, so in June 2015 I launched a new business venture - PropertyChat. The growth has far vastly exceeded my expectations, going from zero to 5,600 members and 230,000 posts in the first 12 months, and the number of monthly users growing rapidly - exceeding 50,000 unique visitors per month by the end of the first 12 months of operation. The site generates revenue through a combination of membership upgrades - including business members (primarily service providers to property investors) who pay for the rights to promote their business on the site - as well as advertising, both display advertising and sponsorship advertising.

    In recent years, I've had numerous people ask me about starting a site similar to Somersoft or PropertyChat for Businesses - something I haven't really had time to put any thought into with all the work I've been doing on PropertyChat. Also I couldn't think what to call it.

    So when the opportunity came up (a week ago!) to acquire the businesschat.com.au domain name, I saw the possibility to reuse most of the work I've done over the past 14 months in creating PropertyChat, as the foundation for this new venture that I'm happy will serve us well moving forwards.

    While I have a lot of experience in operating online communities and websites and have been in business for over 15 years - I still consider myself to be a business novice and hope to learn a lot from the community I know we can build here.

    I employ an offshore admin assistant full time, who has worked for me for over 5 years now - and I will be looking to grow my team both onshore and offshore in the next few years as I ramp up my new business ventures.

    On a more personal note - I have been married for 22 years, and live with my wife and two kids (5yo and nearly 8yo) in Sydney. Once our youngest starts school next year, I hope to get my wife more involved in the day to day operations of my businesses. Not sure how well that's going to work though - will see how it goes :eek: :D
     
    Envious Solutions and larrylarry like this.
  2. RPI

    RPI Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    31st Aug, 2016
    Posts:
    74
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hi Sim

    Thanks for setting up a business forum. I have struggled to find anything that even comes close to Property Chat for business owners.

    I'm Darryl and am a Lawyer and Town Planner.

    www.certuslegal.com.au is the primary website for Certus Legal Group, of which I am a founder

    www.protownplanners.com.au is the primary website for PRO Town Planners of which I am also a founder

    I have had a large number of businesses of the last 20 years or so but my interest in business started in primary school. I used to start little venture to make money of my friends.
     
    Last edited: 4th Sep, 2016
    Property Twins and Simon Hampel like this.
  3. hobo

    hobo Member

    Joined:
    29th Aug, 2016
    Posts:
    8
    Location:
    FNQ
    @RPI Just FYI but your protownplanners link needs fixing.
     
  4. RPI

    RPI Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    31st Aug, 2016
    Posts:
    74
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Thank you