Amidst a pandemic, when many small businesses feared an uncertain future, Jordan Davies kept a cool head and decided to open one – launching The Frozen Eskimo.
Combining his background in hospitality and his passion for ice skating, Jordan began selling commercial ice-making machines to restaurants, bars, grocery stores as well as the healthcare and construction industries.
Putting into action the strategies he was learning while studying a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at The University of Queensland (UQ), Jordan quickly realised he was on to something.
“Everybody needs ice cubes regardless of their industry. Healthcare, construction, fisherman, takeaway shops, restaurants or even just for your esky. It's a niche market, which is often underestimated and it's one that I capitalised on,” he says.
“Regularly buying ice is not sustainable for many businesses as it hurts their profit in the long run. The money they save on buying bags of ice will essentially pay off their ice machine.”
While hospitality took a huge hit from COVID-19, Jordan’s studies helped him operate a lean startup and hit the ground running without a lot of overheads.
“Since the pandemic, more than ever, people are looking to save a buck wherever they can. Investing in a commercial ice machine might seem like an initial investment but there are many other factors that will save you money in the long run.”
While Jordan’s primary business revolves around the supply of ice-making machines to all manner of venues, it’s also presented an introduction for him to supply fridges, grills, fryers and other preparatory appliances to interested clients.
As successful as The Frozen Eskimo has been in its short lifetime, it’s only the start of the journey for Jordan, who has his sights set on much broader and bolder ventures in the near future.
“People often associate entrepreneurship with the minority who have made millions, but the concept is more about a way of thinking, a way of life, and having something you can call your own,” he says.
“I love entrepreneurship because it’s a field where you can design your life the way you want it to be. It opens a lot of doors and you have a heap of fun along the way.
“From here, I can see myself becoming involved with more startups, having the confidence to deal with complex financing and expanding to take on more staff.
“In particular, creating my own product or idea is where I want to be.
“I’ve always wanted to make an impact on the world somehow, and part of the plan requires me to extend my abilities, which is why I chose to study entrepreneurship and innovation at UQ. Learning more from the program will propel me to a new level of operation – it’s already completely altered my perception of the business world.
“At UQ, I’ve learnt some valuable lessons about looking for a commercial opportunity where there are problems that require solutions, about how businesses compete and overtake each other, or protect their market share.
“But it’s the concept of market disruption that interests me the most. And I have to say, bouncing ideas off each other and listening to the way other creative-minded people approach challenges and concepts is another favourite aspect of mine.”
To gain an understanding of where Jordan gets his sense of spirit and determination from, you don’t have to look much further than his parents.
When Jordan was 8, his family relocated from New Zealand to Brisbane. His parents had to work hard for every opportunity. His mother juggled night shifts with studying nursing late in her 20s, while his father walked to work in the absence of a family car.
“For a while there, Dad was walking 15km to work each day, because his plumbing job was on the other side of the river and he couldn’t get a bus,” Jordan recalls.
“These days, my father has his own plumbing business, so I got to witness first-hand his journey as an entrepreneur.”
Futureproof your career and steer it in your chosen direction by applying for the Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation or Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UQ.