Hitting $250K Revenue In 5 Months With No Marketing Budget

Published: September 23rd, 2023
David Phillips
Iconic Productions
from Sydney NSW, Australia
started February 2023
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

My name is David Phillips. I am a joint partner in Iconic Productions Pvt Limited being the junior partner to the mastermind and brainchild of the company Mr. Steve B. Iconic Productions is a company with over 30 years of experience and entrepreneurship across a vast array of business successes and includes the innovation “Iconic Production Runners One-TO-One “OTO” Delivery Service”.

The idea behind Iconic Productions was to tell the story of those who were not able to, and expand every business’ capacity to reach out to their customers in a Hollywood Style Premiere manner improving the business’ awareness, sales, and customer loyalty.

We provide a top-notch delivery service to everyone and anyone across the whole of Australia. Whether being an individual or a business our delivery services ensure the customer will always receive the best in punctuality, reliability, consistency, care, and efficiency.

Iconic Productions has always prided itself on being leaders and pioneers. Our commitment to customer service is unparalleled. With Iconic the customer always comes first.

The business is thriving from strength to strength as more people hear about our One-TO-One Service. We began offering this service at the beginning of April 2023 and, despite extremely limited resources we are currently on target to hit 250k for 5 months in operation.

A remarkable feat for a new venture with no marketing budget. That is the power of StoryTelling. Word of Mouth brings loyal fans and that only adds to the compelling results we are achieving.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I started off with Iconic Productions in a completely different division involved in entertainment. Luckily for me, one of the prime talents needed with this great company is the ability to be creative and adapt instantly to the ever-changing demands of this diverse and challenging world.

With my mentor Steve B at the helm, you never know what tomorrow may bring. One must always be ready to adapt, especially when times get tough, and so when the opportunity arose to add both being an A-class chauffeur driver as well as a premier production runner to my resume, I grasped it with open arms. This gave me the perfect combination for when Steve B. said to me, David I have a new idea…

One of the big challenges of being a successful entrepreneur is to never rest on one’s laurels and to always be searching for innovations. When Steve B and I hit the road again, post covid - it became very clear that the home delivery industry was a reality and is here to stay.

It also became clear that the general service levels for delivery were leaving a lot to be desired. Bad service stems from poor time management brought on by the huge pressure contractors found themselves in while trying to make ends meet resulting in items being left in unsafe and open places.

Moreover, as technology continues to rule people's lifestyles, the human touch has disappeared. “Almost!” Steve B saw the necessity of bringing this back in the simple principle of business success. Valuing the customer first instead of servicing the needs of the customer is the way to revolutionize the delivery industry and that is how the idea was born.

The time has never been more ripe for the delivery industry which is about to explode! Home delivery is now a complete reality of the world we live in and the way of the future. Riding the wave of the future and being a part of this game-changing logistics industry was perfect as the pandemic reshaped the way we live, shop, and do business, and one thing is crystal clear: the world needs efficient, reliable, and innovative delivery services now more than ever.

With the explosive growth of online shopping, the demand for convenient and speedy delivery services has skyrocketed. From the comfort of their homes, people are ordering everything from groceries to gadgets, fashion to furniture – and they want it all delivered right to their doorstep.

I knew, in speaking, researching, and observing the deliveries across many sectors that this was a monumental shift and that Steve B was right on to seize the opportunity to be at the forefront of this revolution with the One-To-One Delivery Service.

Was there an “aha” moment?

Yes, when Steve B said to me “Let’s revolutionize the delivery industry”.

How was this different from other business ideas you had?

For someone whose background has been in marketing, finance, and entertainment this represented a huge challenge in such a new direction.

The biggest difference for me was the alteration of responsibility. In finance, people would come to me looking to borrow money whereas doing the deliveries the responsibility of handing items to regular customers in perfect condition laid upon me.

In addition to this, it was the dealing with actual situations where multiple people are involved from the Store’s staff to the customers. It was much more hands-on than my days of marketing research where I was sitting behind a desk planning, analyzing data, and writing reports.

From my work in the entertainment industry, so much time can be spent on rehearsing and preparing for that big performance day whereas with OTO every moment on a delivery run is a live moment and you can’t mess up as you are performing live every moment of every day.

It’s not as if it is a new idea or a new trend. Delivery has been around for ages so the key was to find a new game-changing strategy, especially in the post-pandemic world, and to harness and exploit it all for the benefit of the customer. The biggest difference was in unveiling the Winning Formula! Lightning-Fast Deliveries.

In today's fast-paced world, speed is the name of the game. Steve B and Iconic Productions use today’s technology mixed with years of human evolution and pledges to deliver every order faster than a shooting star, ensuring smiles on the faces of customers without ever a delay.

The One-TO-One (OTO) delivery service has a uniquely designed process that ensures every delivery is delivered on time, every time, and when the customer is available.

There are so many other differences that only add to the Powerhouse that this is about. For instance, the Personalized Experience. We understand that each delivery is unique. With our cutting-edge technology, our service can offer personalized delivery options, from same-day delivery to preferred time slots, making every customer feel like a VIP.

And then there is the Safety First aspect. Health and safety have become top priorities. The One-TO-One (OTO) service has the highest safety standards, making sure everyone involved in the delivery process stays protected.

The Seamless Integration of whether you're a small business or an individual enhances the One-TO-One (OTO) service which seamlessly integrates with existing systems, making the transition smoother than ever and one of the few 24/7 Human Based Support Departments.

There is no IVS phone system or AI-based recordings. Iconic Productions' dedicated support team is always ready to assist customers. Say goodbye to sleepless nights worrying about logistics hiccups!

I hold a business degree with a major in marketing where I achieved a High Distinction in Logistics and where I first began to learn about the dynamism and challenges of the fascinating delivery transport world.

After harnessing my business skills across several countries including being at the helm of IT sales under the employment of Mr. Bill Gates with Microsoft Singapore, my passion to be a filmmaker and an actor, allowed me to add script writing skills and characterization to my resume.

Steve B holds multiple Degrees, Diplomas, and Certifications in Business Management, Education, Teaching, Psychology, Drama, and Performing Arts and is well and truly a citizen of the world. Having rubbed shoulders with some of the true greats such as Robin Williams and Sam Worthington, Steve is just as much at home sharing his great knowledge with the average person on the street and he loves nothing more than empowering those around him with his wealth of knowledge.

He has built Iconic Productions up from nothing to the corporate success it is today with over 27 departments and divisions worldwide from Sydney to London and Los Angeles.

The beauty of this venture is its simplicity. The products are already there with whatever needs to be delivered. The key is the quality of service we provide with the One-to-One delivery service that sets us apart. An idea destined for glory.

The potential for growth in a world where doorstep deliveries have become the norm was measured by the swift delivery trial which offered our customers an incredible chance to tap into this lucrative idea.

As businesses big and small flocked to provide delivery services to their customers, the question was: Will they, could they be ahead of the curve or playing catch-up? Using our trials, we showed hundreds of businesses that not only were they able to revolutionize the experience for their customer, but their customers were returning because of the fast and reliable service.

Whilst being financially comfortable at present I firmly believe that one should never rest on their laurels. When you couple the simplicity of this plan with Iconic Productions' proven business acumen, the sky’s the limit!

We understand that timely delivery is essential for businesses and individuals alike and that having a team of highly skilled and professional people dedicated to ensuring the customer packages are delivered on time and in excellent condition is the key to success. It’s that simple! This has become the career goal of a Global Playground allowing me to Reach New Horizons!

In this digital age, borders are just lines on a map, and being part of the financial wealth and career aspirations empowers me to expand my reach globally, breaking down geographical barriers and connecting me with customers around the vast country of Australia. Whether I am delivering local delicacies or handmade crafts, the world has become my oyster with Iconic Production’s One-TO-One (OTO) delivery service.

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

It began in the early months of 2022 when we called it “Flood the market”. This was a one-on-one approach with individual businesses. There was some interest over the phone, however, nothing eventuated.

A calendar scheduling technology was implemented, and a more humble approach to listening to people’s needs began. I embarked on being a contractor to multiple delivery service platforms and over quite a few months, I documented all the issues that customers were telling me.

Deliveries were recorded and analyzed. Sophisticated software was developed to improve speed and accuracy. Codes were implemented to revolutionize communication and multiple Scripts were written and rehearsed to find what works the best for the emotional experience that would make the One-TO-One (OTO) delivery service a Success Story.

From here landing pages and websites were implemented with specific online forms to accurately schedule deliveries. After trialing 4 different programs Iconic Productions came up with the One-TO-One (OTO) delivery service that does everything from logistics, scheduling, delivery, and the touch of Human Interaction.

The success story began here with the acronym OTO. This simple yet moving mechanical digital system now allows the customer to not just be a spectator, but a participant, turning us into being a pioneer in revolutionizing the process.

Essentially there is one concept as a product. “OTO”. We know how frustrating it can be to wait endlessly for your delivery. With OTO the customer books, is given a specific time of arrival and the item is on its way. No other delivery comes in between the first customer once they make the booking.

This embarks the journey of innovation as since no other delivery comes before the first customer, that means all deliveries are first. There is no other process out there that can do this. Guaranteed!

When we embarked on this new delivery product we encountered a variety of problems that were interlaced with their issues that needed a lot of trial and error. Our first first few weeks were littered with problems. Here are only a few of the many that we experienced with the current delivery platforms and services that we were looking at revolutionizing.

On our first two days with the new company, all our deliveries were delayed with several cancellations. As a result, people reported back that we were bad and had used unreliable people to deliver. We trialed a two-man delivery team with one single delivery line to see where the issues were in delivering the items.

There was a blackout due to a large storm in the North Shore area of Sydney and, as we were only running a simple navigation trip system at the time, it meant we no longer had any access to the details of the pickup and drop-off points.

To solve this issue, we introduced a 5-point ball-point system to list the jobs as they came through for backup. We coded 5 different programs to see which worked well and balanced this with a simple manual ballpoint paper trail.

We experienced major failures in properly taking Proof of Delivery photos. In addressing this we created a strict 5-step policy that we now use which requires a supervisory approval system that has avoided previous issues.

There was very little communication and human interaction occurring between us and the customers, and this led to people thinking we were scammers. To address this we inputted a “shortcut codes” system which we used to increase our effectiveness and a direct phone line system (without the use of phantom numbers) for customers to know who was calling offering them peace of mind.

To this, we added simple scripts written in an easy-to-understand format for all persons regardless of their level of English comprehension which were rehearsed and trialed to see which one gave the best emotional experience.

Then there was the high cost of fuel. To counter this harsh reality, hybrid vehicles were leased out, cutting fuel costs by over 90% per week.

Very early on we found that certain stores were showing poor standards of responsibility and even today some will still request and expect delivery drivers to complete the packaging of an order by grabbing and packaging the purchased items. On one occasion when the driver correctly questioned the details of a grocery order they were told “If you are not happy you can cancel the order”.

On a third occasion, an over eager store employee touched the delivery app on the driver's mobile to “start” the delivery.

Such experiences can be unpleasant and volatile. It is a result of inexperience and pressure on untrained staff members. Doing instant debriefs with the team supervisors when such incidents occur has eliminated ongoing issues. We came up with a series of simple “on the spot” scripts based on the types of situations that may arise.

A delivery person by law cannot touch any parts of the food that has been prepared by the store. Knowing this information, putting it into a courteous and professional 2 line script, and politely advising this when needed avoids potential conflict. We have found this to be the case and since inputting this system it has seldom occurred.

Some customers were proving impatient at times refusing to allow a proof of delivery photo to be taken on delivery. On occasion, a customer refused to show ID even though the order description clearly stated that the person’s ID needed to be sighted.

The error made here was that I handed the order over to the customer first, assuming they would then let me take the photo. In nailing the formula we inputted a procedure that must always be followed without showing any disrespect to the customer.

If the instruction “Take Photo” is on the job app, then the customer is advised of this before delivery. Since inputting this method the experiences we encountered earlier with customers have ceased.

Following the correct directions is a simple and vital part of the process. The wrong direction can be taken and this can result in precious time being lost, as was the case once when I believed I had taken the correct route in following the drop off pinpoint on Google Maps.

Valuable time was lost on this delivery. On a separate occasion, a customer had simply given their apartment number and address but no instructions on how to reach the block or that their unit was 3 floors up.

Whilst Google Maps is a wonderful and necessary resource it is not 100% accurate and it can freeze and be subject to poor internet connections. We inputted a system whereby the driver of our manpower team always ensures to get within our unique precision measurement tool of the drop-off point. This created a gateway location accuracy for the person responsible for the delivery knowing that they should reach the drop-off location within 1 minute.

Our precision measurement tools improved the efficiency of arriving at the delivery location and handing it over to the recipient in under 5 minutes. This introduced function is known as our Maximum Delivery Sequence. It maximizes the experience for the customer in that no one is waiting for their delivery at any point of the delivery cycle.

Sometimes the delivery app crashed, froze, or provided very limited information to the delivery driver. There were multiple issues where the delivery drop-off address or the details of the order were not available or poorly written. Many customers felt that our phone calls were a scam. So a perfectly scripted user-friendly call with specific words improved the customer's experience and comfort when such issues arose.

After so many of these similar experiences, it was a simple matter of using our skills over the years in producing films, events, and shorts with final drafting to new and existing scripts to improve the human interaction and experience the customer receives. By formulating formal introductions and communication flowcharts, we have found our unique and one-of-a-kind systematic approach has worked consistently and improved the satisfaction levels of businesses and customers since we began our OTO delivery service.

No business is the same with their challenges. Remembering the basics has been key to our quick success.

Describe the process of launching the business.

For this venture, it would be fair to say that we went for a soft launch. Iconic Productions had many years of experience doing production runs, so emerging in the post-COVID period, we re-established ourselves as one of the premier delivery companies within the state of New South Wales and nationwide.

An entire series of cold calls commenced, going door to door and getting as much raw feedback as we could on our idea. Deliveries are now a part of our lifestyle, more so than ever before and we firmly believe that talking directly to the person on the street, from the shop owner to the customer waiting for their delivery, is the best way to get raw and invaluable feedback.

Then we followed this up with informative flyer drops. Advising potential customers and businesses of our service and how they can take advantage. It is fair to say that we saw immediate results (we had our first customer within 24 hours!)

I wish I could take credit for our website but that lies in the hands of our trusted in-house web designer. It was a simple case of taking all our feedback and research and molding that into a user-friendly interface. In listening to the public we decided to implement a landing page that introduces the One-TO-One (OTO) delivery service and also provides links to a more detailed information page by tagging it onto the existing Iconic Productions website under “Deliveries & Runs”

Customers now can browse, seek quotes, book appointments as they wish, and are able a scheduling calendar that suits their own needs.

At present, “Iconic Deliveries” is being financed and subsidized by the parent company of Iconic business entities. At our current momentum, we expect to break even within months if not weeks. Biggest lesson learned? It doesn't happen overnight, but you will never know if you don’t start.

So many of us give up as soon as we encounter the first obstacle. In truth, this is when the journey begins. To be an entrepreneur you cannot be a quitter.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

To begin I have one simple statement on which we base our success “Back to the basics”. Iconic Productions has always prided itself on quality of service and the customer experience.

Sadly we also believe that this is a dying commodity. Consider a simple delivery today To begin you place the order online or on a smartphone App. The order is then placed with any available delivery person for collection, not taking into account their delivery management, whether they have been trained to use the technology, precision of accuracy, knowledge of the local area, or quality assurance to name a few.

The delivery person arrives at the store to collect the order and then proceeds to the recipient’s address. There are no systems in place for proper collection or accuracy of the items. The majority of the delivery is done through artificial intelligence and the delivery driver has no necessity to be or take responsibility for the goods to be delivered.

No matter how advanced technology becomes, it can't match the ability of a professionally and properly trained human to adapt and problem-solve in real-time. Whether it's finding an alternative delivery location or addressing unforeseen issues, having delivery personnel who can make on-the-spot decisions ensures that challenges are met with solutions, leaving customers delighted rather than frustrated.

Incorporating human interaction and precision into the delivery service is what we found to be the strongest strategic move that aligns with the evolving needs and desires of customers in a digital world. It transforms the delivery service from a transactional exchange to a meaningful experience, ultimately driving customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth, and sustained business growth.

The One-TO-One (OTO) delivery service we have implemented is such a simple yet very sophisticated tool and technique. There is human interaction from the very beginning and even before the pickup is established. While the advanced technology works in the background, for precise delivery time management the human relationship and interaction does not end.

It is this personal touch that has made Iconic so successful in the past and that has given us a leading edge as we embark on this new venture in a highly competitive industry.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

The future looks bright as we watch our customer base grow, however, we must always be aware of the volatile and very price-sensitive market we are in and never lose sight of that competitive edge that gives us our advantage over our competitors.

We don’t just deliver. We constantly communicate and listen to our customers and are ready to meet new demands in this ever-changing and diverse world we live in today.

At present, as this is still a relatively new venture we remain quite focused on the local and statewide markets of Sydney and NSW. Naturally, we intend to expand our resources as demand grows nationwide.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

I made a great decision the day I decided to join Iconic Productions and I have not looked back since. Part of the challenge of being an entrepreneur is the risk of not always making the right decision.

The wrong decision may not always be a poor decision but what is important is to always ensure you learn from a wrong decision and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Placing Pizza deliveries vertically instead of horizontally? I won’t even go there!

It is somewhat ironic that such a huge force that was out of all our control such as Covid 19 has played such a major part in enabling the creation of this new venture but then that in itself is one of the basics of success. To create your luck and be ready to action the plan instantly.

No business is the same with their challenges. Remembering the basics has been key to our quick success. When starting up a new venture in such an established known industry we have had to return to the actual core of what is being offered, why, and how it can be improved.

Believing that the system is right or “it is what it is'' is cause for failure. Responsibility in owning what you are doing is vital here. It is easy to be blindsided by current events. The factor of responsibility removes you from being stubborn in what you feel or think you know and opens your eyes to the necessity of treating your skills, techniques, and ideas like a bar of gold. Never assume or get complacent.

That has been paramount in my learning. Doing the opposite is when errors occur. Staying focused on the protocols, not taking shortcuts or rushing makes sure all the aspects are in place for setting opportunities that will allow the business to succeed. These are simple principles for business success.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Iconic Productions and Iconic Deliveries use all the current popular social media sites. While there are many 3rd party tools in the market, Iconic Productions strives to develop our in-house tools to keep it unique to being Iconic.

All our shipping tools, fulfillment, email, and review tools are built in-house specific to the needs of our company and our specific customers.

We have our own CRM and our own ERM. The one tool that we do use, that has been a great productivity service is Aweber. It handles all our email campaigns and landing pages.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Robert De Niro in the Blockbuster Taxi Driver is my all-time favourite influential resource. De Niro has that incredible ability to make any character look so normal and human. When I saw Robert de Niro in “Taxi Driver” was the day I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. His performance oozed awesome simplicity that turns a simple person into a virtuoso hero and I thrived on that level of resilience.

It changed my life and how I look at the world and business. Using the manners of Robert De Niro’s character I achieved this feat to be legendary in my business dealings. Robert de Niro’s method of acting approach showed me that great actors don’t act, they become. This is a similar approach I have had as a successful businessman and entrepreneur., De Niro has always surrounded himself with the best.

In “Taxi Driver” he had the ultimate cinematic partnership with the director Martin Scorcese at the helm. And I have had the same encounter together with Steve B and Iconic Productions that has made my life and career experience unforgettable.

Another major influence in my life was the Movie Scarecrow, played by Gene Hackman. His order of coffee arrives and Gene Hackman's character treats it like he has just been handed a gold bar. I use that same principle in creating everything I am handed to do as well.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Times have changed but the basic principles of business success have not. “Life is a journey, not a destination”. My mother told me these words at a very young age and it has remained true to this day. Such is the journey of the entrepreneur. You never reach your destination. Every day is a journey, a challenge.

To me one of the most important factors is perseverance. Never give up. So many of us have dreams. So many of us have great ideas. And so many of us give up as soon as we encounter the first obstacle. In truth, this is when the journey begins. To be an entrepreneur you cannot be a quitter.

Whatever your vision is, you must stick with it. Learn from your mistakes and going forward, ensure you do not make the same mistakes again. Look to surround yourself with great people. True greatness comes from being great! It’s not rocket science.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

When it comes to manpower no one comes close to being able to house creative experts over 27 departments across the globe. Our Crew, and our workers, are highly skilled experts in their field and are trained to the Iconic Standard which exceeds industry standards.

More importantly, our crew are never late and that is our guarantee. The way we reached this level is by always hiring and never saying! We are always looking out for the next Iconic person and that could be you.

For those of you who are Iconic in what you do, think, and are and would like to enroll, subscribe, or audition to be part of Iconic Productions manpower, then take that giant leap and complete our audition application form.

Where can we go to learn more?


If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!