Barry Bull has fast become one of the country's top business speakers where his energetic presentations share the experience of his remarkable journey. Musician, record company executive, multi-award winning retailer, writer and record label owner, Barry is will inspire you with entertaining tales of his incredible journey through retail and beyond.
It’s not every day that people get to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. But for Barry Bull, working with celebrities is like a walk in the park.
Barry is a respected and highly awarded businessman in his own right. According to The Today Show’s Richard Wilkins, he is ‘an absolute to legend in the Australian music industry’.
Barry Bull’s career began in music retailing in 1960. After hours he would strap on his guitar and play on Brisbane’s booming band circuit with his band The Counts. Barry was recruited by a record company (CBS Records - Sony Music) and rose through the ranks to become National Marketing chief through the seventies. In 1981, after ‘giving rock ‘n roll the best years of his life’, he returned to Brisbane with the ambition to shape his own destiny. It was then that he acquired Toombul Music.
Over the years, Toombul Music has won over thirty Westfield retail awards, including the prestigious National Individual Specialty Retailer Award three times. In1997 was an inaugural inductee into the Westfield Hall of Fame in recognition of outstanding retail achievement. In 2001 Barry was presented with a Westfield Legend Award, and in 2003 was honoured with a Commonwealth Centenary Medal, for distinguished achievement in business. In 2006/7 the awards kept coming, this time for excellence in a newly formed division of the company Electronic Interiors, specialising in home cinema technology.
Its Barry’s innovative marketing techniques however, for which he is best known and he enticed superstars from around the world, including Sir Cliff Richard, Michael Crawford, John Denver, Olivia Newton John, The Corrs, Ronan Keating, The Veronicas, John Farnham, and dozens more, to participate in promotions at his store in Brisbane.
By 2008 however with the impact of Internet downloading, the winds of change were blowing for the music industry. Traditions needed to change, so he closed his business at Toombul and the now successfully established Electronic Interiors division was relocated to a more suitable location and the traditional music division was transferred to an online business, both now independently owned by his two sons.
This allowed Barry to move on and pursue personal projects that leveraged off his experience and reputation. He is now one of an elite group of conference speakers and ‘No is Negotiable’ is his most renowned trademark. His energetic presentations are humorous, practical and share the experience of a remarkable journey, told in an entertaining and memorable style with serious messages. But it’s his famous interviews with Sir Cliff Richard, Michael Crawford and Slim Dusty that wow audiences around Australasia.
Barry is an author of three successful business books the newest of which The Bullseye Principle, is the topic of his latest business presentations. He has started his own record label BBMusic compiling his favourite songs on a series of CD’s called “Music for Cruizin’, targeting the boomers on the road, listening to the music that speaks to their generation. The first two double albums are released now through Sony Music with more on the way. And so The Bullseye Principle begins again…
Years of experience with retailers, and businesses large and small, have given Barry an insight into what makes a successful retailer and business. “Today business has to have a genuine appreciation of their customers’ needs and feelings. Everyone in the organisation should be a salesperson creating an environment that is friendly, helpful and regularly exceeds customer’s expectations."
Barry is a hands-on operator and a great believer in leading from the front and keeping in touch with his customers needs, a practice he attributes to his success in modern retailing.
He talks not as a professional speaker, but as a successful small businessman. He has only one store but his reputation is known throughout retailing.
Barry as a speaker is never dull, often controversial, his presentations are peppered with humorous anecdotes and the reality of successful business at the “sharp-end".
- One of Australia’s most recognised award winning specialty retailers
- His business has won more Westfield specialty retail awards than any other Australian retailer
- He was the first retailer to be inducted into the Westfield Hall of Fame for retail excellence
- He has presented more celebrity entertainers at his store than any other Australian retailer
- Barry is one of Australia’s most respected business speakers
- Continually reinvents himself and his business to remain relevant to changing times and customer needs.
- He is the author of three business handbooks and a CD
- He is renowned for his trademark statement - "No is Negotiable"
With over 500 professional presentations to his credit, Barry is a hit with audiences of all backgrounds because his story is of a hands on operator leading from the front, not telling them how to do it, but how he does it.
A story of how he built a small suburban music business into a national icon, by winning countless awards and attracting international superstars to his business, only to dismantle it and reinvent himself when times of change beckoned.
But it's more than a business presentation. It's an inspirational story of discovering your passion in life, and taking the bull by the horns and going for it. It targets breakfast and dinner audiences as well as conference keynotes where inspiration is the outcome.
• Taking the Bull by the Horns
• Create-a-Bull: Create, don't compete innovate, don't imitate.
• Irreplace-a-Bull: In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.
• Negoti-a-Bull: :"No is negotiable".
• Love-a-Bull: Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
“What a sensational presentation"
Micro Marketing Group
“Barry Bull is outstandin. I’ve come away with dozens of ideas to apply to my business".
QLD State Development Corp
“I wanted a speaker who had done real things, not just someone who could talk well. You were the answer to my prayers and totally exceeded my expectations."
“Barry, you inspired them and showed them all that, yes – success is achievable. Barry, you are so passionate about what you do and I think that is so great. Your presentation style was exciting, enthralling and you made everyone in the room feel like you were talking only to them."
Cairns Region Group Training
“Barry Bull delivers information as life experience that excites and motivates all who attend his presentations."
Channel 9 Queensland
“The best motivational speaker we’ve had in years. Great Messages, well presented, His experience, relevance and energy were perfect for our own retail problems.
“Both addresses were an inspiration to delegates and it is far easier to accept thoughts and suggestions from a fellow retailer rather than a theorist."
Hammer Hardware Ltd NZ
“Barry Bull addressed our audience with energy and communicated with a naturalness and enthusiasm that was contagious! Our audience left his address feeling invigorated and with a fresh enthusiasm for pursuing their own goals and achieving business success."
Maroochy Shire Council
“Barry did an excellent job in emphasising the importance of creating a point of difference through innovative and exciting concepts and marketing campaigns."
AMF Bowling Centres Australia
“Unlike many speakers who just have ‘theories’ on improving business, your address had real impact with our delegates because you work ‘at the coalface’ every day and have actually created and maintained an award winning enterprise for many years."
“We chose you because you are a retail practitioner with significant credibility. Our franchisees were very impressed by your presentation.
Jamaica Blue Fine Coffees
“You speak about subjects and everyday situations that we all come across and can relate too. We had a great laugh at your sense of humour and walked away feeling full of new and great ideas and ready to concur the world once again."
Movies 4 U
“Excellent. Barry was fantastic in the pre-planning, delivering of speech and the follow-up. Pleasure to work with."
“Barry is one of retails top practitioners and his presentation was relevant, entertaining and well communicated, a highlight of our conference."
Nextra Megabooks Group
“The presentation was exceedingly well received by the audience. Your sense of humour and ‘real life’ anecdotes about your achievements and frustration’s as a small retailer clearly identified you to the audience as ‘one of us’ and this was a powerful credibility factor in capturing their attention. Your presentation is a must for small businesses or any other business or body which seeks to be successful as a niche operator in a very competitive market."
Australian Retailers Association
“Excellent. Outstanding presentation, customised and relevant to the audience, informative, entertaining and motivational session ideally suited to retail conferences/seminars."
“Your talk was highly informative whilst also being very entertaining. It related directly to retail and ‘small business’ which draws many similarities to our business."
“Excellent. Barry was perfect for our audience. He was entertaining and informative, imparting many great suggestions. Importantly, he impressed upon our group the importance of remaining motivated and persistent."
“Barry provided a lighthearted and entertaining break to a day full of heavy sessions. He was very well received by our audience."
“Great message well delivered."
“Great keynote, really struck a chord with our audience."
John Danks & Sons
“Over more than 20 years Barry Bull has built one of the great Austrlian small business success stories- a standout among Westfield’s 7000 odd retailers in Australia. His passion for the product, and his willingness to look, listen and change where necessary, are the hallmarks of his business model. Budding retailers and old hands alike will benefit greatly from his experience."
Steven Lowy, Westfield.
“Today's media don't always appreciate Adult Contemporary music; they're often focused on the youth audience alone. So with limited airplay, artists like myself support selective retail events such as personal instore appearances to strengthen the exposure of our music. Seasoned music retailers like Barry understand this, and are essential to the long term connection of my music to the fans."
“Barry Bull is someone who inspires everyone around him. He is a man of passion and drive and it is always a pleasure for me to do an in-store appearance for him. The dedicated efforts of retailers, such as Barry, certainly play a big part in the successful promotion of country music artists and their products. Many happy campfires and good luck always, Barry, from your mate."
“They don’t make ‘em like you anymore! I wish everyone had your drive and talent. Thanks again for working so hard – it was amazing! See you soon – Harry."
Harry Connick JR
“Whenever I tour Australia, I can depend on Barry Bull and all at Toombul Music to support me with the very best promotional initiatives. Dedicated retailers such as Barry are key to our business – I’m grateful to him and not at all surprised by his success!"
Sir Cliff Richard
“There’s not many people in this country that do what Barry does. You’ve only got to walk into Toombul Music to know about him and to know here’s a guy who not only knows about how to market, but the abundance of life that you feel around him...you just want to come back for him."