Startup reseller, Virtual Graffiti, plans good growth after just a year

Small operation of two benefits from resourcing from US parent, and unique market proposition

Virtual Graffiti is a plucky startup reseller in Australia with solid backing from its US homebase, and some substantial growth plans.

The online reseller (which takes inspiration for its name from Led Zeppelin’s album, Physical Graffiti) is operated by a family team of two – Jonny Wahlhaus, and his father – and was set up on the basis of a family connection; the duo is related to the head of Virtual Graffiti in the US.

Wahlhaus, who had graduated university with a degree in commerce and accounting, said the process of getting the startup up and running and properly accredited had been a steep learning curve, but it was an investment that was necessary, as Virtual Graffiti wanted to differentiate itself from its competitors.

The company invests heavily in presales support for its vendors, building customised websites for each that it represents, and transacting as a representative of each vendor partner, rather than as Virtual Graffiti offering solutions.

Those websites also feature video demonstrations and other supplemental resources to help engage with customers.

As it has adopted a “stand back and let them come,” approach, its leads tend to be very high quality, Wahlhaus claimed. As such reseller can rely on a level of technical understanding already within the customer.

“Proactive marketing doesn’t suit our business model,” Wahlhaus said. “We rely on end-customers having some knowledge going in.

“We are different from box movers, however. We add a lot of value and experience when it comes to presales expertise, and as a result we have a strong relationship with the vendors.

Virtual Graffiti represents just over 80 vendors in the US, and has custom Web pages for all of those.

Wahlhaus plans to localise one of those a month in the local market, with the expectation (based on the trend with the US business) that 50 per cent of the webpages will be a success.

In addition, the company will look at appointing another one or two staff to work from Australia.

Virtual Graffiti also has access to technical resources from the 24 people-strong team in the US to back up its local operation.