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Crazy John's: Turning a good idea into commercial success

Turning a good idea into commercial success

This Case Study profiles the hugely successful entrepreneurial approach which John Ilhan, the CEO and owner of Crazy John's, has taken to turning his idea of providing excellent customer service and advice at the best possible prices in the mobile phone market into a winning formula.

As a result of reading this Case Study, the student should be able to:

  • Understand that it makes good business sense to develop a unique selling point that differentiates one business from another 
  • Explain the significant role of the entrepreneur to Australia's economy and the importance of developing innovative business practices
  • Outline the strategies a business may use to build the business from a small operation to a major large-scale business. 


At 15 years of age, John Ilhan told his mother that he was going to have his own business, a Porsche and a house by the water.

The nature of the business

John Ilhan is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of Crazy John's mobile phones and services.

The role of the entrepreneur

John is an entrepreneur. The concept of entrepreneurship is about coming up with creative business ideas (often involving risk-taking) and then finding enough resources and opportunities to put these ideas into action.

Starting out - an idea, a vision

Entrepreneurs need a creative vision and should research their market to establish if there is a need for their idea.

Not so crazy - but certainly different

In a competitive marketplace, developing a unique selling point that differentiates your business from that of your competitors is a beneficial way to build a profitable and successful business.

Building the business - not all plain sailing

John started Crazy John's as a one-store operation, with $15,000 that he borrowed from his parents.

Where to next?

Crazy John's has plans for rapid, further expansion, by considering options like doubling the number of stores through licensing the name and products to selected franchisees who meet tight standards.


John Ilhan is an entrepreneur who started out with nothing.


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