He was up early, out the door before the kids and I were up, so they didn’t see him in the morning. He would be off doing quotes after hours, so in the afternoons he’d be out meeting with people, going to houses, traveling all the way around Brisbane and Gold Coast to different sites. And weekends, doing quotes, as well. Sundays we get a bit of time together, but yeah, generally it was pretty hectic. So working full-time and trying to run a small business, chasing jobs all the time. Yeah, it was busy.
So we looked at different franchises in the past, we’ve looked at different franchise opportunities in different industries, different opportunities. So owning a franchise has always been something that we found appealing, just because you got that support there. So when we found, or when Nathan found the advertisement for the Stroud Homes franchise starting up, he saw it as an excellent opportunity to be the first of something. To get in it grass roots, to get in as the first franchise was an excellent opportunity.
So he, unbeknownst to me, did all of the research and looked into it and really did his homework on James and his business. And then once Nathan had decided that it was worth going the next step, I met with James and found out more about it myself and heard James’ story. And just that it was so similar to ours, young family working on the tools, breaking your back every day to find work, exhausting. You don’t want to be 50 years old working on the tools. I’m sure there’s plenty of people that do it, but it’s not necessarily the goal that we had. And then to hear James’ story of him coming from that lifestyle to where he was at six, seven years after really made it achievable. It just really hit home that if he could do it, we can do it.
It was busy, it was busy. He was out meeting with a lot of people and building the display home. When we started getting those sales in the first three months, it really started to get exciting, really started to get to the point where you could say, “This is going to work, this is going to happen.” It was daunting for the first couple, before we got those first sales. That fear, I guess, that, “Oh, are we doing the right thing?” As soon as those contracts were signed and every one that’s followed since has just been really… the sense of achievement and excitement that, “This is going to work, this is going to be a success, we’re going to be a success.” The company model, the systems that are in place, it’s worked, it’s working. And yeah, it’s really exciting.
So six months, or it was about five months into the franchise we opened the display home here at Pimpama (and now a display home in Coomera). And at that point at our opening it was really, really evident to both of us that I needed to be involved and I needed to know more about what was going on in the business and know more about how it ran and to give Nathan a bit of a hand with the books and the accounts and just the general day-to-day running of the administration side of things. So yeah, we made the decision to finish up, for me to finish up at work, which it was a big decision but it was also the right decision to make for the family, as well.
It’s been awesome to not have to get up and drive in the traffic an hour to get to work, and race the kids around to before school care and after school care, and to be at their school events, and to pick them up from school every day has been fantastic. And to actually know and be a part of what’s going on with our business has been, yeah, really good, really good.
Okay, so having us both working in the business has allowed us to make decisions better, more informed decisions and to discuss ideas with each other. We’re both on the same page, we both know where we want to be, we both know where we want the business to be.
For Nathan, has meant that he can spend more time away from the business. He doesn’t have the responsibilities, the things that I’m doing now he doesn’t have to do. So it’s giving him more time. It’s meant he doesn’t have to focus on paying bills, he doesn’t have to worry about the accounting side of things, he doesn’t have to worry about shouldering all of the decision making. We do it together, we discuss the big decisions together. So I think he really appreciates me being with him most days, some days not. Some days not.
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