Yarren: I left school, I did my apprenticeship, I started out doing a little maintenance role, and then ended up working in Sydney at Fox Studio. A few other places doing a lot of film set work. I’ve had a fair bit of experience with some commercial stuff and a lot of more high-end one-off sort of architect builds and jobs like that, that we used to fit in in between the film industry work. And I’ve always had my own business. Sometimes I’d subcontract to other guys, but most the time, they were my projects and I was managing the jobs and the subbies and, yeah, sorting everything out.
I started thinking about a franchise or looking for another opportunity when I just wanted to start getting off the tools and get away from being in such a labor-intensive role. We looked at a couple of other franchises but we didn’t really shop around that much and we just felt like it was the right fit, just seemed like the right way to go.
I found that Stroud kind of offered the kind of builds that I was interested in. There was the quality in the finished product and the customer satisfaction, which is, I guess, the biggest thing for me is making sure the clients end up happy. I’m not interested in just smashing out some rubbish that people aren’t gonna wanna live in. Had a meeting with James and we just went through the whole process and talked about what would be expected from both sides of the agreement. And we came to a decision to move forward from there, I guess. So 18 months now, we’ve been cracking along.
I think it’s been hectic, you’ve gotta be willing to get in and have a go. But it’s definitely opened up a lot of opportunities. I think in the next sort of 12 months, we can expect to be stepping back from the business a little bit and spending time with the family more and doing a lot more stuff that we probably would have struggled to do in the past.
I don’t spend any time on the tools anymore, I’m just basically a management role. We’ve just started a salesperson, she’s doing really well. We feel a bit more stable, we know what’s gonna happen each month, where we’re at with numbers financially and stuff like that. I wouldn’t tell anyone it’s gonna be an easy journey, but it will be. I feel it will be a worthwhile one, you’re gonna have dramas, issues happen, that’s building, but there’s always a way to deal with them. Having the group so accessible, we all talk to each other. There’s a couple of guys I lean on quite a bit. And having that resource just makes you feel like you can pretty much solve every problem.
I’m looking to probably expand our staffing a little bit and get to a point where I’m working on the business more than in it… We started out quite well. We got three or four sales in our first couple of months, which was really good for us. The branding has helped a lot with that. Luckily, we were…even though I lived in Coffs, I wasn’t known at all. So we were the new kid in town. And we seem to have found our hold in the market quite quickly, so we’re pretty happy with that.