Matt: Previous to starting with Stroud, my main experience was becoming a tradesman.
John: I’ve been in the building and construction industry now for over 20 years.
Joel: Previous to Stroud Homes, my whole experience was working for other builders.
Yarren: I left school, I did my apprenticeship, I started out doing a little maintenance role.
Travis: After I completed my apprenticeship and my builders course, I went out and did some renovations and extensions.
Peter: Started my trade as an apprentice carpenter. And then I did site management for a few years for a big coastal company.
Travis: I was looking around for a challenge, a different opportunity. That led me into looking at franchises and building opportunities.
Peter: I could only make so much money. And I was really struggling, building for other builders that just didn’t care about quality. So I decided that I wanted to do it myself, setting up a building company on my own. And by the time I started looking at developing plans, getting all the systems in place, trying to figure out what systems work together, I found it really expensive and really hard. So I decided to find a building franchise opportunity instead.
Joel: The thing that got me across the line was, one, the quality, two, the fact that Stroud Homes allows you to be your own builder, you can still build custom homes, you can put your own flavor on what you’re doing, and actually sort of have some level of individuality to be your own builder. The other really, really big selling factor for me with Stroud Homes was their financial reporting and accounting side of things, the way that the franchise support team monitors your business and teaches you how to become a businessman, and look at the control gauges within your business to ensure that you’re going to survive, and you’re going to be able to predict the ups and downs of business, and make the necessary adjustments within your business to see your way through.
John: We’re builders, we’re not too good with numbers, so we’re not accountants. So it’s great that we’ve got a full-time accountant looking over us.
Matt: When we first started, it was just myself and my wife, Nikki, we did absolutely everything. And that, while it was fun, it was scary, it was daunting. It was quiet in the office. We kind of looked at each other and said, “What do we do? We don’t know what to do now.” And five years later, we’ve got seven staff, I think at last count, and a full-fledged, really busy office.
Peter: I’ve been with Stroud House for 18 months now. Our opening was very crazy, we had so many leads, we didn’t know what to do with them. We also didn’t know the systems quite well enough, so we were lucky James would come down and he would train us, as well as he would train us in conferences, and help us deal with our leads, and help us with the systems that he has in place getting to streamline the business. So now we get about the same leads, but we can deal with them in a much better way.
John: Here at Stroud, we use a mobile app called Voxer. When we sign up a new client, we’ll start a chat. And on that chat, there’ll be our estimator, our supervisor, contracts admin, myself, we’re all on the same chat. And it’s a really great way of communicating between our office, our staff outside, meaning our supervisor, and the client. And it’s just a really good communication tool.
Yarren: It’s been hectic, you’ve got to 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.
Peter: The best thing with Stroud is the other builders, so the other franchisees, they’re amazing. Just they’re one phone call away. Give them a call and they’ll help you, because they’ve all been through it. No matter what you’re going through, someone else has been through it. The biggest challenge with Stroud Homes is turning clients away because you are too busy. You can’t physically build all the homes that come in. You’re not chasing work, it chases you.