Adam: Started off as an apprentice carpenter when I was 15 years old.
Andrew: I’ve been in construction for over 20 years.
Brendan: I’ve been in the industry for almost 20 years. I’m a carpenter by trade.
Joe: Been in the industry for 25 years as a chippie.
Simon: Been in the industry for about 10 years doing estimating and contract admin and supervising.
David: Initially started building a couple of homes myself.
Adam: I did find myself working extremely hard for other builders and making them good money. I was building between 32 and 34 homes a year as a supervisor for volume builders. I’ve always wanted to be a builder myself and run my own building company, but I just couldn’t do it alone as in I couldn’t get plans drawn up. I don’t know how to run them big programs and cost-wise as well.
Brendan: I chose a building franchise because it was going to take a significant investment to lift my business to where I wanted it to be. And the backing of a franchise gave me the confidence to make that investment.
Andrew: I found that I really wanted to differentiate myself in terms of defining my own brand in Victoria. Through due diligence and looking around, Stroud on the internet really stood out for me. I was impressed by the way they presented what they had in their business model. Also the economics of getting into the franchise seemed to make sense to me.
Adam: The night I spoke with James, he gave me a list of every single franchisee. I texted, I think, 10 of them and nine of them replied to me within 10 minutes. And that was after hours, probably 7:00 or 8:00 at night. So that was, for me, that support was the biggest thing. I’ve been and shopped around and done my research with other companies, and there was nothing compared to the support I got and just information other guys are willing to share, pretty open and honest.
Simon: I was continually pleased with, not only the back-end support from head office, but the way the software all interlinked together and makes everyone’s life easier.
Caleb: Weighing up joining Stroud, we looked at how you would actually open a new homes business, so, obviously, plans, procedures, marketing, all of those things, yeah, which take time and money to get into. That definitely led us to choosing Stroud because when you’ve sewn up…you know, you’ve got the plans, you’ve got the procedures, you’ve got the marketing, so you’re a business that can pretty much get going from day one.
Brendan: I chose Stroud because I really aligned my ethics with their ethics in their mission and vision statement. I also believe that the Stroud guys have more skin in the game and more care for their franchisees.
Joe: The systems and the backing that they give you, sort of, put me into a whole different realm whereas before, I was, sort of, running around like a headless chook effectively. They, sort of, taught me a more smarter way to conduct business and they showed me how to be a businessman running a building company instead of a chippie trying to be a builder. Work smarter not harder.
Simon: One of the great things about being in a franchise is that, you know, where they’ve got 30 odd offices in the house and they’ve done it 30 odd times before us. So, to have that blueprint of, “This is how you set your office up. This is how each staff member fits in,” to know that as you’re recruiting, you’re filling those roles, to then know once those roles are filled, to know that there’s an endgame to it, is probably one of the biggest things going with the franchise that, you know, you can have that two, three, four, five-year plan to know that there’s a work-life balance and it’s just around the corner.
Caleb: With the Stroud systems, you’ve got systems for sales, contracts, estimating and running the jobs. Onsite Companion is the one that the whole team uses in the office. Contracts Administrator, estimator, supervisor. And we’re all able to see where the jobs are at.
Andrew: The support and the business development advice that you get from Stroud and the infrastructure is fantastic. You want the extra training with the software. They’re there to help you out.
David: I wanna get it to a stage where I can have somebody managing the business and I’ll just go into the office, you know, a couple of times a week and just check on things, see if everything is going on okay, and step right back from it, you know. Ultimately, you know, obviously it’s a few years off yet, but you never know. If I do it right, maybe sooner than later.