Keep those business ideas coming
“From early on my inner entrepreneur trumped the employee in me. Since I was 18 I have only ever worked for myself. I started the gardening business with my best friend with zero capital and no equipment, using my mum’s old lawn mower and a used car. I saw an opportunity in the market to combine cleaning and gardening services, and rebranded the company Freshway Property Care.
“On my return to Australia, I wanted to set up a wholesale vacuum parts business. While I was building my previous business; I noticed vacuum cleaner accessories were over-priced, poorly branded and suppliers were unreliable. There was a real gap in the market to offer quality products at decent prices.”
Putting customers first
“I learnt early on in business, the only way to differentiate myself was by putting the customer first and to dig deep to find out their real needs. We exclusively manufacture a number of vacuum parts and accessories; this essentially allows us to cut out the middleman so we can pass on these savings to our customers.
“Within a year of launching the business it became apparent that my customer base was growing beyond the corporate clientele of mining corporations, resorts and government agencies that we had initially worked hard to get. After receiving numerous enquiries from the public I questioned, ‘Why should my business remain as a wholesaler?’ So I opened our retail warehouse, in-house service and repairs centre to the public.”
Do it properly or not at all
“We built our e-commerce site five times over to get it right. It’s critical to the foundation of any e-success. Finding the right team for web development was hard and employing someone locally with the right skill set to manage an outsourced team has made all the difference.
“Relevance is key in the digital market. I’m driven by the belief that customer value creation, customer orientation and user experiences are the keys to success. If the customer doesn’t find the information or the product that they’re looking for, they’re not going to come back. I make sure I have the client covered as much as I can. We have more than 2,000 products to choose from and [we offer] expert advice via our live chat web function and over the phone; or in person at our retail showroom.”
The first online order is something to remember
“It’s imperative for any business owner to continue challenging and motivating yourself, no matter how big or small the milestone may be. Receiving my first online order for Vacuumparts.com.au was a sense of achievement. I still have the printed invoice stashed in my top drawer. I can’t wait to feel that same amazing buzz when we introduce our self-branded vacuum cleaner to the market.”