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What A Startup Business Of The Year Finalist looks like: Aquashield Bathrooms

Published November 02, 2018 (last updated June 22, 2020) -
Aquashield Bathrooms Employees

For Chris and Angela starting a new business Aquashield Bathrooms, was a big risk to take. Requiring a large chunk of change that Angela admits could have been invested elsewhere. Nevertheless, becoming a business owner requires brevity and persistence. Those are the elements behind Chris and Angela’s successful startup based in Springfield, Queensland. In just two years, they’ve been named a finalist in the My Business Awards.

Chris and Angela share their business story:

Research and planning

Before we did any kind of trading you know it was really important for me to just make sure that we had that system in place just to make sure that we knew the direction that we were going in.

We worked out who we are targeting, market pricing and who our competitors were, and put it down in a business plan.

We found that every time we strayed away from our business plan that we had trouble, so we had to keep coming back to the plan by following it and what plans we made in the beginning.

What challenges do you think have been the hardest?

Or what challenges have you faced in that two-and-a-half-year period?

In the first year it was really about getting our name out there and becoming a brand that people were aware of. Then as we started to grow, the biggest challenge we had was finding quality staff and keeping them.

It is hard to attract staff to come work for a startup business or to find talented people who want to invest their time or invest their skills into a small business. We want the right people to come on board to come on the journey with us.

And while we offer some really great packages and we really look after staff it’s one of the biggest things that we’re invested in. We had a very strong idea of how we wanted to be as an employer.

Keeping our team small is important because it makes our employees feel a part of the team and that their job and their role is really important in keeping that movement going within the business. It also means that they’re not just a number, but a person and they are really appreciated.

Recruitment tips?

We look for people with the right attitude because you can teach good attitude, but you can teach skills. So, if they’ve got the right attitude the skills and the capability can be taught later.

What challenges do you face managing employees?

When it comes to managing our obligations as an employer or HR related activities, and contracts, I outsource that to the experts at Employsure. It’s impossible to understand all the aspects of the legislation and requirements. Similar to my requirements of an accountant, I’ll ask an expert that knows what they’re doing in regard to things like pay rates, contracts, leave entitlements and so on because the risk is just too high to try doing it myself.

The advice we get is always easy to understand and makes running the business easier. Also, having our contracts in place is really helpful because it clearly articulates what’s expected of our team and what they can expect from us.

There are always unexpected aspects of managing staff and there have been points where starting a disciplinary process can feel quite daunting. We never want to have that kind of conversation but if it happens it’s about working on it together and providing more training. We can always get advice on how to handle the conversations, the follow-up, and next steps.

Best business moment?

Definitely when we heard we were named finalists in the My Business Awards for Startup of the Year. It’s so exciting, rewarding, and humbling to get that kind of recognition.

Best business advice?

Take time away from your business. Sometimes it can feel like your whole world – but it’s important to remember it’s not. We tell our employees the same thing and encourage them to rest and spend time with their families. But you have to remember that as a business manager it’s important for you to do that as well. There’s a reason that you began your business. Maybe you wanted to create a better future for your family; or maybe you started so you could afford more holidays. Don’t lose sight of those goals you set for your life.

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