What business are you in?
We are a retail business selling tank aquariums, fish, coral and such. We specialize in commercial installations, marine and coral setups and maintenance.
How long have you been in business?
We have been in business now for nine and a half years.
What is the most pleasurable aspect of being in business?
The satisfaction when seeing happy customers. It is a pleasure helping customers who share the same passion and hobby. Being in business can be very rewarding.
Why have you been so successful?
I think we have been successful because we listen to our customers. We never tell them they are not right or doing things wrong when it comes to their aquariums and sea life. There really is no right or wrong, we offer an alternative way and customers find we are honest, reliable and judgement free.
What is the least pleasurable aspect of being in business?
The least pleasurable aspect of being a business owner is the lack of free time. We work around the clock for our business and rarely have holiday time. Also, the overheads for the business can be a little overwhelming.
Would you have done anything differently i.e. What has been the biggest lesson?
I would possibly look at the location of the shop a bit more before committing to a place. I would look more at the target population and demographics. Also, I would have focussed on marketing and gone onto online and social media marketing a lot sooner.
What type of experience do you want to create for your customers?
I would like to create a friendly and relaxed environment, a place for anyone and everyone. I only sell customers what they need and offer the right advice, not trying to up-sell.
What input or support do you expect from your accountant?
I look for advice on how to build business and reduce tax. I would like help with budgeting and any advice on leading suppliers of business systems etc. Also, assistance with superannuation and other business offsets at the end of each financial year. Novabp have offered us good value for money.
What advice would you give someone starting a new business?
I would remind them to stay ‘unemotional’ about it, do your research and get good advice.
Get in touch with Business groups, or a business mentor if you can find one.
Where do you see your business in the future?
Growing!! I would like to increase my online sales, move into selling corals online as well as dry goods. I would like to employ more full time staff … so I can take some time off too!
Ashleigh Cook, with Paul Lawrence of Tank Aquariums- Belmont NSW.
Ph: +612 4945 0644
Fax: +612 4945 0655