Today we are sharing Kim Matthews’ story, about Caravan Genius, a caravan towing and transportation service business from Bendigo, Victoria.
When Kim injured her back over 13 years ago, she could no longer continue her 15- year nursing career. She moved to admin roles however constant sitting was not good for her back. When she realized she could turn her experience of driving heavy vehicles into a living, she started her NEIS course where she was introduced to Frankie from the Many Rivers team. Kim officially launched the caravan relocation business in December 2019.
“I do my best to have your property arrive to you the way I would like mine to be delivered. So nothing is too much of a problem for me when it comes to looking after your vehicles”
Now, Kim’s service has expanded Australia wide, and her safe and spotless delivery is highly praised by clients.
Read on as Kim shares her story.
The business idea
I tow and relocate caravans to anywhere in Australia. I pick them up and take them to where it needs to go. For example, if they buy a new caravan which needs to be delivered or if people are going on holidays and they can’t tow it themselves. I’ve had instances where the husbands who usually do the driving and towing ends up in hospital and the wives can’t drive it back, so I go and pick them up. It’s not just caravans, I tow all sorts like boats, jet skis, horse floats but it’s mostly caravans.
Basically because of my back injury and my age, trying to get a job is nearly impossible. On top of the admin job, I was working in hospitality and I couldn’t perform all the functions they wanted me to do like lifting heavy things. I tried to get a job for the last 12 months and I had quite a few interviews, but people aren’t willing to hire someone with a back injury. Driving suits me as I drive for two hours, stop to walk and exercise a bit. The seat’s all set up and this is something I can do without any consequences like my back getting worse.
Possibly getting my website set up and running. I have had a lot of jobs so I’ve been flat out and trying to stay on top of my paperwork has been a challenge. Staying organised is the key.
I think probably repeat customers. I’ve had two. That’s always pretty important. I’ve exceeded how many jobs I thought I’d have, it was actually triple. So far so good.
I’m a single mum with a 28-year-old son who’s out of home and a 13-year-old daughter and I’d love to get a deposit for our own home. I don’t want to be a millionaire although it would be nice. Owning our own home is a small goal but it’s a goal for me. To be able to do that, it would mean the world to me.
Many Rivers support
Setting up a business
I had no idea, I was way out of my depth and there was so much involved in setting up a business. Frankie helped me with cashflow, marketing and she showed me how to fill out all the paperwork. Also my contract I had roughly drawn up to use with my customers was sent to the solicitors (Many Rivers pro bono partner MinterEllison) and they had a rejig of the wording which was awesome. Frankie helped me with every aspect. I had no clue and I was a real beginner. Also she has this saying, ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ so she’s been really supportive in that way. There isn’t anything I can’t ask.
Running a business
The support around book work and the importance of keeping up with it. Also, some of the ideas for marketing and getting in contact with people which I hadn’t thought of. Finance and marketing really stand out.
Thanks for sharing your story Kim, we know there are many other people out there looking to take the next step of setting their own business and we know your story will inspire.
We want to encourage more and more people to take that first step towards building on their business ideas. We’re here to support you the whole way. Please take the Small Business Self Assessment and see if we are right for you.