Newcastle NSW | September 2018
What is your business? How long has the business been operating?
About 8 months, 9 January 2018. I specialise in urgent and emergency freight delivery up to 2.5 tonne.
What were you doing before you made contact with Many Rivers? What was your previous work experience?
Basically, just between work and house. In 2010 I got divorced and have been recovering from that. Getting back on my feet. In 2016 I became homeless and worked to save money for a car and my friend loaned some me some funds. In 2017 my friend encouraged me to get a van to get my business idea up and running. My friend secured a loan for me for a van and then for the next 11 months I did everything to get the business up and running. In Jan 2018 ran into a guy who had heard of my ideas and introduced me to the NEIS program and then I met Dylan. Getting over my marriage and not seeing kids has been a tough 8 years. I have been in transport since age 21 driving everything and anything I could.
Who referred you to Many Rivers? When?
From the NEIS program in January 2018
Why did you want to go into business?
I guess during period after divorce and I wasn’t mentally together I decided to get out of my state of homelessness which I had got into not through any fault of own. I had good respect in the industry from my past jobs. In 2010 I joined army as driver and then whilst training in 2012 I was run over by truck in Newcastle and broke bone and damaged heart and lungs. My heart stopped on 14 Oct 2012. This led to people not offering me jobs due to injuries. I needed to set up my own business to fix. Do something myself. I have an Honours in Classical guitar. I wrote a song for Westpac helicopter in 1998 called Angels in memory of my Uncle who had an accident and was taken to hospital by the helicopter. I decided to focus on my ability, playing around country professionally. I practiced 4-6 hours every day. I don’t play a lot anymore. Occasionally I push the paperwork aside to play guitar. I still have my guitar which is a Cordoba classical guitar, I sold a few cars to pay for guitar few years back. I want to take control of own life. I did not want risk of being let go from job working for someone else. I would rather be the blame for own failure and misdoings etc in business. I take responsibility. I want to grow a business and employ other people in similar circumstances.
What services did you receive from Many Rivers? How did it help?
They set me up to get me pumping. I was getting a lot on interstate runs to QLD and VIC. Which had large costs e.g. fuel and accommodation. I did not have funds to cover. I had one good client that I still have. Dylan (Many Rivers staff) goes above and beyond the call. He is like a US Marine, nothing he can’t solve. He has provided support during quiet times. He helped me with budgets, spreadsheets, forms, applications. Much more than just a loan. Many Rivers is like an ongoing support service. More than money, way more than that.
What did you find the most useful about the assistance from Many Rivers?
All of it. He has got me to the point where if I am not sure about an idea I will ring him for mentoring. Helps me assess my decisions like buying a trailer. Pretty much use him as a mentor. He is my friend. He cares about his job Is very passionate. Very straight up-front guy.
Did you get a loan from MR? How did you use the loan?
Yes. Fuel, accommodation food, repairs, tires. I go through a lot of tires.
Do you have any current employees? If so, how many employees? Are they full time or part-time?
No. It’s a big decision to make. Would like to at some stage. Dylan will help me make this decision.
What has been the biggest challenge to date?
Just finding the work and breakdowns. 2 biggest costs – fuel increases all the time. Heavier the truck means more fuel. Repair and maintenance. My mileage on the truck has gone from 124,000km to 285,000km in under 12 months. Fuel and maintenance cost are huge. Finding the work is very hard. Being a one-man operator when companies have 5 trips a day and you can only 2 jobs as one man. Reliability’s my biggest selling point. I will never let anyone down.
What has been the biggest success to date?
Just being able to stay afloat at the moment. Me just being able at this point, with not much money in the bank and still be here wanting to do it. Still hoping to take the next steps. For me to get this far is a great story.
What has been the biggest change for you/your family since you started your business?
Hardest I have ever worked in my life. Busy times 7 days a week and little sleep
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
Something I can build it and I can build it to a point where it can stay. I want to be a big company and employ many people and employ people whom others may not employ. Give people some hope and a future by giving them a job. Financially sustainable. I can relate to anyone and will be the most customer friendly guy you know. Maybe a few depots around the country.