Hey Tara and Col!
Tell us, who has been your most influential business role model?
We have had many mentors throughout our business over the last 23 years that have helped us set up our business and continue to grow it to the position we are in today. Our business started from a dream….. when Col made cubby houses from potato pallets when he was only 10 years old in his fathers business and then coming from New Zealand to Australia to live and then building a timber jewellery box for a Year 12 woodwork project. To then building project homes as an apprentice carpenter and working on heritage listed homes in Balmain & Leichardt in Sydney where we pitched roofs by hand. Then to building multi million dollar homes throughout Sydney and a stint in Toorak, Melbourne where we built homes that were designed by Alex Popov Architecture, who studied under Jorn Utzon who designed the Sydney Opera House.
We have learnt and taken advice from businessmen and businesswomen who have been successful and some which have not been successful. From all of these mentors we have created our own unique business in Tarcoll Pty ltd. We do pride ourselves in giving our staff opportunities that they may not have been given otherwise. We undertake a fair amount of Aboriginal Housing upgrade works and employ indigenous staff, offering our staff traineeships, apprenticeships, mentoring, guidance and the ability to grow personally and professionally. We would like to think we can offer our staff life skills and opportunities for them to grow personally as well as professionally to then spread their wings if they wish to work for larger companies or start their own business and strive to achieve.
What are the biggest lessons you have learnt in business?
We have watched other businesses come and go and we have learnt to not make the same mistakes as other business owners may have, but we have also tried to embrace some ideas that other businesses may have. We have a genuine interest in our business of Tarcoll Pty Ltd. We have two arms of our business under this banner, the main one being Tarcoll Building and Construction and the second one being Tarcoll Corporate Giftware.
We have learnt that our office needs to run smoothly to enable those staff on the field to work efficiently. Sometimes we do need to make business decisions that may not make everyone happy but unfortunately that is part of owning your own business. Being flexible and versatile is a strong trait that we use to strive to be the best we can be.
We like to be able to give back to the indigenous communities we live in and have done things like upgrading and painting the basketball court at Purfleet Aboriginal community, giving the kids in the communities we work in Basketballs and we thank Bunnings Taree for their support with this gift too. We also take professional basketball players into the communities to teach the kids life skills, sport development and give them inspiration and opportunities not normally available. We gauge our success in business not on our profit line but on what we have achieved with our staff and the communities we have worked in.
We have students from schools in the area do their work placement with us which is wonderful to show them a range and variety of work we undertake. We give teenagers as well as adults an opportunity to come and work for us to see if they like working in the building and construction business. Building work is not for everyone and its great that people can find a profession that they enjoy and love learning from.
Where do you gain inspiration and knowledge to grow and improve your business?
We have a great team with our staff, no one is afraid to get in and help with whatever job we need to undertake. When opportunities arise to grow our business we move forward to make this happen. We do have two totally different businesses which offer us change and versatility on a daily basis. For our giftware business we design and import products from overseas and then personalise the giftware in house with our lazer engraving machines. We get a great sense of satisfaction in providing our clients with lasting quality gifts that will be appreciated and used for many years to come by the recipient. These products range from keyrings to wine boxes to wine barrels and we are proud to say there are all engraved in Taree, we ship our orders all around Australia and have even sent orders overseas as well.
We are always on the lookout for new ideas and equipment that will enable jobs to be done in different ways. There is always more than one way to do a job and we are always open to learning how others have done things previously, whether it be from my staff, contractors or tradesperson mates. We never stop learning new things and everyday gives us the opportunity to learn more.
How do you manage work/life balance?
We moved our business from Sydney to the Manning Valley so we could bring up our children in the country and allow our family quality family time together. We have now lived in the Manning Valley for over 15 years.
We have a lot to be grateful for as Tara was diagnosed with a rare aggressive form of cancer towards the end of 2015. Her treatment involved major surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and then hydrotherapy and physiotherapy to get her legs walking again. We received great medical treatment in our area of Taree, Newcastle and Port Macquarie, I don’t think people realise how much medical services are available to us in our area we live in. We are so lucky that Tara has come out the other side and we never take another day for granted. Our 2 children are involved in sporting teams and both play representative basketball and I also coach teams as well.
Our children have learnt how hard we work and also what we give back to our staff and the community, hopefully they will also learn the philosophy “Givers Gain” which BNI uses and we used to belong to the Taree chapter as well. We have a great network of business people in our area and wherever possible we support local businesses in all we do.
Why should people use your services or purchase your products?
We undertake work for customers in residential homes , commercial businesses as well as work for real estates, strata groups & Aboriginal housing and LAHC. Our work is varied and includes bathroom renovations, timber decks, Colorbond fencing and renovations to mention a few in domestic and commercial properties.
As we are licenced builders we offer the clients we work for our full builders warranty on the quality workmanship we provide as well as full warranty on the products we use on their jobs. Our office is able to answer your enquiries on 02 6552 1303 Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm.
We employ local staff to undertake our work and don’t like to keep our valued staff on casual employment, we offer our staff full time apprenticeships and traineeships so they have secure employment with guaranteed income and they also receive qualifications in their chosen trade.
ETC have helped us over the years to find staff to fill numerous job positions and they genuinely get to know our business’s needs and know their clientele to put forward suitable applicants to us. This certainly saves us time in the interview process which we are grateful for. ETC staff support us along the way once the staff member has commenced employment and remains in contact which is a wonderful service.
Fantastic, thanks for your time!
Stay tuned for the next edition of ETC’s Business Spotlight.
For more information about Tarcoll Pty Ltd visit tarcollconstruction.com.au