Smart50 Awards 2015

5 Supercheap Storage

Revenue

$7.98 million

Growth

492.87%

Founders

Edward Thirlwall and Jordana Thirlwall

Head office

Sydney

Year founded

2008

Employees

65

Industry

Storage

Website

supercheapstorage.com.au

There has been a distinct trend over the past decade in Australia towards inner city and apartment living, which has put a premium on the space people have to store their belongings.

It’s a shift in the way people live that the founders of Supercheap Storage, Edward Thirlwall and Jordana Thirlwall, noticed but something many others in the removal and storage industry had failed to pick up on.

The Thirwalls viewed it as a ripe opportunity to introduce something new to the market.

“We have helped change the way people who are short on space store their belongings,” Edward Thirlwall says.

“After spending many years working for other storage companies in the industry, we began to understand what customers expected from their storage – in particular a combination of simplicity, security, convenience and low cost. The problem was no companies at that time were delivering on any of these expectations.”

Supercheap Storage started up in 2008 with the aim of providing a more innovative and flexible suite of storage solutions for their customers. In the past two years, the business has grown to the point where it now has 10 franchises around the country, with plans to open more in regional towns and New Zealand over the next couple of years.

Thirlwall says the process of franchising the business has been done in much the same way as the company’s staff would handle a customer’s valuable goods – with plenty of planning, attention to detail and a great deal of care.

“Finding good franchisees who are on the same page as us is our biggest challenge,” he says.

“Managing customer expectations professionally and efficiently is vital in this competitive market, so we need to ensure that we have the best franchisees on board.

“We now have a set criteria for anyone looking to become a Supercheap Storage franchisee. Prospective franchisees must be a good cultural fit, have a desire for success, ambition to be a small business owner, happy to get their hands dirty and get involved in the business.”

Thirlwall says the business also has a long-term growth plan for expansion into Asian markets, with an office already opened in China.

“The big expansion will come from business in China,” he says.

“We have a 20-year development plan for China after opening a unit in Beijing in 2014. We are not in a hurry there, as we are yet to get all our ducks in a row.”

Thirlwall says along with finding the right franchisees and employees, marketing has been an important factor in growing the business.

“Don’t make the mistake of treating marketing as an afterthought,” he says.

“Stick to a strong sales and marketing strategy and don’t get ahead of yourself. Carry out detailed market research including competitor analysis to stand you in good stead.”

 

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