Smart50 Awards 2018

15 Novo Property

Revenue

$2.2 million

Growth

191.99%

Founder

Cameron James (43)

Head Office

Mansfield, Queensland

Employees

5

Industry

Construction

Website

novoproperty.com.au

Residential construction business Novo Property has experienced strong growth since founder Cameron James established the business in 2015, hitting $2.2 million in revenue in the 2017-18 financial year.

Benefiting from Australia’s real estate boom, as well as renewed interest in renovation driven by television shows such as The Block, James says communication and customer service have been his biggest focus.

But while all those DIY enthusiasts have learnt about their favourite tiles, walls and curtains, they have a much less solid idea of what it all costs, James explains.

“New suppliers are in the market all the time and keeping up with them can be difficult — but having great relationships with suppliers is critical to making sure they’re all over it so you don’t have to be,” he says.

James reckons Novo is riding a wave in the construction industry as the older guard and its “draconian” industry practices are replaced by a younger generation of tech-focused entrepreneurs.

Novo has employed company-wide software solutions to outsource key tasks and ensure every aspect of the business is connected. The stakes are high in construction, so it is important the left-hand knows what the right is up to.

It’s been a challenging few years though. James had to take out a mortgage to fund the business initially and has gone through his fair share of financial and cashflow stress.

His advice for business owners starting out?

“Business owners need to talk to each other more, but more importantly, we need to stop being stingy with what we know,” James says.

“We’re all at different levels, some have been there, some yet to, some are at the same place we are, but we all have in common the long hours and requirement to dig deep.”

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