Smart50 Awards 2014

32 Oz Trampolines

Revenue

More than $2.4 million

Growth

73.40%

Founders

Richard Haby, 42

Head Office

Geelong

Year Founded

2007

Employees

4

Industry

Retail trade

Website

Oztrampolines.com.au

Richard Haby was at a friend’s barbecue when he overheard someone complaining about the cost and quality of trampoline parts in Australia.

A light bulb went off in the keen entrepreneur’s head and he set about researching the industry, finding that a gap existed in the local market for quality trampolines and great customer service.

Launching his business with just $800 in 2007 with wife Ann-Marie, Haby was still working a full-time job while getting Oz Trampolines off the ground.

“It got to the stage where I realised, for this to go any further, I need to give up my job,” Haby says.

Seeing the potential of the business, Haby took the risk and threw in his secure job, focusing his time into expanding the company.

In between flying back and forth from China to source the best parts, he also began designing his own high quality trampolines.

Haby says a combination of customer service and quality products has led to Oz Trampolines’ growth since then, with the Geelong-based company now receiving around 10,000 orders a year for trampolines and parts and enjoying a turnover of more than $2.4 million.

He says one of his biggest challenges throughout the period of growth has been creating a strategy to combat the seasonality of the trampoline business.

“We can go from taking 500 phone calls a month, to 4000 phone calls and 3000 emails in November,” says Haby.

“The first step is acknowledging the seasonality of the industry and being able to manage your staff, which means acknowledging it to them too.”

Haby says his staff are a great resource, particularly given his focus on customer service, so he makes it a priority to be honest and flexible with employees.

Oz Trampolines is working on bringing a no-weld trampoline to market (welding is the weakest point on a trampoline) and Haby says he is confident the innovative design will be in high demand from UK and US markets.

Haby may look at exiting the company in about five years to pursue new ideas, but he says he loves developing the business and would want to be sensible about any exit strategy.

And although he says it might take him another five years to have his next light bulb moment, he’s having a lot of fun along the way.

“I was just testing the no-weld trampoline,” he laughs. “It’s got a great bounce.”

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