Joanne Paul couldn’t believe her luck when she heard a furniture-moving business on Waiheke Island was on the block.
“I had been wanting to set up a moving business on the island, and although I knew it was a long shot, asked the owners of Waiheke Movers if it was for sale. In fact, they were due to put an ad in the local paper in two days,” says Joanne.
She knew that Waiheke Movers would be a great fit for her existing company, 1081 Labour Hire and Cleaners. She seized the opportunity, made an offer and ended up pipping four hopeful buyers at the post, she says.
Joanne’s predictions were right. She bought the business in May last year and today, with support from the ANZ, Waiheke Movers is flourishing.
“We often end up providing freight services to customers we move to the island, as well as labour hire and cleaning work,” says Joanne.
Waiheke Movers’ fleet has grown from one truck to two transit vans and three trucks. She has also added a daily freight service to and from Auckland.
Joanne attributes her growth to never saying no to any job, employing good staff and cutting down on admin costs with tools such as ANZ FastPay.
“I was able to draw on the existing labour pool from 1081 Labour Hire and Cleaners, so accepted every job that came along. I have been able to do two jobs a day when the demand is there.”
Before buying Waiheke Movers, a client had told Joanne about ANZ’s mobile payment app ANZ FastPay, that lets businesses like Joanne’s receive credit and debit card payments through a smartphone.
“I bought the business on a Friday and the following Monday walked in to the ANZ to sign up – because they had FastPay.”
Moving can be a stressful time in people’s lives and customers are pleased when they find out that they can pay quickly and easily rather than having to faff with invoices, online transfers, cheques or cash, says Joanne.
“The payment details are quickly popped on to my smartphone and I punch in the customer's email address so they receive a receipt,” she says. "It hardly takes any time at all. Just like paying by EFTPOS at the supermarket, but better."
Having ANZ FastPay shows customers that even though Waiheke Movers is a small business, it is professional and up with the play in terms of technology to make the moving process as simple as possible, she says.
Moreover, from a business perspective, ANZ FastPay has advantages, such as not having to chase invoices, she says.
As a resident of Waiheke Island for 26 years, Joanne knows a lot of people. She has used existing relationships to stabilise the business and developed new relationships with local retail outlets to grow.
Still, like any fledgling business, it hasn’t been without its challenges.
“I learnt the hard way that I must always take a security deposit.”
On the flipside, she gets to meet lovely people, who are happy about starting a new chapter in their lives, she says.
Joanne’s medium term goal is to grow the business, and adopt an owner-operator model. “It would give me a great sense of achievement if I was instrumental in helping our great guys in to a business of their own.”
“As a Maori woman, providing young people with opportunities to grow, and look after their families, is part of my culture. There are three types of people in this world –people who make things happen, people who watch what happens and people who wonder what happens. I encourage all of our team to make things happen, for themselves and their families first.”