Father and son business celebrates forty years of success
Store name: Inspirations Paint Parafield
Store owner: Scott Simcock
Buying group: Inspirations Paint
Inspirations Paint Parafield celebrates its 40th birthday this year, proudly growing and evolving over two generations of store management, after the business was passed from father to son around 10 years ago.
Established in 1979 by Grant Simcock, Inspirations Paint Parafield has a long and proud history serving the northern suburbs of Adelaide, and witnessing many changes within the paint industry over the years. Today Grant attributes the longevity of the independent paint business to over 30 years of careful management, before passing the well established business down to his son, Scott.
During the years in which the business was owned and managed by Grant, Inspirations Paint Parafield serviced the retail market and did so diligently for 30 years. The business has a long-standing reputation in the northern suburbs, a reputation developed through local marketing, excellent customer service and word of mouth, which is also how the majority of its business continues to emanate today.
Scott has worked alongside his father in the store since he was just 14 years old, spending many years learning how to best serve the local market, which was primarily retail based. In 2010, the business left the ‘Paint Place Group’ to join the ‘Inspirations Paint Group’, due to its long and distinguished partnership with Dulux for many years.
By 2011, Scott commenced a succession plan with his father, going on to purchase the store in 2013. With a strong brand now at hand, it was at this point Scott became interested in the trade/commercial market and began strategising how to successfully grow the business within this new market, while still maintaining a strong retail following.
“I began focussing my attention on the trade and commercial market by sourcing out commercial projects and establishing key relationships within the trade industry. To this day I continue to serve my first ever trade customer, so it is great to know that he remained loyal to our store over many years,”
“In order to target both the trade /commercial and retail industries, we have focused on product diversification, as well as continuing to deliver exceptional customer service. Key to this achievement has been the significant change to our workforce model, which has grown from three to 13 staff members over a seven-year period. Our in-house motto, second to the provision of exceptional customer service, is our ability to deliver a one stop paint shop for a diverse range of customers,” he said.
One stop shop
Key changes to the store in recent years include a combination of strategies being implemented throughout the business on an ongoing basis, according to Scott.
“Customer service has remained a high priority for us, which includes providing relevant and up-to-date product knowledge to every customer. Our staff training is provided in-store by both the Inspirations Paint Group and Dulux”.
Ongoing product diversification is another important aspect of the business, according to Scott, who said this includes ensuring the store is stocked with a high volume and wide range of products, “so that we continue to stay in touch with customers and fulfil their business needs,” he said.
“Supporting our local community is also of high importance to us. We do this by supporting, for example, fundraising events or providing financial sponsorships for sporting clubs so that we can continue to personally engage with our current and potential customers,” Scott said.
“Restructuring our workforce model has also been a huge focus for us over the last seven years, which includes working on our business culture, as well as ensuring our values and work ethic are reflected in the way we service our customers. The team is often reminded that ‘we are not in the paint business’ rather we are in the ‘relationship building business’, which is why we focus on maintaining healthy customer relationships at all times,” he said.
Scott also believes his customers easily relate to his team because it is a family owned business.
“Like a large number of our customers, we are a family owned and operated business, which we believe supports our unique selling proposition from our neighbouring competitors. Our relationship-based model fosters the ongoing success for both our retail and trade customers. Given our business has been a retail destination for over 30 years, I believe we will continue to experience a strong and steady following,” Scott said.
Bannering under Inspirations Paint
Scott saw great potential in joining the Inspirations Paint Group after he became impressed with the groups’ robust processes and procedures.
“The Inspirations Paint group has many member services, which include IT, HR, staff training, marketing and advertising that we have access to. Inspirations Paint has also encouraged me to better my own development professionally, forcing me to step outside of the role of a store owner and look at how we can improve the business, and our franchise group as a whole,” Scott said.
“Another important aspect of the group is that Inspirations Paint has a strong working relationship with Dulux. We find ourselves lucky to have been aligned to such a strong brand and group,” he said.
At around 1000 square metres, Inspirations Paint Parafield is a large sized store located within a homemaker centre on its original site. Being on the outskirts of the CBD, it is easily accessible by both trade and retail customers alike.
“The store is located in the mid northern suburbs of the Parafield metropolitan area, which has experienced various growth periods over the last 40 years,” Scott said.
“We continue to witness rapid suburban sprawl in our area with a mix of both ‘do it yourself’ and ‘do it for me’ customers visiting the store. We never have, and never will, dictate to the customer what they need from us, however we always respond particularly well to what they want. We understand that the customer is the backbone of our business.”
“I believe that our business has continued to experience growth due to its diversification into the trade/commercial market. I believe we have achieved ongoing business growth due to the trust we have developed with our customers over a long period of time, as well as our ability to respond to customer demand,” he said.
Recent store developments
For now, Scott believes it is important for the business to focus on staff training, particularly after the store has grown its employee numbers so substantially over the years.
“Having acquired extra space, we have been able to do a complete store re-fit. We have received substantial positive feedback from both staff and customers. In terms of marketing the store over the next few months, we plan to trial some local area marketing as well as participating in the Inspirations Group National Marketing Strategy,” Scott said.
Scott concluded by saying, “while there is always room for growth and improvement in the business, we will continue to listen to our customers and respond to their needs.”