Planning and innovation the key
A COMMITMENT to constant innovation and improvement is key to ongoing business success, according to Bill Aggenbach from Choices by Aggenbach Floors.
The business’ managing director, Mr Aggenbach has literally been in the flooring industry all his life, with his family being involved in the industry locally since 1954.
Leaving school at 15 to become a floor layer, in 1979 he struck out on his own and established his own business.
And although he said there has been plenty of hard work along the way, he is proud of what the business has become today.
“It has evolved as it’s gone along,” he said of the business.
He said he has seen a lot of changes in the flooring industry during his lifetime, particularly in recent years, when products and flooring finishes have become more diverse, innovative and advanced.
Mr Aggenbach added that current trends in the industry see customers preferring more hard floor finishes, to the extent where carpet currently only represents about 30 per cent of sales.
But he said the business could not have got as far as it has without constant forward planning and innovation, as well as having quality staff, up to date equipment, and solid financial advice and accounting.
The construction of the business’ current premises in Tone Road in 2007 has also boosted the longevity of the business, according to Mr Aggenbach.
“It’s made our life easier, it’s made our business stronger,” he said.
He also said that being willing to train staff and keep their skills up to date paid many dividends, and his business has trained 34 apprentices over the past few decades.
Mr Aggenbach remarked that the recent decision to diversify with Design House Interiors onsite has helped broaden the customer base and attract more people to the business.
He advised anyone thinking of establishing a business to be practical, have solid plans and budgets in place, and be prepared to work hard.
Working at Choices by Aggenbach Floors is truly a family affair, with Bill’s son Chris having worked there for the past three years.
Previously living in Melbourne, Chris made the switch to living and working in Wangaratta when he grew disillusioned with the long hours and pressure of work as a qualified chef and yearned for some work/ life balance.
These days, he works in close contact with customers, particularly as a commercial estimator, and said he loves working with customers and helping them achieve their goals.
He said he has learned many things from his father, including “a job worth doing is worth doing right”.
“It’s a good family atmosphere here,” he said.
Chris said while the economic downturn had affected the flooring business, with many people putting their flooring plans on the backburner, the business continued to do well.
“Diversification is the key to any business,” he said.
Bill and Chris Aggenbach inside the Choices by Aggenbach Floors store in Wangaratta.