Plan­ning and in­no­va­tion the key

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Men In Business -

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.

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