Client Stories

Countryman Rubbish Removal

Location

Countryman Rubbish Removal is located in Fitzroy Crossing, a small town in the Kimberley, 400km east of Broome and 300km west of Halls Creek.

The business assists the Shire of Derby/West Kimberley in the Fitzroy Crossing area, as well as local small businesses and individuals.

Background

The inspiration and impetus for this new business came from Keith Andrews. Keith is a proud Bunaba man and lives in the Junjuwa Community.

Keith became concerned about the lack of local employment opportunities for young people and asked himself

 “How can I create something local for my mob to engage the youth of the community and empower them”?

His idea was to develop a rubbish removal business. This would not require large capital or a highly skilled workforce and the business could expand as demand increased. The local Shire expressed interest but would not commit until Keith could provide something tangible.

Challenges

Keith had a good idea and some support but had no idea how to make it happen. He had no experience in business.

How do you start a business? Get a name, ABN, tax file number and bank account?

And write a business plan?

On what basis would he engage workers? And what would the business charge to remain competitive but also fairly pay its staff? Keith did not have accounting or bookkeeping experience and this presented another cloud.

Then there were the important additions of insurance and extensive compliance, including OH&S plus the challenge of marketing and winning work.

Keith’s idea was driving him, but he needed help and support.

A friend suggested contacting Morrgul, an Aboriginal business support agency. He picked up the phone and made the call.

Where and how Morrgul assisted.

Keith spoke with a Morrgul BDM, who briefly outlined the areas that Morrgul could assist in.

A face-to-face meeting was scheduled, and a strong relationship was formed.

Morrgul supported Keith to establish Countryman Rubbish Removal through the Department of Finance Aboriginal Business Capacity Building (ABCB) contract.

Morrgul helped with:

  1. Develop an implementation plan to provide individualised mentoring support.
  2. Support to build Keith’s knowledge of and confidence in the following Core Topics: tendering for Government contracts, pricing, marketing, business growth, governance, and contractual compliance.
  3. An initial business plan
  4. Pricing/costing to meet the market while keeping the business profitable, OH&S and insurances
  5. Help in securing their first contracts
  6. Unique employment agreements for new staff.
  7. Bookkeeping to manage the accounts and pay employees their wages and entitlements
  8. Support in marketing the business to attract customers
  9. Advertising for additional workers as the business grew

What’s ABCB?

ABCB is dedicated to helping deliver the WA Government’s targets for its agencies to buy goods and services from registered Aboriginal businesses. It aims to build capacity with new or emerging businesses. This capacity building assists the businesses to make a successful start and then grow successfully. Knowledge is transferred and capacity retained.

Results

Countryman Rubbish Removal quickly won work with the Shire and proved so effective that additional work was offered. Positive word of mouth referrals created more demand in the Fitzroy Crossing area and at one stage Keith was asking himself “What have I got myself into?”

After starting with two workers, this increased to five with Countryman still looking to increase its pool of workers.

Keith said,

“All the workers are indigenous and most are doing very well. For many of these young blokes, it is their first job, and it can be challenging to get up every morning, be on time and work a long day…especially as the alarm clock might go off at 4.45am. But they’re doing it and growing in confidence and building self-esteem.”

The business is flourishing and really ‘cleaning up’ in Fitzroy Crossing.

Most importantly, the business has created work opportunities for young indigenous men who previously were not participating in the labour market.

Keith is looking to one day expand to other areas of the Kimberley to help communities with high levels of unemployment, but right now his priority is to continue to build Countryman Rubbish Removal in Fitzroy Crossing into a profitable and sustainable business.

What differences have Morrgul and ABCB made to your business?

Keith Andrews said:

“We simply would not be where we are today without Morrgul.  I can’t thank Kelsey and Ruth and the other members of the team too much. I still can’t believe what we’ve achieved with Countryman Rubbish Removal, but what I do know is that our success is due to Morrgul’s support. Thank you so much.”

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