Family firms have been the beating heart of Australian business for decades and the Maximus new generation industrial retail concept is the latest example. It’s a brilliant low-risk model that delivers long term financial security, ideal for a family business.
Maximus is a proven system, which merges hydraulic, industrial, irrigation and water products, for the first time, in a one-stop-shop.
It has structured processes and operations that enable multiple members of the family to work together. They can take on roles from admin to customer service, sales and warehouse operations.
Wally Davey, franchise marketing director, says the family flavour starts with the owners behind the brand.
Family business behind the Maximus brand
Scott and Troy Hudson head up the parent company, BAT Industrial, a highly-successful family-owned business of 42 years.
“The Hudsons have a clear understanding of the issues and pressure points that you find in family businesses,” he says.
“Maximus is still very much a personal relationship business at franchise level and because we’re not looking for more than 30 locations, we can maintain that focus. That family spirit clearly defines the Maximus operation,” he says.
While the ethos and culture of a business sets the tone, a successful operation depends on robust processes.
The Hudsons have invested heavily in integrating IT systems and software, so the family franchisee can see the financial detail in real time and benchmark their performance, Wally explains.
Robust processes make it a low-risk model
“With digital business tools on tap, franchisees can devote time to the all-important sales activity and daily customer support interactions rather than admin,” he says.
“It is also an opportunity for the older generation to invest in the youth of the family, knowing first-class systems are in place to support them.
“Maximus offers structure and effective supervision which makes it a low-risk model for a family. It provides a real time overview of operations and we can very quickly identity areas of concern, irregularity in gross margin or a reliance on a number of customers with higher risk factors, for instance.”
This is a business that one generation can pass on to the next, providing a pathway for young family members to get into business.
Intergenerational opportunities in the regions
“Maximus is an ideal regional business. We know that keeping the younger generation on the land or in the local district can be challenging. This can be a perfect solution if there is wealth held by the older generation who want to find a way to keep a younger family member in the neighbourhood and ultimately give them the freedom to be their own boss.”
The Maximus business model allows for new start-up standalone stores to build a strong client base among local businesses. It also enables existing firms to add on a concession store to supplement their income and deliver even more options to their existing customer base.
“Engineering services firms in regional areas can add a Maximus store as an adjunct to their existing trade, for instance. The family can then separate this at a later stage for the next generation to run independently,” Wally points out.
Young people in regional and farming communities often develop mechanical skills, which are pertinent to a Maximus store operation.
Alternatively, the practical and technical knowledge acquired in a Maximus outlet can provide a strong foundation for future industrial-focused roles. A Maximus store can be a stepping stone into a whole new career.
Maximus offers long term agreements
Wally points out that going into business with family requires careful consideration because there about possible downsides. Like any business, health issues, bereavement, even holidays can derail a business. But it is more pertinent to a family firm.
“The whole family is reliant on the business, and suddenly there is an event that causes interruptions to operations. Sometimes the focus just falls away. So it’s important than incoming franchisees consider how they will manage critical situations before starting out,” he says.
Balancing the challenges are a host of upsides. Maximus offers huge potential for individuals and families committed to long term business goals. The franchisee could be in farming, a regional distributor, or a member of the Australian Defence Force relocating back to a family neighbourhood and looking to use their mechanical skillset.
Then there is the exclusive territory that Maximus grants to franchisees, with an exceptional time frame.
“The two terms of 10 years, with further rights of renewal, do ensure longevity and generational security,” Wally points out. “Maximus is a business the family can literally retain over generations.”