Power Equipment Australasia

“It took me a while to understand that I don’t have to know everything to constantly prove myself. It’s more important to have the confidence to knowwhere to look for answers and people to back you up. In the last 12 months, I have taken the pressure off myself - I don’t have to do everything myself and I don’t have to know everything,” she says. “Going forward, we are going to brand ourselves as a really diverse business. We want to build that confidence among our clients, whether they are male or female,” says Emily. WOMEN AND OPE “We have a massive female following,” says Emily who regularly runs regular information sessions for women, a unique aspect of her business. “As a result, we had sales grow by 60 percent in our first year,” she says adding, “We have channeled our challenge into a good thing. We have to provide opportunities to women in male-dominated domains such as OPE,” says Emily. “Women customers are looking for someone to give them some time of day and not make them think that they are asking stupid questions.” She cites the example of a customer who wanted to cut firewood but didn’t know where to start. “Her husband had passed away and she didn’t want to sell her property. She wanted to cut firewood and so she went to Bunnings to pick up a tool. But she soon realized she didn’t know where to start. She came to us and we made her feel comfortable asking questions,” says Emily. “I want to offer more services for my customers. I run empowerment and information nights and those are areas that I am very passionate about. I don’t want to be an anomaly in the industry anymore. I amkeen to expand the business and perhaps open another store in five years. I can relate to STIHL – it’s a progressive brand and has the same goals as us,” says Emily who is looking to launch an online store, for spare parts initially, in August. “The world is going online and we will have to adapt, we want to be on the front foot,” she says. BUSINESS IN THE PANDEMIC With regular lockdowns, restrictions and irregular supplies, COVID-19 made the year a challenging one for many dealerships. For Emily, it came at a time when the team needed a break. “Covid made us take a break for the first time since starting out in 2019. We were lucky to be in a regional area and we only had three lockdowns. It was good for us and the staff to get a breather. It also gave us time to think of our decisions and goals and how we were doing things to make an impact in the community,” she says. “We understand now how you have to hold more stock and find ways to adapt in a difficult time and still service customers,” she adds. STAYING UPDATED Emily admits the OPE industry is a quick, evolving industry so when a new product launches, she makes sure they have a demonstration model and everyone in the team gets to use it. “It’s important for us to understand how it works, its advantages and the hands-on experience is very important in retail,” says Emily who is impressed by the increasing number of light-weight commercial equipment as well as battery operated tools in the market. Even when she’s not at work, Emily says she likes to spend time with her husband working with tools. “We spend time doing wood cutting and milling,” she says. So how does she truly unwind, we ask? “We also race rally cars,” she sums up. DEALER PROFILE