UNPACKING THE VAN THAT CAN

Written on the 4 December 2015 by Laura Daquino

UNPACKING THE VAN THAT CAN

MOVING people is Tara-Jay Rimmer's specialty, but she never intended to do it for a living.

And while the blonde, petite entrepreneur doesn't quite fit the 'blokey' mould of the traditional removalist, she comes with all the tools needed to crack the industry's pervasive macho culture.

"I'm very strategic and measure absolutely everything," says Rimmer.

"I have a desire to be as efficient as possible and that's definitely what makes us different."

Rimmer and husband Lee Hovey started their removal and delivery business, The Van That Can, two years ago.

Formerly employed by Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in London, Rimmer never expected to end up in this line of work.

"I fell into finance because it was something I was good at and it just progressed from there," she says.

"I wanted to do my own thing and knew accounting wasn't it, but I didn't really have an idea."

The 'aha moment' came when the delivery man wouldn't carry Rimmer's stand-up paddleboard to her second-floor unit.

"Lee and I were doing our future planning," she says.  "He had just finished managing construction at Soul on the Gold Coast and everything just seemed to happen at the right time, so we thought we might as well give it a go."

While they may have stumbled upon the idea, everything that's happened since has been by design - except the business 'blowing up' last year, unexpectedly doubling its turnover year to year.

Rimmer says her previous work has framed many of the key business decisions, such as becoming a 'paperless company'.

"I handle the office and staff side of the business and, because of my experience with big companies, despite being new to transport, I knew there were more efficient ways of doing things.

"When you have 10 guys on the road, a couple of minutes here and there add up, so we have a custom app used by head office and our drivers which distributes scheduling and route planning.

"It increases fuel efficiency to reduce environmental impact, also allowing us to keep our costs low and pass the discounts on to customers."

Rimmer says what perhaps makes the most difference, however, is that she's female and most of her customers are female as well.

The Van That Can's promotions are targeted at females through initiatives such as branded 'party feet'.

"I know how I want someone to come into my home and treat me and my belongings, even how they should smell, which has really helped us," says Rimmer.

"In the beginning we didn't realise that. People in the industry are shocked that I'm in it particularly because I don't present myself as a truck driver.

"We've had a lot of resistance."

Rimmer says she doesn't let herself get railroaded by this and instead focuses her energy on creating a positive culture.

"We have partnerships with Anglicare, for example, assisting with rehoming women who generally come from abusive relationships," she says. "They're given a budget from the government and if we go over we keep it at budget because they are obviously going through a tough time.

"It's quite close to me because a family member was in a domestic violence relationship. It's interesting that I've ended up in a line of work where I'm often moving people to a better life."
 

Author: Laura Daquino Connect via: Twitter LinkedIn

Latest News

CROMWELL TRADES STEADILY IN FIRST HALF

CROMWELL Property Group has maintained a steady operating profit at $0.045 per security in the first half of FY17,...

WHY NEXTDC'S STOCK IS SOARING

AFTER posting its interim result, NEXTDC (ASX: NXT) gained more than 12 per cent on the stock market before noon.
...

PWR PROFIT CRASHES AS DOLLAR RISES AND COSTS MOUNT

A RISING Aussie dollar has offset PWR Holdings Limited's (ASX:PWH) overseas growth in the last half, forcing a...

SUPER RETAIL GROUP RESULTS SHINE ACROSS THE BOARD

A WELL-planned and executed half has paid off for Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL) as it posts a net profit result up ...

Related News

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK

THE National Broadband Network (NBN) is more than an internet connection, it is an opportunity to transform your b...

WHY EMPLOYEE-OWNED COMPANIES ARE BEATING ASX200 SHARE PRICES

EMPLOYEE-owned companies command a higher share price than their publicly listed peers, reaping a 17 per cent prem...

RISE OF THE MACHINES HAS WORKERS SWEATING

UP TO 3.8 million Australian workers are fearful their job may soon be terminated by a robot, a new survey has shown....

LESS TALK, MORE SMALL BUSINESS ACTION IN 2017

THE future growth and prosperity of Australian SMEs could be undermined if governments lose sight of the sector...

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter