Written on the 15 January 2015 by Jenna Rathbone


IT is rare in the business world to hear an entrepreneur admit to his mistakes, let alone dub them the biggest highlight of his business.

But not Mark Teis, as the founder of Retail One Shopfitting embraces error to ensure no mistake is made twice.

The 39-year-old says it was a wake-up call when the company over-promised and under-delivered for the first time in its history.

But it was a lesson learned with the company turning over $13 million last financial year a 62 per cent increase on the previous year.

"We have found that with increasing hurdles in the industry we are better to only build a certain number of stores per year," says Teis.

"However, to keep our growth forecasts we are managing more and more projects for retailers using a consultancy-based model.

"In the industry there are a lot of larger companies that have all failed over the last 24 months. That has not opened up any more doors for us with regards to clientele.

"But it has helped us understand that no matter how many systems and processes you have in place, you still have to have your men on the ground building the store. When you are trying to do 20 at once, it is just too hard."

The company recently secured a $2 million contract to manage the fit-out of 22 new Flight Centre stores across Queensland and northern NSW.

Teis says the final 15 stores will be delivered by Christmas.

"I am getting millions of dollars worth of work thrown at us but we just can't do it.  We are picking our core and longstanding clients and focusing on those and doing them well.

"We are having great success rolling out the new Portmans and Dotti stores around Australia and the new fit-outs for Flight Centre are completely new and not what you would expect from a Flight Centre store."

Retail One Shopfitting has also serviced Peter Alexander, Zarraffas, Smiggle, Cue, 99 Bikes, Black Pepper, JacquiE, Veronika Maine, Cruiseabout.com.au, the Paz Group and Speciality Fashion Group.

Teis says the reason behind his portfolio of prominent brands is the trust that evolves with his longevity in the business.

"Retailers have penalties if they don't open on time and only get three weeks of free rent to fit out their store.  If they go over that three weeks, they have to start paying rent and if they are not open it costs them a fortune," he says.

"We might not be the cheapest anymore but they are still coming back to us purely because they trust we can get it open for them."

Retail One Shopfitting also has a presence in New Zealand and Asia.

Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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