Written on the 12 March 2015 by Jenna Rathbone


FROM one man and a van to a team of more than 20 and seven vehicles - Tara-Jay Rimmer has put the wheels in motion for a thriving removal business which is expected to turn over more than $1 million this financial year.

The Van That Can - a Brisbane-based business offering services from small removals and deliveries to complete office moves and transports of antiques - was founded just three years ago and since inception has grown rapidly, undertaking more than 10,000 removals and deliveries in south-east Queensland.

The journey started when Rimmer ordered her first stand-up paddle board.  She had waited six weeks for it to arrive.  The day it showed up on her doorstep the delivery drivers refused to carry it upstairs to her unit, claiming it was too heavy, and leaving it sitting in the street in the pouring rain.

Rimmer says the experience left a bad taste in her mouth and she started working on developing an alternative business providing the opposite to the poor service she received.

"I thought it would be so much better if it was a business that, when you order something, it gets put and placed in a way that you can use it immediately," she says.

"We differentiate ourselves by our attitude and we really focus on having a positive environment because, when you are moving house, it is strangers coming in and our drivers need to be super friendly, energetic and helpful to make the customers feel comfortable."

The Van That Can also works in collaboration with a number of furniture retailers that don't have their own delivery teams, including Coco Republic, Mirvac and Jimmy Possum. 

"When we started, it was a recession and a lot of people were letting go of their warehouse and delivery drivers and so they use us now to represent their brand and act as a part of their company," says Rimmer.

"And we try to align ourselves with high-end retailers because that is the sort of service that we offer."

The Van That Can has not engaged any advertising streams and says the growth is all through word of mouth.

Rimmer had no business experience and, before starting her first company, she worked in an accounting firm.

Looking forward, Rimmer sees the business extending its services Australia-wide, with expansion into NSW planned next financial year.

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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