Byron Steel – Chris Cubis Interview

Take A Peak Inside Successful Local Businesses

Rich & Simon chat with Chris Cubis from Byron Steel

Listen to the interview here:

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How Byron Steel Navigated The GFC And
A Major Lesson For People Buying A Business

Byron Steel is a 25 year old company that specialises in all things structural steel, stainless steel and basically anything metal.

Chris took over Byron Steel 7 years ago and began his journey of owning and running his own business. Previously Chris was a project manager and in the commercial building industry so when he relocated back to his home roots and discovered the business was for sale, it seemed a great fit.

Chris shares some valuable lessons that he took from buying an established business and despite reading most the business books, found there were several curve balls he didn’t see coming.

But the biggest challenge for Chris lay just over the horizon…..

In fact a challenge that took us all by surprise and turned a lot of businesses (especially in the building sector) into wastelands.

Yep, the GFC. And that challenge was a mountain…

So let’s take a look at some of the key points and take aways from the interview:

Buying a business:

A seller has to be open and trustworthy to show you into their whole affairs. And they are often trying to make things appear than they actually are.

And as a buyer do you trust what’s in the books? So you have to be skeptical of what the seller is indicating in the books. Be very diligent here.

Goodwill:

 I think, my version of it now was goodwill isn’t worth much, it certainly isn’t at the moment.  (side note, unless you have a clean and comprehensive client list that is constantly contacted good will is basically thin air).

Hand over:

When stepping into the “new owner” role, Chris took the role of the observer for a while to see what was really happening within the business.

In hindsight Chris would have made changes a lot quicker.

Know your numbers:

A very positive thing Chris did was get to know his numbers, he shares in the interview how he noticed a drop in some vital statistics and managed to track it to its source. Knowing this is a must for any savvy business owner.

He also started to track time spent on each job and reengineered it into a number of folds per job etc, thereby creating a system to keep his team on target and reduce labour costs whilst increasing the performance.

GFC:

I think now the best thing about the GFC was that we consolidated the staff to some really good ones, and now we are looking at building up the business the right way.

Chris now sees some very positive recovery points and the business has defied the heavy toll of the GFC and is looking forward to some positive strong years ahead.

To read the remainder of the interview or or listen to the audio and find out a lot more – such as how Chris managed to navigate his business through a 60% down turn in his business – head on over to www.birddog.com.au/byronsteel

 

 

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