SmartCompany is proud to announce the winners of the SmartCompany – Crowe Horwath Smart50 Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate Australia’s fastest growing SMEs in 2012-13. The awards are based on average annual revenue growth over the past three financial years. Entrants had to have revenue over $500,000 and show positive growth in each year to be eligible for the Smart50.
Smart50 rank: 12
Revenue: Over $25 million
Founders: Jenny Paradiso, 37 and David Hille, 35
Head Office: South Australia
Year Founded: 2009
The solar market has been through a volatile few years. During its heights between 2008 and 2010 the market was booming, but a reduction in government feed-in tariffs has seen the collapse of hundreds of businesses.
But the strong businesses have survived, and those that remain are going stronger. Jenny Paradiso and David Hille began Suntrix with a key focus on customer service, which they say has helped the company survive.
By focusing on commercial clients and not just the residential market, they say, the company has sustained incredible growth.
“The solar industry is one of the fastest changing industries we’ve come across – it is highly dependent on government incentives and has become extremely competitve over the last few years. The price of solar has also dropped and the quality of product varies a lot.”
“Our residential market has dropped significantly and the commercial sector is growing dramatically – this is where we see our future growth.”
Being in such a tight environment warrants a keen eye on cashflow, but growth has been a challenge too. The company has been under-resourced for some time, it says, and simply surviving was a “huge challenge”.
“We worked hard and never gave up. We had a commitment to our staff and customers and this saw us through some really difficult times. We hired staff when we could and we outsourced as much as possible.”
But it’s not just good business practices that have made Suntrix successful. With a family-minded team at the helm, staff have been given the flexibility to work at home when they need to, or schedule their work hours around their families.
These types of perks are part of the founders’ philosophy of constantly looking at the business and analysing where it can improve. Being an employer of choice, they say, is part of that plan – but the rest comes down to simply improving on a consistent basis.
“Complete a formal strategic plan every year and review it regularly. It can be a chore getting the document written, but it’s invaluable in helping you assess where you’ve come, what you’ve achieved, how your market has changed and what you want to focus on for the next 12-18 months.”
Click here to read more about the SmartCompany Smart 50 Awards