1. How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
When I was growing up, my mother spent a lot of time making dresses and clothing so I always had a fascination with pattern-making and the likes. When I became an adult, after studying Architecture at University in South Africa, I started work in a sheet metal factory where I learned almost everything I know about production and patterns.
A short while after my family and I emigrated to Australia, I returned to South Africa on a short trip where I met an old client from the sheet metal business who was making inflatables in South Africa. It was his advice which led to me opening Giant Inflatables in Australia, where the market was un-tapped.
That was in 1998 and we have only improved since then.
2. What services does the business offer to its clientele?
We like to say that Giant Inflatables is your “Inflatables Partner” and not just your supplier. By saying this we mean that we offer our services to clients at every step of the process.
Not only will we design and manufacture, but we can also run your events, maintain, certify, and store your inflatables as well.
Give us a brief and we will ensure that you have an awe-inspiring inflatable that suits your every need, even the ones you didn’t know you had.
3. Why do your customers select you over your competitors?
As an Australian business, we know exactly what is required in order to create the best inflatables for the Australian market and we have been doing it for more than 20 years.
We use the highest quality material and the latest technology to produce the safest and most reliable inflatables on the market.
I personally think that one of the most attractive parts of Giant Inflatables and one of the most important factors that keeps us ahead of our competitors are the relationships that we make with our clients. We are responsive and available, and we go the extra mile to ensure our clients feel that they are being looked after. We want every client to have access to inflatables and we want them to feel confident that we have thought of everything to ensure their Giant Inflatable is perfect.
4. To what do you attribute your success?
It’s pretty clear that my success is only attributed to one thing and that's having a fantastic team of motivated people who share my ideas.
5. What do you look for in an employee?
I look for employees that generally are self-assured. They know what they can contribute, and they feel comfortable in making a contribution. Any employee of Giant Inflatables knows that we all share ideas and we're all happy to allow other people to express theirs. It all starts with company culture, the other thing that's critical to our company, people need to say what they're gonna do and simply do it, that's it.
6. What’re your company’s goals?
As a small family business, our primary goals are to earn a living wage and be able to support all of the invaluable employees of Giant Inflatables.
Further to that, we aim to support and be part of a larger community that enjoys sport and recognises the importance of regular physical activity.
We want to continue working with the premier sporting and entertainment bodies of Australia to make physical activity fun and engaging to audiences while offering real marketing advantages to brands and organisations.
7. What is unique about your business?
I’d say the most unique thing about Giant Inflatables is that it is powered by air.
Not only are our inflatables physically powered by pressured air, but our business itself also thrives on our client’s air… Let me explain.
We use air to speak, to shout, to argue and sing. The air that our clients use to convey their ideas is the same air we will use to bring their ideas to life!
Our biggest, heaviest inflatables are filled with the very same stuff that fills our lungs. Pretty cool if you ask me.
8. What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
My responsibility as the business owner is making sure we maintain a healthy environment for our staff and our clients. That means we stay focused on the goals and we are delivering on our promises in a fair and equitable manner.
9. What made you choose this type of business?
It really reflects a little bit about my life history and my hobby history. My hobby history was about flying kites, which was another air-driven endeavour. I've always been in manufacturing and I'm very good at it. I have always been able to solve problems related to putting things together bringing ideas together. I was always good at building things even from when I was a very small child and Giant inflatables is about production and building things and bringing ideas to life.
10. How long have you been in business, In this business or in other business?
So my business life is spanned about, forty-two years. I started working when I was quite young. Helping my brother in law in his sheet metal business when I moved out of home. I've been in this (the inflatable) industry since we came to Australia, which has been 22 years.
11. What is your educational background?
I studied architecture at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa followed by mandatory military service. When I came out of the army, I joined a sheet metal business where I worked for 25 years before I emigrated to Australia where I started Giant Inflatables in 1998.
12. If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out in building a business, what would it be?
Don't be scared to ask for advice ever. Never think you know everything. Have an idea, write your idea down, and then ask everyone you can think of how to make it happen and then it'll happen.