On the 7th of December 2019, the Alice Springs community celebrated the official grand opening and birth of the new Think Water Trade Centre. Rick had the local radio station promoting the event in the lead-up and live on-site on the day. With sausages sizzling and prizes to give away, the launch was a huge success.
But let’s take a step back for a moment and consider a few challenges he faced along the journey. Firstly the creation of the site plan, inspections, and building permits had to be devised and carried out and this was completed over a long 14 month period.
With a third neighboring block becoming available for purchase, Think Water Alice Springs had a big decision to make. Do we invest in the new block and continue our growth and expansion or are we happy with where the business is at? Knowing Rick like we do the second option was never going to happen.
Rick had to demolish the existing structure, removing all old buildings and services. Rick and the team then spent a couple of back breaking weeks jack hammering out the hill, before they could start on building the retaining walls, boxing up for the slabs and carrying out further earthworks.
Rick loves building and oddly enough he finds the whole idea of pouring concrete quite therapeutic so for him to spend his weekends carrying out what we think as quite labor-intensive jobs, it was heaven.
With the loss of so many businesses in Alice Springs either by closing, downsizing, or changing their business model, there seemed to be a few opportunities arising for Rick and the team.
Rick says, “It has enhanced our reputation of being the one-stop-shop for all trades and customers”.
Now, all three blocks are completely joined by hard stand creating the first “Bunnings style/ big shed” Think Water. We now offer the service, knowledge; capabilities, and intimacy of a small business on a larger scale.
The store now includes an extra 400m2 covered display area complete with a drive-through pick up area, plus another 500m of outdoor fenced area for fixed displays. On the inside, they have three computers on the front desk, and four work stations in the background. The Trade Centre currently runs a crew of three staff with room for growth over time.
Brands and suppliers they resell and promote in their new Trade Centre include Reinke, Farmbot, Cromlins, Rigid, Dewalt, Buildex, Honda generation, and outdoor power equipment, Ardex, All rubber supplies, CJ Perry, Beaver Lifting, Ox Tools, and concreting materials, Leica Lasers, safety equipment and Maxisafe to name a few. Rick says this has really helped Think Water Alice Springs to broaden its general market appeal and he believes that this will help his business to have a more predictable and consistent revenue income stream throughout the year.
The launch of the new Trade Centre in conjunction with their new B2B online customer portal site will provide customers with the opportunity to view their accounts and orders online, or simply get a quote. The store then has the ability to pack any orders ready for pick up or delivery.
Rick truly is a forward thinker with a great entrepreneurial mind and whilst he says it is a big investment, he is confident it will pay off as customers and suppliers will want to partner with him.