While plenty of SME owners clamour to grow in size and scale, the head of one household name company has told My Business that bigger isn't always better.
Speaking on the My Business Podcast, Kennards Hire CEO Angus Kennard says that getting too big can actually become detrimental for customers.
Forty years after Kennards Hire relocated from its original location in Bathurst, NSW to Sydney, Angus’ father and uncle decided to split the business into two distinct units: Kennards Hire and Kennards Storage.
“They couldn’t see how the next generation was going to work together, even though I’m very close with my cousins and we think it possibly could have worked, but at that time they couldn’t work that out, so they decided to split their interests,” Angus says.
“My uncle took the storage business and my dad took the hire [business].
“Funnily enough … the cultures of both those businesses, even after all these years, 25 years later, are still quite similar.”
Angus explains that this separation enabled each business unit to grow as an individual entity, focused solely on its respective operations.
This strategy is being used again as the business grows past 160 stores across Australia and New Zealand.
“Sometimes the breadth of knowledge and capability becomes too wide. We actually now need to refocus, and so we’ve had [discussions] around what those businesses need, so a specialist concrete business, specialist lift and shift business, for example.
“By focusing on the customers and what they need, the offer can be quite different to a general hire store, and so it’s being able to meet their needs in a more tailored way.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.