IT'S no secret that Australians love homemaking. Their ceaseless quest to create the perfect place to call home contributes to a booming furniture industry worth an estimated $7 billion.
However, it is an industry which has long been propped by an overload of Chinese imports, leading to gratuitous amounts of stock stored in expensive warehouses and forcing local businesses out ofpocket.
Ross Clayton, CEO and founder of Vast Furniture and Homewares believes the industry is being crushed by this trend and has offered his own solution.
Clayton has developed an alternative model that removes the need for furniture storage altogether, as well as cutting the cost and time of delivery.
"I have been in the industry for many years and one day simply questioned why we are spending so much money on storage, wasting time in terms of delivery and limiting our overall results. I knew there had to be a better way," says Clayton.
"What we have done is to turn the furniture trading model on its head and look for a more efficient way of doing business and delivering to the customer. The result has exceeded all expectations and our future has never looked brighter."
The system is entirely cloud-based and stores all inventory centrally. It also organises direct manufacturer-to-customer delivery.
The model has supported a highly successful and fast-growing network that allows new franchisees to instantly access a range of suppliers, instead of building a new import-export system from scratch.
Clayton looks forward to hosting the next Vast franchisee event in Newcastle, where those with a flair for business and a love for interior design will be given a chance to marry their interests in a rewarding career.
As for the type of franchisee he is looking for, Clayton says the sky is the limit.
"Previously we needed someone who was a born creative business whizz or a cashed-up genius to make their franchise a success," says Clayton.
"Now anyone with the desire to be involved in the franchise business can be set up for success with this model."
Clayton has developed the Vast model over the past four years and is now planning a phase of significant expansion nationwide.
"The furniture business has not had a decent revolution since the introduction of flat pack products," says Clayton.
"We believe the future lies in being more efficient, productive and cost effective and by providing a franchise model that ticks all these boxes we offer investors a very real chance of keeping our industry alive, right here in Australia."
This article was written in partnership with Vast Furniture and Homewares.
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