Keeping out of retirement

WHEN Peter Taylor’s accountant ‘made off’ with his superannuation, the businessman didn’t think he would be thanking him more than a decade later.

After working in the steel industry for 40 years, the loss of Taylor’s retirement fund turned out to be just the catalyst he needed for a mid-life entrepreneurial resurgence.

Using equity in his house to invest in property, Taylor was able to buy small building company Townsend Building Services (TBS) which would eventually become one of three business streams of T & T Corporation.

“We liked it (TBS) because it employed 40 people who had enough hold in the business to keep it running, those initial relationships were very important,” he says.

Today Taylor, wife Gay and children Natasha, Justin and Brendon operate the West Burleigh-based company which employs 80 staff and more than 200 contractors.

Since the Taylors took over in 2003 with annual revenue of $3 million, T & T Corporation has grown by around 60 per cent each year with the last financial year turning over $32 million.

The corporation provides building services to both the insurance industry and Queensland Department of Public Works with offices in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Gold Coast and Newcastle.

Last year alone T & T Corporation completed more than 6000 jobs.

In August the company took out the National Family Business of the Year Second Generation award at Family Business Australia’s annual national conference in Darwin.

The corporation came out on top following an examination of the performance and professionalism of the business and the company’s commitment to community service.

“The FBA were looking for a business that is not only well organised and running well, but organised with a family council and constitution,” says Taylor.

“We are competing with companies that have had over 40 years in business, but we are not feeling the effects of the recession at all.”

At 68, Taylor says he is more entrepreneurial now than at the time of his attempted retirement.

As for the man who robbed Taylor of his retirement prospects over 12 years ago?

“I thank the bloke every day of my life for getting me up and back into business,” says Taylor.

“I have never had so much fun in business as I do now, working with my family – it has been a terrific journey.”

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