Sally and Phil Ryan own Andersens Flooring in Dalby, 82km west of Toowoomba in Queensland. It’s a small town of less than fifteen thousand people but at the start of the country stores, they service customers hundreds of kilometres away. City or country, Andersens Dalby grows from the franchise’s values of community and family.
Andersens Dalby has been operating for 30 years and the original owners, mutual acquaintances of the Ryan’s, sold the franchise to Sally and Phil a little over six years ago. Neither had any experience in the flooring industry. Phil was working in the air conditioning sector, but the transition was made easy due to the training and support freely given by not only Andersens management, but from every Andersens store. Phil said, “We can ask questions of literally anyone in the group, they are always there to help, it makes the group stronger.”
Phil said, “We were looking for an opportunity and were very excited when the Andersens store was offered to us. We were looking for a trusted, quality business with exceptional products and this was one of the prime reasons we took on the franchise.” Sally adds, “We wouldn’t change anything. The mentoring and support have been great; we can get an answer to any question or advice on any product or installation issue. We are really happy we took the plunge.”
Sally and Phil work with a team of 11 people supplying and installing a wide range of flooring products, from single bedrooms to sports flooring, schools, hospitals, aged care facilities and government. Being 200km from Brisbane and somewhat isolated, their team needs to be proficient in a wide range of flooring types. There are also local peculiarities to consider such as the climate and rich black soils that make Dalby a diverse and productive agricultural area.
As local residents in a small community where, as Phil puts it, “Word of mouth is gold,” Sally and Phil are deeply connected to the area and their customers. The town boasts a long list of sporting personalities including Alan Jones, radio host and rugby coach who was born 50km away and lived in Dalby. Dalby has a strong rugby League history and Phil and Sally sponsor several sporting clubs in the town. A recent flooring installation was the local cinema and interestingly, another Dalby resident, actress Margot Robbie’s film ‘Barbie’ is currently playing there.
Since 2016 Dalby’s population has increased rapidly with many new estates and subdivisions. The home improvement boom created by the pandemic has passed but Phil sees only a return to normal and not a continuing slow down in the flooring business. Sally advises that, “More people have discovered they can work from home and have a country lifestyle and this influx of new residents is keeping us busy.”
Phil is particularly motivated by the response the business gets from their customers. He said, “One of the things I like most is when we make a customer really happy.” Phil relates one time when a customer was not able to speak with them until the last minute. Phil was closing the store for the week but arranged to have her room carpeted on Monday morning. She calls him Phil Everest, conquering mountains.
Phil says, “Quality is the reason we invested in an Andersens franchise. Quality starts from the moment we first speak with a customer. If you explain everything and spend the time, the customer knows what to expect. You win more work from great service than advertising and we can offer great service with the backup of other Andersens franchisees who have decades of experience. Outside of the business, Phil and Sally plan to employ more people to allow Phil to explore further opportunities; but for now, they enjoy golf, fishing, their two young children and the local community they are proudly supporting through the Andersens group.