Joshua Bennett

Joshua Bennett
Owner/Operator – Pride Decorators 2019 Limited
Introduction to Small Business (Level 3)

After years of working for somebody else, professional house painter Joshua decided to take the plunge and start his own painting business – Pride Decorators 2019 Limited. While he had a wealth of painting expertise, Joshua’s business knowledge was somewhat limited. Aspire2’s Introduction to Small Business was the perfect kick-start to his business success.

What inspired you to start your own painting company?

I started out as a brush hand in the mid-90s and worked for lots of different painting companies as I built my skills. I took a break to do something different, working as an engineer and a machine operator, but I always wanted to go back to painting. In 2018 I decided to return to the industry and make a go of it on my own.  I’d had enough of working for other people and I knew what type of money could be made by being an owner operator.  I’d acquired a heap of knowledge, trade and life skills over the years, so it was just up to me to take the plunge. I had some good contacts and in 2019 I started my company and enrolled with Aspire2 to further my business knowledge.

How did the course help you in your new venture?

It taught me a lot about marketing and how to use the numerous platforms that are available these days. It also gave me a basic understanding of how IRD works – this side of things is important to get right from the very start, so you don’t end up owing money.

What were the highlights and challenges of your studies?

I enjoyed progressing through the course and finding that what I was learning was really relevant to my own business. My biggest challenge was juggling work and study, especially when my workdays were long, and I still had office and paperwork that needed to be sorted. Sometimes I just felt like time out, but you have to keep chipping away at it. It was quite full on for a time there, but I still enjoyed it.

What do you love about running your own painting company?

I like the flexibility it offers for my family. If I need to attend to matters outside of work, I can do so without inconveniencing anyone, and make up for it outside of regular working hours if necessary.

What have you been doing since completing your small business course with us last year?

I’ve been continuing to work hard and build my company. I’ve taken on an employee and my company’s reputation seems to be growing. I’m now being approached by different builders and architects who want to secure our services. This is something I’m very proud of as it shows we do good work. From here, I would like to continue to grow the business, build my staff base, land bigger contracts, and eventually become one of the bigger painting firms in Taranaki.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone considering studying with us?

With any study there will always be challenges, and sometimes these can be discouraging, but it is important to stick with it. I found that Aspire2 had great tutors, and they helped me out a lot when I was stuck or unsure. I also soon discovered it’s much easier to do a little bit of study each day, rather than trying to cram it all in at the end. The due date for assignments can creep up rather fast if you are not careful!