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Company Background

Hello, I’m Brian Rohan. I’m the owner of Outside Concepts and in this section you can find out about our company to get a feel about whether buying a franchise is right for you.

Outside Concepts began in 1991 as Mr Carports. I started Mr Carports with my commercial partner, who prior to this was a work colleague in a business consultancy.

We worked together to restructure a steel roll-forming business and this gave us a greater insight into the building industry. It also got us interested in starting our own business in the industry, and Mr Carports was born.

We began by employing excellent tradespeople to build high-quality structures – carports, verandahs, pergolas and decks – at a fair price. We worked closely with customers to ensure their satisfaction with the finished product. We found that by being professional in our approach, arriving to appointments on time and leaving a written quotation at the first meeting, the business quickly became successful.

One of our key advantages, then and now, was the development of computer software that allows us to provide customers with on-the-spot quotes. Back in the early days of Mr Carports this was unheard of. Ever since then we’ve continued to improve the software to incorporate aspects such as detailed engineering specifications, cutting lists for suppliers and builders, council applications and business reporting systems. 

This not only makes our job easy, it also helps minimise material costs, reduces waste and maximises the profit for each job. Mr Carports quickly grew until we were unable to cope with demand.

We knew we had a great business model to work with, so we decided to franchise and approached a couple of local builders in South Australia to open our first franchise.

This occurred in 1996. In early 2009, Outside Concepts Franchising Pty Ltd purchased the Mr Carports franchising operation. This change in name better reflects the diversity of outdoor structures we are now building and the expectation in the community to be flexible and adaptable to their needs.

Our long-term goal is to continually improve our products and constantly raise the bar to remain market leaders in our field.

If you are interested in potentially joining the Outside Concepts family as a franchisee, please see the below sections for more information or contact me.

What sort of person makes a successful Franchisee?

First and foremost, a successful franchisee needs to be open-minded and willing to accept new ideas and new ways of doing things. He or she must have the skills to be able to operate their own business whilst being a part of a group.

It is critical that the franchisee enjoys people and possesses good communication skills and native intelligence. It is a necessity of the job to be well-presented, well-spoken, consistent, with an eye for detail and the organisational skills and ability to project-manage a job from quote to completion.

What are the start-up costs?

The cost of a franchise, including training, is $57,500 +GST.

You will need working capital of around $10,000 for advertising—it takes between 6 and 12 months for a franchisee to start achieving their potential in sales and income.

Many of our new franchisees continue with their existing employment whilst building the business, or they take a part-time job to cover living expenses until the franchise provides suitable profits.

What is the term of the Franchise Agreement?

The Franchise Agreement is for 20 years (5 + 5 + 5 + 5).

What sort of workload is required?

Most of our franchisees settle into a reasonably regular income after about 12 months, with the business continuing to grow over the next five years or so. The more you advertise, the quicker the business will grow.

The majority of our franchisees have indicated that they work between 35 and 45 hours per week, but we do have a few doing a lot less hours to earn a smaller income and some working longer hours to earn a substantially higher than average income.

How much money can I make from an Outside Concepts Franchise?

It all gets back to how the franchisee wants to work the business. Most of our franchisees working full time earn around $80 to $120k, with a few doing substantially better by putting in the extra time.

Keep in mind, though, that the first six months of operation involves a lot of learning, and most new franchisees do not make large profits during this establishment time.

Showcase: Franchisee - Brett Nitschke

Brett Nitschke has been a franchisee with Outside Concepts for around 20 years.

His area is the Sydney North Branch, which includes the Northern Beaches, Ku-ring-gai and Willoughby council areas.

Some of the reasons for Brett’s longevity and success in his business are his:

  1. Willingness to put customers first
  2. Eye for design
  3. Ability to manage and organise any outdoor structure project professionally.
  4. He also credits Outside Concept for helping to support his business.

Company Software helps me succeed.

“Probably the single thing that helps me the most, and the best thing about being an Outside Concepts franchisee, is the support that is provided through the company’s computer software,” Brett says.

“It helps with virtually every aspect of my business, whether it’s project work, including designing the structures, integrating a wide range of materials into projects and providing on-site quotes, or administrative aspects such as client relationship management, invoicing and all written communications. “It’s extremely comprehensive and covers every aspect of what I do, allowing me to get on with my job of selling and delivering projects for clients.

Helpful Head Office Support

“Another aspect I find very helpful in being a part of the Outside Concepts family is that head office looks after a lot of the regulatory requirements, such as licensing and compliance inspections. They also provide a lot of support in terms of researching and
sourcing alternative materials and partnering with suppliers.

“There’s also something reassuring about having a group of people that you can communicate and train with and to seek support if you’re ever unsure about an aspect of your business or need help.”

Interstate Move

While Brett has grown his Sydney business to the point where he always has projects worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars on the books, there could be a change in the wings. He’s planning a move to Adelaide to be closer to his aging family, who need support.

“I’ll need to sell my Sydney North Branch and the plan is that once I do that and spend time with the new franchisee to help them get settled, I’ll start a new franchise in Adelaide. I guess that’s another advantage of the Outside Concepts franchise system. It would be incredibly difficult to move your business to another state without the support of the franchise.”

Currently Available Franchises

These are the regions where Outside Concepts may be able to offer a franchise:

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