“We’ve developed such a great reputation, we wanted to give the opportunity to other people wanting to run their own business and succeed.”

It’s an exciting time in the evolution of Canterbury-based business The Shed Specialists Co, with the timely decision to expand into a franchise company.

For Aaron and Emily Nesbit, this ‘next journey’ will see expansion of the services offering across a much wider geography.

“We’ve worked very hard to bring into form a great business model. When I first met Aaron, he had taken on a business which, in hindsight, given lack of information, needed a lot of re-modelling. We’ve turned it around out of that experience and created a profitable, successful business, once we’ve very proud of,” says Emily.

There’s another reason propelling the couple to make this move, as Aaron explains.

“We’ve developed such a great reputation, we wanted to give the opportunity to other people wanting to run their own business and succeed.”

The Shed Specialists Co take care of the complete build process and only concentrate on sheds and farm buildings, from lean-to, apex, kit, to architecturally designed sheds.

Aaron says every project is carefully planned and managed and The Shed Specialists Co ensures that their due diligence results in building exactly what each customer wants.

While the number of farm conversions in the region has slowed down, the ‘life-style block’ sector has proliferated and The Shed Specialists Co can design and supply a broad range of utility buildings, workshops, storage sheds, liveable sheds and airplane hangars of all shapes and sizes.

Asked what has contributed to their achievements to date, Aaron says working hard to build up a network of solid suppliers who give a good rate and have equally high standards has been important.

“By specializing in pole sheds, we have all the equipment needed to do the build properly, so our time on the ground in construction is at the absolute minimum.”

As an example of their building efficiency, The Shed Specialists Co constructed a three-bay shed measuring 13.5m x 9m, with three roller-doors in two days.

“We installed the doors, the guttering, the paper and netting and were finished by 2pm on day two.”

Now the company is expanding, Aaron says his role is moving into business mentoring and supporting those who want to get involved as franchisee.

When Rural South spoke with Aaron and Emily in May, they were engaging with three potential franchisees.

“We haven’t officially launched yet and have been concentrating on all the paperwork so that when we do, everything, all the systems and documentation are in place,” Emily explains.

With a background in the rural sector herself, she feels that agricultural people will be the best to take up this business opportunity.

“Someone who understands the rural scene, with practical knowledge and all the qualities that farmers innately possess.”

The couple enjoy serving the rural sector they really value.

“The speed we erect a shed in also is huge in terms of keeping prices down. We very much approach each build with the belief that ‘your shed is our reputation’,” says Aaron.

And the level of attention Aaron and Emily have given to their business systems is, they believe, a strength. As an example, they have established clear protocols regarding client privacy, in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020.

“None of our workers are legally allowed to talk about anything they may observe on sites they go to. We’ve spent a lot of money on our Terms of Trade.”

The Shed Specialists Co has been operating five years, and the region they currently cover expands from Kaikoura to south of Ashburton.

Aaron says there’s been a revolution in shed design and attention to how they are built.

“The shed used to be a three-sided thing but today there’s much more attention to detailing, with higher quality finishing options, high-spec concrete flooring technologies, multiple pitches in the roof. They are complex builds and we’re capable of doing absolutely everything.”

A key point of difference is that The Shed Specialists Co works directly with the farmer, eliminating the ‘middle-man’ costs. Aaron is happy to sit with a client before specific decisions have been made as to what type of shed they need, to offer advice regarding the best suppliers.

“Come to us and we will help you to find a supplier and you won’t be charged any mark-up.”

Having accrued a list of the biggest suppliers’ country-wide who, given the way The Shed Specialists Co goes about its builds, wants to work alongside them directly, that resource will be available to others wishing to take up a franchise.

Aaron says now that they are beginning conversations with potential franchisees, he would be interested in hearing from any other people who would like to discuss the possibilities.

“We’re going to take our time and be very careful about who we engage with in business as our reputation is the result of years of hard work, building sound relationships and consistent attention to detail.”

- Sue Russell