Building and Construction Industry
What generation is your family business?
What is your role in the family business?
Owner and Director
What/ who is a major influence for you in the family business?
My Father, Bruno, started the business in 1956 and when I turned 17 I became an Apprentice. I received no special treatment from him, and especially from the other painters, however I’m very thankful for this as 33 years later I’ve gained the skills and knowledge to run all facets of the business. I know how to paint and therefore can communicate to my team and clients from a position of strong knowledge and experience. Learning from my Father and taking over ownership of Varacalli Painters since his retirement makes me extremely proud.
In 2013 my wife of 21 years, Elaine, entered the family business and brought with her a wealth of knowledge from roles within private enterprise and government. Her fresh eye and enthusiasm certainly rejuvenated the business and I have found working together a very natural and fun experience. We support each other on all levels and are committed to making sure the business remains proud of its first 60 years but never forgets that each day is a new one to make an even better impression.
What keeps you awake at night?
My greatest concern is always picking the right jobs to quote, and trustworthy people to work for. I choose not to risk the business and our reputation, but more importantly the livelihood of our loyal employees just to win a job which we may not get paid for if the client goes bust. Sadly I’ve seen this happen to very good contractors in South Australia in recent years.
What’s the key benefit of your FBA membership?
We are members of other organisations within the Building and Construction industry but it’s been very refreshing meeting people from very different industries and backgrounds at FBA. We have been blown away by the openness, kindness and shared experiences of people we have met.
The tagline of your business is ‘No Painting Job too Big or Small!’ – tell us a bit about what that really means?
Well, at Varacalli Painters this may mean a big job is The Merchant Apartments at Bowden, Savills office fitout in Hindmarsh Square, or the Parabanks Shopping Centre redevelopment; and a small job being the painting of kitchen cupboards, a chair, cot, outdoor setting, or even a pair of reading glasses.
Diversification is the key and not only makes life in the painting industry fun but also rewarding after more than 33 years. One minute I’m quoting a large project with corporate clients and the next I’m chatting with Mrs Jones about painting her Grandmother’s Vintage Rocking Horse.
A few years ago I set up ‘Shayne’s Spray Painting Services’ so our spray painting would be distinguishable from our larger Commercial/Industrial/Residential Painting Business, this has worked a treat as I didn’t want people being scared off if they just had a cupboard they wanted painted. Repurposing and reusing it what it’s all about for me and our centrally located Workshop at Norwood means we are very accessible.
When you get a call from the SA Museum to patch and paint display cabinets for a new exhibition we feel proud to offer this unique service.
Schirripa Evans Lawyers
How long have you been working with family businesses?
Over 20 years as an adviser. Schirripa Evans Lawyers is primarily focussed on providing private clients and family businesses with legal representation. Prior to establishing the firm I was involved in the operations of my own family’s businesses. My brother and I currently own and operate a cold climate avocado growing enterprise on the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia.
What’s one of the most common mistakes you see in family businesses?
Siblings and their partners and children working in family businesses without guidance on succession and family dispute resolution skills. Eventually the penny drops.
What is your “uh ha” moment with your clients? When they realise…
When I tell them that a Will can be re-written by a Court and that the Family Court has the power to look through any company and trust structure and make orders dealing with ‘family’ assets in a matrimonial dispute.