G.X.R Plumbing & Gas

“Gerard’s plumbing knowledge is quite broad, he has a good tool bag to bring to our business. I got my teaching degree just before we started the company, so I’ve never actually taught in the classroom. In saying that, the skills I learnt at university have gone into our business.”

Established in 2013, G.X.R Plumbing & Gas is a local Gosnells based business that is owned and run by Yvonne Pirie and her partner Gerard Riches. Gerard has over 20 years’ experience in the plumbing industry – it was tinkering with plumbing issues on his dairy farm in Victoria that led him to do an apprenticeship. Their business focuses on maintenance, housing, residential and commercial plumbing and gas services.

13 December 2022

Yvonne and Gerard saw that other plumbers were prioritising profits over brand integrity and customer service, so they started their business with a different approach. “Gerard could see how other people were ripping customers off or trying to upsell and it really frustrated him, it still frustrates him. We’re in business to earn a living but at the same time we don’t want to rip people off – we want people to continue using our services and to create that lifelong bond. We want to be about community and to be the company that people can trust when they have an emergency. Our business is built on those values and we still hold true to them.”

Yvonne and Gerard joined Business Station’s Gosnells Incubator in 2019 when they needed office space that wasn’t their own home. “I don’t think people realise the amount of support you get from being an incubator member at Business Station. I honestly didn’t at first until we’d been there for a couple of months. At Business Station you gain access to all that information. You can do the online courses, workshops, and networking which is really beneficial, especially for new businesses. If you don’t have anyone else, you can be there and have it all – it’s a one stop shop. Not many places offer that.”

Through her incubator membership, Yvonne was able to access advisory programs where she learnt about staff policies and procedures she could implement. This was an essential factor for the growth of the business that allowed Yvonne and Gerard to hire more plumbers. “Learning how to have staff – that was obviously something new to us. Without the support of Business Station, I personally don’t think I would have gotten through that or have learnt as much as I did. When we moved into the Gosnells Incubator we had Gerard, an apprentice and maybe one plumber. Now we have an office lady and four plumbers.”

The community aspect of the incubator was a surprising benefit. “The community – having that support, meeting other tenants, forming friendships and business relationships has been fantastic. If we weren’t incubator members, we wouldn’t have those business relationships now.” Yvonne and her office lady were also able to access Business Station workshops and webinars to improve their digital marketing skills and completed a Mental Health First Aid course.

In 2022 Yvonne and Gerard graduated from the Gosnells incubator after purchasing their own warehouse. Reflecting on how their incubator membership contributed to their business growth over the past few years, Yvonne says, “It gave us time to look for a place that suited our needs and not be in a panic. It gave us breathing space – we’ve got this place, this time to reassess, make adjustments and decide where we’re going to go.”

Business Station has incubators with office space in GosnellsJoondalup and Wanneroo. Learn more about them here.

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