Simon Spence is the first to confess sometimes what you’re looking for is right under your nose the whole time.
After years working for BP, the Western Australian Police Force and BHP Billiton, Simon has swung open the doors to the brand new Morley Battery World – the national retailer’s 98th store: happily becoming his own boss.
Simon’s father Tom has been part of Battery World for its 20-year history, his brother has owned the Rockingham store for over 10 years and his uncle Julian Cauchi owns a store in New South Wales.
“It’s crazy that it has taken me this long,” Simon said, “I have certainly come the long way. When I finished school I worked with Dad at BP, then when Dad became involved with Battery World I worked with him for a number of years before following my lifelong dream to become a policeman. I was quite ambitious and was chasing career advancement which happens a bit slowly in the police force so took a leadership role with BHP Billiton where I ran a full production team of 70 people.”
Being away from his wife Sonia and three children, Chloe, Charlie and Harry started to take its toll and so Simon decided it was time to find another career change.
“So even though Battery World was at the front of my mind – I looked at other franchise opportunities making sure I wasn’t just falling into what was comfortable. Dad was great: I knew he really wanted me to come on board – he has successfully run his stores for years and knows how good the network is, but he resisted the temptation to nag me. He knew I would come to it in my own time. I talked to my uncle and my brother a fair bit as well and then came to realise everything I was looking for was under my nose the whole time.
“There are many franchise web sites and I kept coming back to Battery World being a trusted brand and a brand on the move. Battery technology is moving ahead in leaps and bounds as we try to continually stay connected. Australians embrace technology like no one else.”
Battery World is poised to open its 100th store next month: 11 stores opened across the country last year. The new Morley store is just one of 10 planned to open across Australia this year: four new stores are on the books for WA, Armadale, Belmont, Claremont and Geraldton. The company has long identified the west as key to its commitment to rapid growth and expansion along with ‘bricks and mortar’ stores.
Battery World Network Development Manager Alex Forbes said there was an immediate aim to put stores where customers expressed interest for a need. Headquartered in Brisbane, Queensland obviously has the most stores but Mr Forbes is quickly readdressing that balance.
“While three stores are on the immediate plan for WA: we have long term ambitions of 10 more stores,” Mr Forbes said, “But we are particular about where they will go. Three years of planning has gone into our Armadale store, identified for its great location for customers, with the franchisee just waiting for the developer to build the shopping complex. We are quite particular about our sites.”
For Simon Spence, the Morley store will be imprinted with the company’s commitment to heavy-duty batteries but close proximity to the city, reiterates the need for workers to have accessibility to developing technologies through mobile phone and laptop batteries.