Chad Hood and Dillan Stipinovich own a business called, Daltech Equipment and they are quite simply two amazing guys who run an extremely successful business in one of the most volatile industries in Australia, the mining sector. In this very candid article, the guys open up and share their keys to success, from work-life balance, remaining focused through to turning clients away. We invite you to take the time and read this short interview and we would like to thank both Chad and Dillan for sharing their secrets to business success.

1. With two business partners, yourself and Dillan, how do you differentiate your roles?
I look after the finance performance/Insurances, and Dillan predominantly looks after HR and Safety. Collectively we work on strategy overall company performance, customer relationships and business culture.

2. Daltech Equipment specialises in mining and civil maintenance repairs as well as supplying labour, how have you remained relevant and at the top of your game?
We have always said, “Good people will always have work”. We hire most of our people off word of mouth referrals, and this has been a successful strategy. We have delivered quality over quantity, and our clients know what they are going to get for their money. The quality is a point of difference from other similar companies which they see the value in, as well as concentrating on customer service, which we believe isn’t a big thing in the mining and civil industry.

3. How important is having a water tight business strategy been to your success?
It has been very important and we have questioned it in more recent times, because there is opportunity to run a high volume less margin labour hire company for profit but that’s just something that doesn’t align with Dillan or my values. In saying that we also have to be nimble and change strategies from time to time, but the big picture never changes.

4. Do you ever turn potential clients away and if so how and why?
We have a very sound understanding of our best clients in our top 10 by way of revenue and gross profit. We separate the top 10 into half and then have a bottom 5 in the way of gross profit percentage that we concentrate on trying to open margins. We have pushed back on clients in the past in varying ways. One was across the table where they wanted to demand a price which we walked away from. We have also removed people from client’s workplaces because we could not manage the operation to be a profitable one. A wise man once told us “You don’t have to say yes to everything.” Clients will respect commercial decisions if approached correctly.

5. Having your own business and creating work-life balance can be hard for some, how do yourself and Dillan manage this?
I would imagine that this is hard for all business owners but some are just better than others in managing it. You can tell if your balance isn’t correct because nothing seems to be going well. Being focused at work and spending time outside work is very important to give you a clear mindset and make decisions. We learnt through an excellent training course, (Growth Owner Program at Curtain University) it was important to understand what it is that is most important for yourself. I find it helps to give you those important things on a regular basis so you can see the personal progression and do things you couldn’t do before. Running your own business isn’t just about making money; it has a lot of other benefits that can help family and friends along the way, which is rewarding. Dillan and I over the years can see when either one of us is burnt out and encourage one another to take time off or have a break because it’s beneficial for all.

6. How important is it to have the right financial advisers working with you and the business?
Advisors are tricky because you don’t know you have a good one unless you invest time and money and trust into them. Word of mouth referrals from people you trust helps, along with creating rapport with them through initial meetings. Running the business is involved enough, and while making money, you don’t focus on saving money too much. Advisors seem to pull you into line and give you a different perspective on things. Stripping things back to what your goals are and what’s important to you is something they help you clarify and seek.

7. If you had to describe Dillan in three words, what would you say? Conversely, what three words would he use to describe you? Dillan: Good Ethics, Over Commits, Generous, Diligent.
I would think Dillan would describe me as: Articulate, Peculiar, Happy-go-Lucky.
After sharing this with Dillan he thinks I really undersold myself, he had a couple of words that came to mind such as Intelligent and Thorough.

8. What’s the best part of being a co-owner of business?
Having the flexibility not to be there and leave it in someone else’s capable hands, so the work life balance is right is a big bonus. We share an office together which can be inefficient at times but has its benefits most of the time. We also are very different, and everyone that knows us will tell you same. We both have different strengths and thought processes which complement each other, we challenge each other, and I think that’s healthy for the relationship and keeps us both learning. We use each other as mentors/advisors/counsellors/work colleagues/friends and family! It’s great to share good times together, and we help each other through the bad times.

9. What advice would you give to others about entering the mining sector given its volatility?
Good luck, and be resilient! Know your product and what it’s worth. Keep opportunity in front of you and stay diversified in regions and commodities.

10. What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?Sometimes give Rhonda our bookkeeper that works at the front desk a high five. I’ll take my coffee to the kitchen and put two pieces of bread in the toaster. Then I do the rounds and chat with some of the staff in the office and the workshop, before I settle in at my computer and screen emails and then get onto my priorities.

11. How do yourself and Dillan remained focused on your area of specialisation and not go off in differing directions when times are perhaps a bit tight?
We hold each other to task at times, as mentioned we share offices, so we spend a lot of time together when things are tough we talk about how to combat the issues we are facing. When big decisions are required, we talk them through (some can be heated), but we agree on an outcome and both back it in 100%. Not once have we turned to each other and said “I told you so” if something hasn’t worked out. It’s better to make the wrong decision than not to make a decision at all.

12. What is the biggest threat to your business and how do you manage that?
I probably feel that our greatest danger is not maintaining our reputation. We have not done any marketing campaigns, and we have a website that hasn’t been updated for some time, and it’s our reputation that has kept us busy and in demand. If we start hiring people that aren’t up to the standard that we have always delivered, we could be categorised with other companies and head in the wrong direction as a business, and that’s not what Dillan and I stand for. Our managers are aware of this and help us maintain that culture.

Awesome interview thanks guys and best of luck!