Rick Ralph, Painter

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Working in Ararat’s friendly community has yielded some pleasant surprises for professional painter, Rick Ralph. Word of mouth can be a powerful advertiser, and Rick’s focus on quality and consistency has enabled him to reap dividends on the ‘bush telegraph’ – so much so, that he never needs to advertise his services.

Another unexpected benefit has been a diversification in his business to add new services such as floor sanding, polishing, elevated platform equipment, rendering, scaffold hire and line marking.

Value-adding to his business in this way has created new opportunities for his business, and has kept Rick engaged and stimulated by his work.

“When you’re in the bush, you have to try your hand at everything and keep up with technology – you can’t rely on just one service,” he says.

Rick set out as a sole trader in residential and commercial painting about 15 years ago.

Today, he has four staff working with him, include two who started as apprentices 10 and four years ago, respectively.

Aside from the stable, reliable workforce, Rick cites the friendliness of the community as one of the great things about doing business in Ararat.

“It’s a friendly environment,” he says.

“You know about 90 per cent of the people, and don’t have to worry about them not paying.

“In a small community, we strive to keep the quality as high as possible.”

Aside from the stable, reliable workforce, Rick cites the friendliness of the community as one of the great things about doing business in Ararat.