WINNERS: R&F Steel Buildings' Josh Holopainen, Sue Sims, Ryan Folkard and Mark Newton.
WINNERS: R&F Steel Buildings' Josh Holopainen, Sue Sims, Ryan Folkard and Mark Newton. Francis Witsenhuysen

Lockyer Valley shed business shines at awards

IN JUST under a year, Gatton's R&F Steel Buildings has exploded within Queensland's shed industry.

Ten years of hard work, careful business planning and nurturing paid off for owners Nigel Solomon and Ryan Folkard at the Lockyer Valley Business, Training and Apprenticeship Awards, when they took out the Trade Services Award.

Business development and marketing manager Josh Holopainen said as a whole the team was ecstatic to win the accolade.

"It was a very exciting moment for all of us,” he said.

"And testament of some very hard work.”

As a business, R&F Steel prides themselves on providing quality service while engaging with the local trade community.

"It was great to get recognition for that,” MrHolopainen said.

He put the success of the business down to developing strong relationships with clients and the team's personal investment in the business.

"It's things like making sure we have enough staff and they are in the right position,” Mr Holopainen said.

"It's also a combination of managing the workload that comes though as we keep growing - and finding some really good people to join us that have the background in the rural and ag sector who have established sheds businesses for themselves at their sites.”

Building a solid reputation and rapport with the region's farmers is another reason the business is where it is today.

"Sixty per cent of our business has been from word of mouth - that alone is amazing,” Mr Holopainen said.

"We've recently taken on a further nine distributors, who represent our brand across the state.

"Next year we hope to expand into NSW and the end goal is to become a national shed business, which would be another great achievement.”


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