NEIS as a path to retirement!!
Clinton Long set up his business, Clinton Long Project Management, as part of the NEIS programme in 2002. His business, which he sold in 2016, specialised in the restoration of heritage buildings in and around Perth, including the rebuilding of the Florence Hummerston Building in Elizabeth Quay.
‘I made a reasonable living wage in the first 5 years and I made a lot of money in the following years. It can take time to establish a successful business. Be passionate about your business and serve customers with this passion. The money will follow eventually when perseverance brings repeat and new customers”, says Clinton, who is now enjoying semi-retirement having sold the business in 2016.
Clinton applied for NEIS after having lost three jobs in the same number of years when he also had a wife and three children to support. With a wealth of construction experience behind him, he decided to work for himself which proved to be a sound business decision for Clinton.
Clinton says the most valuable things he learned from the NEIS programme were the importance of a business plan and cash flow. At times competition was very fierce, the labour market was difficult, there was a lot of union control, and as the business grew, so did the requirements for compliance. Developing systems to ensure the continued productivity and efficiency of the business was a constant challenge. However, hard work and perseverance overcame any difficulties and the business was very successful.
Asked for the advice he could give to others thinking of starting their own business Clinton said:
“Build the business from the bottom up, slowly. Know your strengths and weaknesses and get support for your weaknesses. Research, research, research, particularly any major transactions and avoid or minimise business debt. “
We wish Clinton a very long and happy retirement.
Check out his website