Key learnings from a woodworking whiz
Don't assume you're starting from scratch — in business unrelated skills can be applied in unexpected ways
There's no need to rush – building key skills over time can lead to your business growing organically
See the good in setbacks — appreciate the positives that can grow from difficult situations and learning opportunities
Get out on site with Multi Dwell Developments
There’s no arguing that buildings rely on the strength of their foundations. Fittingly, the same applies to Multi Dwell Developments, Jason Samargis’s construction business.
In Jason’s case, concrete slabs are swapped for the rock-solid support of his clients.
“It's so important to have a great connection,” he says. “You don't want to just go out and build anything. You want to exceed expectations.
“We treat the build as if it's our own home.”
From grassy fields to timber frames
Before his small business success, Jason was kicking goals of a different kind.
It was while trialling with Scottish Premier League teams Hibernian and Kilmarnock that he sharpened skills that still prove invaluable in running his business.
“Scheduling all the trades, telling them what they need to do – it's just like running a soccer team,” he says.
After hanging up his boots and moving back to Australia, Jason set his sights on a carpentry apprenticeship.
Hard work and natural talent for his trade meant it wasn’t long before he was supervising sites. It was during this time that Jason began mentally forming the blueprints for Multi Dwell Developments.
“When I worked for other builders, I didn't think I was going to start something.
“But I thought I could do things better than them.”
When building development turned into business development
After his success as a supervisor, Jason realised he had a real knack for construction. That’s when he decided to tackle his biggest challenge yet.
“When I got my builders licence it was the best feeling in the world. I’d smashed one of my goals and I was ready to start my business.”
- Jason Samargis, Founder, Multi Dwell Developments
But not knowing where the goalposts of a business were meant Jason had to take a shot in the dark.
“When I was looking to start my own company, I didn't have any help. I just thought: 'I'll give it a crack' – and it's worked."
Carving out a solid accounting strategy
Construction businesses rely on good account management, but little experience with accounting meant Jason didn’t know where to start.
Thankfully, someone on his team was already prepared.
“My accountant was using MYOB and said: ‘Jase, jump on it. It's gonna be good’."
A strong business relationship with his accountant from the outset helped ease Jason into his business’s bookkeeping.
“It's so easy that my accountant used MYOB as well.
“He can just log into my account, so it makes it very simple to track everything.”
And when he needs to dive into his own accounts, Jason’s accounting software had his back.
“I had no accounting experience and didn't know what I was getting myself into, but MYOB was really easy to learn."
"It's taken my business to another level. You can track your money coming in and out, your cashflow, send quotes."
The features that make a difference
With countless builds now behind him, Jason’s no stranger to complicated shopping lists. And while MYOB can’t help carry bags to the ute, it helps Jason stay on top of his receipts.
“I can't live without the Capture App. I purchase a lot of material and it saves me so much time. I just go to the local Bunnings, get my receipt, upload the pic and it sends it straight to my tray.”
And after bringing on his first apprentice, he was also surprised at just how intuitive payroll was.
“After my accountant showed me what to do for the first time it's been so easy.
“You can change the hours that your apprentice works, and it automatically changes it into the correct hours and the correct dollar amount.”
Lessons learned, experience earned
Getting a business off the ground is never easy, but Jason believes it’s how you manage the early missteps that matters.
“At the very start I didn’t estimate a job … properly, so I broke even.
“But it was a great learning experience.”
Tough moments aside, Jason’s had far more positives — especially when it comes to clients.
"Landing my first client was amazing. One of the most rewarding things about being a builder is when you get to see the smile on their face at the end of the job."
"There’s also the freedom. You get to schedule your days, your times and the jobs.”
When good business comes full circle
The road to business ownership wasn’t always marked on Jason’s roadmap. Looking back now, though, he sees every past opportunity as a brick used to build his business.
And as the business continues to flourish, Jason’s excited to share the knowledge that got him where he is today.
“Being in charge of people was a big challenge at the start, but it's a great feeling training an apprentice up. You get to really see them grow,” he says.