business opportunities Archives - Kiwispan


The Three Traits of a Successful KiwiSpan Licensee

As a licensee network, our strength depends on the unique leadership of each regional team. Individuals with a range of backgrounds and expertise combine within the KiwiSpan network to build our national reputation as a high-quality and business-savvy shed-building brand.

We take talent sourcing very seriously – because we understand that people are the core of our exceptional network. We look for candidates who reflect the key values of KiwiSpan, and who have the experience to be successful in our industry.

We’re often asked what traits are most important to have as a KiwiSpan licensee – so here’s an insight into how we consider our candidates. When it comes to KiwiSpan leadership, these are the top three characteristics we value.


  1. Industry experience

As business owners and operators, KiwiSpan licensees have total autonomy over the daily runnings of their region. While we offer engineering, marketing, and developmental support through the network, it’s essential that every licensee transitions into the network with the skills and expertise to drive their own business.

Nearly all of our existing licensees have a background in construction, and many have entrepreneurial experience in the industry. A great example is Rowan Thornton, owner of KiwiSpan Wairarapa. As the founder and operator of RTC Construction, Rowan specialised in subcontracting for other shed-building companies before taking ownership of the Wairarapa license.

While direct experience working with sheds isn’t required, a sense of business management and an understanding of the construction industry are essential. Jill and Darryn Astill from KiwiSpan Tauranga have extensive experience building rural fencing through their independent business Ground Up Services. Their knowledge of the Tauranga market combined with experience building customer relationships has made theirs a smooth transition into the KiwiSpan network.


  1. A positive attitude

The KiwiSpan brand has a national reputation not only for high construction quality, but also for providing exceptional service. Effective communication skills and a great deal of patience are both absolutely essential to maintaining and creating strong professional partnerships.

To step into a licensee position, it’s important for candidates to demonstrate their ability to manage the human side of business. Positivity, transparency, and resilience are the qualities that reflect the strength and integrity of the KiwiSpan brand.

The most successful licensees also carry a strong sense of commitment and a hard-working attitude. Having the desire to grow and improve, both as a business and a leader, drives our work forward as an industry leader.

In turn, KiwiSpan licensees are offered unparalleled flexibility and independence. Each licensee structures their schedule and workload in the way that works best for them. Many regions are run by partners, who divide roles between site management and office management. Some teams appoint dedicated salespeople to focus solely on customer quotes, or designate assistants to handle extra administrative tasks.


  1. Pride for the work

Quality defines what we do. As a national brand, our identity is based on the exceptional design and construction of aesthetically-appealing, bespoke builds. It’s important to us that every licensee shares this passion and a commitment for delivering the highest quality on every project.

We love to see candidates who glow with pride. Strong businesses are built on strong relationships – within regional communities and professional networks. As Tonya Harrison from KiwiSpan Wairarapa puts it, “This is hard work, and there are some late nights. But we’re proud to be involved in a collaborative network that supports us to deliver cool-as buildings.”


KiwiSpan is always on the lookout for more exceptional business leaders to take on new licensees. With several territories currently for sale, it’s a great time to join the KiwiSpan network and experience the support of a brand backed by Donovan Group.

Learn more about our application process by reading the KiwiSpan Licensee Prospectus.


A Day in the Life of Rowan and Tonya from KiwiSpan Wairarapa

Rowan Thornton and Tonya Harrison first opened the KiwiSpan Wairarapa franchise in late October 2020, and the following months were a whirlwind of hard work, reward, challenge, delight and many learning curves.


Rowan and his partner Tonya were drawn to KiwiSpan for many reasons. The New Zealand brand, founded in 2003, designs and builds quality steel sheds that are tailored specifically to every customer. The Wairarapa team were excited by the product and reputation of KiwiSpan, as well as the opportunity for growth in their region. Tonya says that at its core, the business helps deliver dream sheds to everyday Kiwi’s around the country. 


When the two saw the chance to own and operate their own KiwiSpan business, Rowan and Tonya jumped at the opportunity. It was a natural step for the couple who were craving to get more out of their respective careers and build something for themselves that would provide financial stability for their growing family. Before owning KiwiSpan, Rowan and Tonya founded RTC Construction, mainly subcontracting in the shed building industry. The pair say that owning their own construction business prepared them well for the career change and was a great stepping stone to KiwiSpan.


As a jack of all trades with experience in structural engineering, Rowan is no stranger to a construction site. He spends his time running all of the day-to-day duties on the building site. A typical day for Rowan includes managing customer quotes, visiting potential clients on site, liaising with subcontractors, organising material deliveries and overseeing projects. Tonya’s background is predominantly in administration and marketing, and much of her role in the business is supporting Rowan in delivering a seamless customer experience. Her duties include paying bills, invoicing out claims, and implementing marketing activity in their local community. It’s a perfect balance!


Tonya and Rowan knew from day one that they wanted to build a strong team around them. While their team is small and close-knit, every single member has been instrumental to their early success and navigating the challenges of starting a new business. 


What they didn’t expect was the rapid first year growth of the business. Being in a location that was previously trading very little, Tonya and Rowan exceeded KiwiSpan’s own expectations within their first year of trading. In fact, the Wairarapa team have even rivalled their neighbouring regions in sales which is an impressive feat for the newcomers. It goes to show that Rowan and Tonya’s strengths, while different, are a great combination for success. 


While this growth has been incredibly rewarding, it has brought challenges around ensuring that they could still deliver a high level of customer service. Adding Tonya’s sister Emelia to the team as an Office Assistant has been a great way to handle the increase in enquiry, while Tonya says it’s been rewarding to watch her sister flourish in the role. 


When asked if purchasing a KiwiSpan business was the right move for them, the couple said yes – 100%. Even though it is hard work, and there are some late nights, the couple are proud to be working towards financial stability for their family. More than that, they’re proud to be involved in a collaborative network that supports them while delivering “cool-as” buildings!


If you’re interested in purchasing your own KiwiSpan license, you can learn more about our territories for sale here.



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