Domenic and Mary-Ann Alvaro own Yamaha of Canberra Motorcycles and Cars of Canberra. We spoke with Mary-Ann to find out what makes their family business so successful.
What inspires you and your husband to run your own business?
Domenic is passionate about the motoring industry. I think motor oil flows through his veins. He’s been in the industry for over 40 years and loves the challenge of building a business.
Dom always says you don’t go to work because you have to, you go because you want to and if you’re having fun, it’s not work.
For me, it’s the satisfaction of putting in the hard work and seeing it pay off for us as a family. When we started our first business in 1993, it was sink or swim. I was determined we’d succeed and started working alongside Dom when our youngest was at kindergarten, to keep wages down.
We built that business, a Hyundai dealership, up to 53 employees including our children,their partners and our nephew. When we sold the business in 2015, it felt like a real achievement.
Now we’ve taken on something new,going into a motor bike franchise.
Yamaha has been very supportive,and we’ve got wonderful staff who are very knowledgeable about bikes.
We went into it because Yamaha is a fun, young brand and it’s a dynamic industry.
"It’s a challenge, but I believe you can make a change at any age, as long as you’ve got the right mindset."
What advice would you give someone who wanted to join the automotive industry?
I’d ask them if they’re passionate about what they want to do. If they are and they’re ready to put in the hard work, then I’d say go for it!
We have staff working in all types of jobs — Administration and Sales or as Parts Interpreters and Mechanical Technicians. It’s about finding what motivates you.
How important is super to you?
It’s extremely important to me and my family. Super is going to be our livelihood when we sell or pass on the business — it will determine our lifestyle. I’d like to have a substantial amount behind
me because I’m not going to get anything from the government.
What about super and your employees?
Our people are becoming more aware of super and the need to build savings for when they stop work. If you can afford it, it could pay off in the long term to put in an extra $10 a week of your own money.
It’s not much to spare and you’ll get the benefit from it when you’re older.
We’re an MTAA Super employer. That’s our industry fund. All the MTAA Super people I’ve met have been passionate and knowledgeable. They do a great job for our employees.
DID YOU KNOW? As at 31 January 2017 MTAA Super had 50,051 participating employers.
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