Hard work, integrity and reliability are not only the business values that Leisa Blok learnt from her late father Laurie over their years of working together, but also the key to the success of McLeans Freight Service.
“It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, you need to be honest and have good integrity, and you just need to work hard. If the work is there in front of you, you need to find a way to make it happen.
“And you need to be reliable, you need to do what is required of you, that’s how you keep customers.”
Starting as one man and van, delivering blood to the local hospital in Lismore, on the New South Wales Northern Rivers, Laurie steadily grew the business to service the whole north coast, and Leisa joined full time to help keep up with the demand.
“The business grew exponentially – from operating from mum and dad’s house with one person, to six when we started servicing the whole area, and now we have 65 people with two depots and work for all the big national guys such as Star Track and Main Freight.”
McLeans Freight now delivers around 20,000 parcels per week, which escalates to over 35,000 in the Christmas period and has prompted an upgrade in facilities.
“We’re outgrown our current facilities and will be moving to two new facilities in Lismore and Murwillumbah, the largest which will be around 10,000 square meters.
With succession in the horizon with Leisa’s three sons, she hopes they will uphold the ethos of the family business.
“Change is both a blessing and a struggle when working with family. From one generation to another there is a new way of thinking and adapting to work with that.
“When it’s a family business, the family is naturally all part of the business. My boys have worked in the business since they were little – ops, forklift drivers – and while they’re currently off pursuing other paths, we’re hoping in the future that one or all of our boys come join the business!”
This conversation is part of NAB’s business series – From the Ground Up – where we chat with Australia’s entrepreneurs, hearing about the trials and tribulations of their journey and their secrets for success.