Matt Maartensz takes his work seriously.
The father of three spent a good 18 months travelling around Australia with wife, Kristie, before they decided that Townsville was the perfect place to establish their NorQuip Group business, which hires out portable toilets across a wide swathe of Queensland.
“I didn’t think we would end up working in portable toilets, but it has been fantastic.”“We set up the business here in 2011, and it was both a new industry and a new town for us,” Matt says.
Prior to moving to Townsville, Matt and the family spent seven years in Broome renovating and selling properties, before they decided to start their own business.
“We loved living in Broome, but the town wasn’t big enough to sustain a family business,” he says.
“Townsville has a diverse economy, including a large Army base and industries supplying local mines, so it made sense.”
Matt decided to enter the hire business, specialising in portable toilets, after a chat with a long-time mate and mentor.
“My friend had started in the hire industry in the 1960s and I got a lot of information off him,” he says.
“We decided on portable toilets because the big hire companies don’t want to deal with toilets as you need specialised trucks for delivery and vacuum trucks, and it is a bit more labour-intensive.
“We saw a gap in the market to offer really good customer service, and we knew there was always going to be demand. Our customers, after all, are anyone who needs to go to the toilet.”
NorQuip Group hires out portable toilets to a wide range of building sites, construction companies, private parties, events, mine sites, defence sites, and concerts and schools.
Matt has been working with Australian Portable Toilets since he founded his business, purchasing largely from the Statesman range of toilets.
“The service by Australian Portable Toilets is by far the best in the market,” he says.
“The staff are really focused on the customer service, and there are always very fast response times.”
And business is booming. Matt has put in an order for more than 100 toilets from Australian Portable Toilets in the last few months alone and employs up to 18 staff in peak periods.
“Some companies just keep the same products, but what I like (about Australian Portable Toilets) is they are constantly trying to improve and make changes,” he says.
“So they’re always trying to better the product.”
In fact, Matt says the strong relationship with Australian Portable Toilets has helped his business grow.
“When we were first starting out Australian Portable Toilets offered payment steps for us, which really made a big difference,” he says.
“The banks were not as flexible because of our unique asset type, but (Australian Portable Toilets) let us pay off some equipment over 18 months.
“It was a big help to us.”
No two days are the same for Matt, and he will often receive a late order or an increase in the order amount at the last minute.
“We are always needing equipment at the last minute and it is never-ending,” he says.
“You try and plan for these things but often event organisers will double their orders.
“A lot of the time Australian Portable Toilets are able to put together an order at the last minute.”
NorQuip Group is in a big growth phase at the moment, which has meant 14-hour days for Matt, sometimes working seven days a week.
Kristie works four days a week in the business, as well.
“When drawing up our business plan, we always had high expectations and we seem to have exceeded them and keep exceeding them,” Matt says.
“It’s a lot of hard work, but I love the business and I love the industry.”
This story was written by Johanna Leggatt. Johanna is an Australian journalist with more than 15 years’ experience in both print and online. She has worked across a wide range of subject areas, including health, property, finance, interiors, and arts.