“I wanted to make our innovative tapwares easily accessible by putting it in the middle of major shopping centres” – Jay Byun, Quoss
Quoss, an Australian-owned company, have been manufacturing showers, bathroom and kitchen taps for over 25 years. It recently launched a business incubation programme and is recruiting franchisees across premium retail locations in major Westfield, Stockland and other shopping centres across New South Wales.
The company customises, designs and sells innovative shower and bathroom products and is aggressively expanding across major shopping centres. To find out more, Eden Exchange spoke with Jay Byun, Director of Quoss Limited.
Thanks for speaking with us Jay. Firstly, what brought you to a leadership position at Quoss? Can you share with us a little about your background and experiences?
Thanks for setting up this interview. Along with founding Quoss, I’ve had very diverse experiences in Australia. This includes introducing Korean copper tube imports to Australia, establishing the first Korean broadcasting station and setting up parking lot car wash businesses in major shopping centres across the country.
When I first came to Australia, I realised everyone was using outdated two tap systems. Most old homes STILL use them to this day! This system had many problems like dripping, leaking, high maintenance and difficult-to-fix internal piping but people didn’t have a way to address it without renovating the whole bathroom. For the next ten years, I developed a new way using exposed mixers and my own fittings. It’s been over fifteen years since Quoss first sold our Reno Transformer tapware and there have been many upgrades and changes since. Now, I can proudly say that the Reno Transformer can be installed easily into any Australian or New Zealand tap.
Can you explain to us the simplicity of Quoss? How does it work and how do you generate revenue? What inspired you to create the system?
Simplicity is a core value for our product development. Our research and development has been heavily focused towards easy and quick transformation that is DIY-capable. To use our Transformer products, its as simple as taking out old taps and then screwing in ours. It’s all retrofit – meaning that it will work in any situation in Australia even when the breech behind the wall is damaged or distorted.
The system works by blocking off the breech entirely and redirecting the water into an exposed mixer which distributes the water to the rest of the shower or bath. This means that when you want to upgrade two taps into a single flick mixer, you can do it without meddling with any of the in-wall piping – just screw on some Quoss products.
This conversion normally cost thousands of dollars and much time and effort. It can even involve skilled workers such as plumbers, handymen or builders. With a Quoss product, you can install it yourself in under twenty minutes or pay a nominal fee for a handyman to do it for you.
Because our products are usually sold as full sets including the mixer, fittings, railbar, hose and shower heads, Quoss products are very price competitive. When you add all the components together, our products are priced cheaply given the material quality and build.
We generate a lot of revenue from customers who’ve tried one of our products and come back to fit out their whole house. Basin taps, bath taps, laundry taps, kitchen taps, showers, outdoor tapware – the whole lot. We are proud of the fact that we have a repeat customer rate of over 85%.
We have a policy for our Quoss shops; we’ve focused our research and development towards easy transformations. Our patented systems allow our products to be installed without a plumber. Jobs like cutting holes, breaking walls and realigning pipes which would have required a plumber to do extensive labour with excessive costs, have all been covered by our innovation. Our products make it as easy as taking it out and putting it in.
From the very start, Quoss has been a supplier to major plumbing retailers such as Reece, Tradelink and Bunnings. As the manufacturer, we sell our products to stores at wholesale prices and they then pass it along at retail prices, just like any other merchandise.
Although the tapware market is big, there is a lot of fear towards plumbing products. Most people assume it’s an expensive undertaking that will incur massive costs. To turn this around, I wanted to make our innovative tapware easily accessible by putting it in the middle of the major shopping centres. When people pass by, they might think of their old shower or tap and desire a shiny new one.
Plumbing retailers like Reece or Tradelink have many outlets but these are specialty stores. Unless you need it, you won’t go to it. Similarly, in hardware stores like Bunnings, plumbing goods are relegated to their own section which you won’t be likely to visit unless you are specifically looking for tapware.
You are currently expanding franchise territories across Australia. Which areas are you focusing on?
The vision for the Quoss Business Incubation Program is to create a retail chain that can access the larger market with goods that have never been exposed like this before. There is definitely a gap for this business and the Reno Transformer is the best product for this space. So far, our projections are proving to be true.
Right now, we have premium locations ready in some major Westfield, Stockland and other centres in NSW. We’ve done significant research and analysis using reliable data provided by Quantium in order to find the most suitable locations with the highest potential and best demographics for selling our products.
For prospective franchisees, it’s a great time to sign up to the Quoss Business Incubation Program. There’s unprecedented support being placed on this venture and there’s probably no other franchise program that gives nearly as much concrete support as this.
What markets does Quoss focus on? Has the rise in DIY fashions increased your popularity with handy-people and homeowners? How will Quoss capitalise on the trends in DIY home maintenance and repairs?
Our market is primarily homeowners. People renting rarely decide to upgrade their tapwares. We do have some innovative showerheads popular with renters that they can install, use, then simply take with them when they move out, but our main product line deals with complete transformations.
Our transformers are particularly popular with new home buyers looking for cheap renovation options after buying expensive homes, and elderly people who often experience wrist pains when turning old taps on and off.
The rise of DIY has been very interesting for us. People are becoming more daring and handy with what they do around the house nowadays. Popular renovation TV shows and online ‘How to’ guides have really boosted the market potential for our products.
We have online installation guides and advertise in renovation and handyman magazines all the time – but I think the most compelling reason why Quoss will be at the front of the DIY trend for plumbing products is simply because no other plumbing product is as DIY-friendly as ours.
After all, we’ve had simplicity and DIY-friendliness as our mission from the start of our product development.
As well as supplying Bunnings, Reece, Tradelink, Galvins and most other major plumbing stores, Quoss has negotiated leases with popular shopping centres in Australia, offering sale points to new franchise owners. What are the implications of this and how important is this new development to the growth of the company?
The implications are massive for our franchisees. By negotiating leases in a professional manner and applying economies of scale, we are able to offer the lowest lease fees possible – sometimes as low as half the price they would have had to pay otherwise.
This helps reduce the operating costs to a minimum and positively impacts the bottom line and potential risks of business.
Essentially, what we are trying to create is a win-win scenario where people who are willing to have a go can start their own retail business with significantly less risk. I’ve been in the shoes of an entrepreneur so many times before. I know what it’s like and how much this sort of assistance means.
Tell us some more about the Quoss patented technology, such as the Aroma Sense Q showers. How do these original inventions set you apart from other plumbing suppliers?
Our innovative showers are very different to the other showers in the market. It’s very hard to get a similar experience with any other shower brand.
The Aroma Sense Q is basically a resort shower experience all rolled into a showerhead. It uses a patented gel-based Vitamin C tube infused with various natural essence oils, a patented watering plate with almost 300 triangular photo etched, a wide disc ceramic ball filter, and microfiber filters. Using this shower saves water, adds Vitamin C, which is beneficial to your hair and skin, improves water pressure by up to three times, eliminate odors and grime, filters out chlorine, bacteria and sediments, and make your shower smell incredible with lemon, eucalyptus and rose scents. The large shower head also makes you feel like you’ve had a satisfying premium shower experience.
Unlike other pressure increasing showers, the Aroma Sense watering plate breaks the water. When presenters at TVSN first tried out the product, they said it was so smooth and soft that it was like “liquid velvet”.
We also have the Ionic Superjet showerhead which can be loaded with a collagen filter. Collagen is a beauty product ingredient and has a good moisturising effect. This product also has a ceramic ball filter to kill bacteria, and microfiber filter to catch sediments. It also has innovative elements such as the swirl action filter fins that improve filtration efficiencies.
People have ignored bathroom luxuries for too long. These don’t have to be expensive to add amazing features to your shower or bath but many other companies are solely focused on improving outer design or only innovating on spray patterns. There’s just so much more a shower can be. Our products prove that.
In your opinion, what makes for a successful Quoss franchise owner? What type of background and experience does a new franchisee need to have, and what makes running a Quoss businesses unique?
What franchisees need is passion and perseverance. I tell this to all of my family, friends and employees, but it’s not fancy backgrounds or numerous experiences that make a successful person. Sure, it helps a lot but it all loses out to passion and perseverance in the end. If you want to be a successful Quoss franchise owner, be passionate about retail and expanding your stores. Set yourself a dream and no matter how hard it gets, persevere until it succeeds.
Because our products have been designed to be quick and easy to install, you don’t need any plumbing or building experience. You don’t need a business degree if you are willing and passionate, we want to support your business.
The Quoss Business Incubation Program is unique because it offers more material support than any other franchise program. We are not selling Quoss Franchises to make money off the franchisees. We are setting up Quoss Shops alongside the franchisees so that we can develop our businesses together hand-in-hand. We want to make money when the Franchisees are making money and our Program reflects that.
For $40,000 you get the shop setup worth $20,000, credit towards your first orders of $10,000, endorsements for six months totaling $13,200, pre-negotiated shop locations, six months worth of marketing materials. Included is setup support and continued support for the six month incubation period and beyond. Essentially, if you decide to take the plunge with us and join our business incubation program, then we will decide to take the plunge with you.
Quoss Shops are very unique as a business. There is else nothing like it at the moment. Plumbing retail chains such as Tradelink and Reece generally set up their own specialty standalone stores and have no presence inside shopping centres. Because of this, they fail to target the general user and impulse buyer. If you aren’t a plumber, builder or handyman you won’t go there unless you need to fix something or want to replace something.
The vision for the Quoss Business Incubation Program is to create a retail chain with access to a larger market that has never been exposed to a product like this before. People want a better shower or a fancy bath. Many want to replace their tapware but don’t want to commit to a big renovation, or are too lazy to deal with tradies. You need to bring the products in front of these people and they will buy it.
There is a gap in the market for this business. Reno Transformer products are the best in the space and so far our projections are proving to be true.
What advice do you have for someone looking to run a franchise for the first time? What’s the key message you tell new franchisees?
Be passionate. Don’t give up. If you have a good environment, especially at the start of your business, you have the best chances of succeeding and that should be a source of your confidence.
What are some of the key achievements you are proud of at Quoss? Conversely, what challenges do you expect to face?
The biggest achievement is being appreciated by our customers for our product, company and employees. Just the fact that the returning customer rate is over 85% makes me proud of everyone working in, and with, Quoss.
It re-affirms that what we are doing is correct and that we should keep developing products in the same manner. We have some exciting developments coming up which I can’t talk about just yet. All I can say is that we are working on some new mind-blowing products and some expansive arrangements which may greatly benefit all our franchisees. There are still a lot of hurdles to overcome so we’ll keep doing our best.
What’s the most interesting part of your job? What drives you to do what you do?
It’s the people I meet and situations I encounter. Sometimes I come across some amazing business offer, product or idea and I get completely enchanted by it. Running your own business isn’t easy and it often means you have to work harder than anyone else, especially at the start, but doing so allows you to experience the world in a very different way. You meet people and opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise and it makes me unable to live my life in any other way.
Thanks for your time Jay.
Thank you as well. I enjoyed chatting with you.
Quoss has been manufacturing showers and bathroom and kitchen taps for over 25 years, and continuously invest in research and development for superior technological products.
If you are interested in a Quoss franchise and want to find out more about Quoss’s Business Incubation programme and retail expansion please click here.
For further information call (+61 2) 9684 5009 or visit their website at http://www.quoss.com.au/about-us.