Wes Maas was just 22 when he launched his business with one skid steer loader. Fast-forward 15 years, and now he has a huge equipment fleet, a residential development operation and several other business divisions, with about 200 staff on the books.
Maas Group, based in Dubbo, NSW, now includes six residential developments, a few commercial developments, a highly successful plant hire operation, and a bulk earthworks, civil construction and mining business that includes a quarry operation with crushing and screening contract hire.
“I always wanted to be successful, in whatever I was doing,” Wes says. “I’m very goal focused.”
The business grew steadily from 2004, and really took off in 2009 when Wes started building the heavy plant hire and earthworks arm of the operation, right as the mining boom hit.
Maas Group doubled in size in 2011 then again in 2012 and in 2013. By 2014 Maas Group owned 280 vehicles and pieces of plant.
Maas Group was successfully competing with some of the country’s biggest names in plant hire, winning business with blue chip clients and working on ambitious projects including a gold mine near Dubbo and the huge Caval Ridge coal mining development in Queensland.
While the mining downturn signalled tough times for many businesses, Wes managed it perfectly, slowing down the plant hire and earthworks while ramping up his property business.
“We run with the theory that you have to grow or you will die. We had to adapt to the market and evolve so we sold off some of our plant equipment and knocked over a lot of our debt, then we bought some parcels of land for development, partly to ensure we could keep on our good staff,” he says.
Maas Group now has over 2,000 lots in the pipeline in and around Dubbo – that’s close to half of the residential land Dubbo will require for growth over the next 30 years.
These days Wes says his main job is thinking, getting ideas off the ground, building the business and the team then handing projects over so he can explore the next opportunity.
“The business vision is that of long-term ventures. My role is focused mainly around capital acquisition, whether it be property or machinery, and I’m always on the lookout for the next investment opportunity.”
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