Ethan, Brandon, Carmen and Kris Newton with Aaron Strong at Off The Grid 4X4.
Ethan, Brandon, Carmen and Kris Newton with Aaron Strong at Off The Grid 4X4. Allan Reinikka ROK270718aoffgrid

Off the Grid 4x4 puts itself on the Rocky map

THE key to the success of small businesses, is the support between local owners, says Off the Grid owner Kris Newton.

Mr Newton and his wife Carmen began their local parts, accessories and installation store in Rockhampton in 2012 and have spent the last six years delivering quality products at affordable prices.

However, when the owner of discount store Silly Solly's, Solly Stanton, urged them to expand their premises, they decided to take the next leap in their business.

In January, the Newtons moved from shed 12 at 10 Dooley Street to shed 16, taking up a whole lot more space and a more business-savvy position.

"We outgrew our shed in four months because the work just kept coming and there was no space,” Mr Newton said.

"The shed we were in was tucked away in a corner and Solly moved us right to the front of the complex which has more street exposure, is a bigger set up and people see us better.

"Solly is a businessman at heart and definitely a salesman, but he was on the outside looking in and saw we had no space and were falling over each other.

"He said he had a bigger shed for us and even though it would cost more, it would fix our business, and it did... it was a positive move.”

The new store is still in early days but has the office and show room set up.

"We're getting machinery and hoists in store shortly and all the warehouse space is getting decked out in the next six months,” Mr Newton said.

"Drivetech 4x4 is our main brand and we're moving into wholesaling that product and distributing it.

"We're also moving into tyres and basic servicing.”

Mr Newton said something that has made the local store popular is how it is independently run.

"We're not tied down to any one brand and we can supply anything for 4x4,” he said.

"We also have the fastest, easiest finance options for four-wheel-drive parts.

"We started our business at the wrong time and we were at the bottom of the market and riding a low wave.

"But things are picking up now and by Solly giving us this push, he wants us to do well... us local businesses have got to stick together.”