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Ricky Talbott

North Lakes, SEQ

Attempting to find a work life balance, Ricky Talbott quit his job to start his own small business. With the experience he had learned throughout his career, he established Civtecqld, a proudly Indigenous business dedicated to delivering electrical, telecommunications, civil engineering and renewable energy services.

My name is Ricky Talbott, my company is Civtecqld, and we're based in Brisbane. Civtec is 100% Indigenous. We specialise in electrical, telecommunications, civils, and renewable energy.

Working out in the mines in the last 4 years I guess the turning point for me was my boys wanted me to stay back in town, so I utilised everything that I had to start this company.

As you know, everyone's different in their approach to their work, so it's quite hard to manage each and every one specifically. There are a few thing I would change, one being the recruiting process, because the biggest thing, or the hardest thing I'm finding out is finding the right people. So I like to get in there and talk to the crews and get to know them, not on a personal level, but as an approachable person or approachable boss.

I'm usually there onsite with my hands on the tools, so if any problems do arise then I can give my experience and knowledge out to these guys.

It's stressful, but it is good. I wouldn't change it for the world. With working out in the mines, I've been leading hands almost in a supervisory role, and it's just something I should have done a long time ago.

As a father of 3, Ricky became tired of the gruelling demands of fly-in fly-out work. He missed his family and watching his young children grow up. After 4 years of this, he started his own business. His work in the mines had provided him with not just further skills and experience, but a wealth of contacts. Ricky spent his first weeks at home researching his options and realised he was better off using his experience in telecommunications, electrical and civil engineering to establish his own business. In 2016, Civtecqld formed, focusing on renewable energy, residential to industrial electrical infrastructure and civil engineering.

By his own admission, the first year of running his own business was difficult for Ricky. At one stage he was down to his last dollar. But the business bounced back, winning a tender to supply batteries to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the first tender they had ever submitted. Work continued to flow for the company, providing a range of electrical, infrastructure, construction and maintenance services to residential and commercial customers continued. This included commercial solar installations for over 300 new retirement villages across South East Queensland and National Broadband Network installations.

Ricky's first year of business taught him 3 valuable lessons: the importance of employing good staff, implementing good business systems and to never let the fear of risk hold you back. At his lowest point, he says he could easily have given up, but he didn't because he continued to believe in his small business. Hoping to establish a training branch for in-house training purposes, Ricky plans to grow staff organically and provide solid career pathways for his staff. He believes that it is his value and investment in people that separates Civtecqld from its competitors.

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