Coast Communications is keeping it in the family

Rebekah Watkins from Coast Communications Fleurieu/Victor Telephone Data Antennas in Currency Creek is one of a number of our members who are part of husband/wife and family enterprises. The business involves both Rebekah and her husband, along with their two sons.

Read her profile below to find out more about her business and her journey:

Name: Rebekah Watkins

Business:  Coast Communications Fleurieu / Victor Telephone Data Antennas

Phone:  0405 774 060

Email:  coastcoms@gmail.com

Website:  www.coastcomms.com

Physical Address:  25 Nash Road, Currency Creek – we are mobile and we work in between Middleton and Goolwa.

What does your business do?: Coast Communications installs all types of antennas and satellite dishes.  We are experts at data cabling and computer networking, telephone networking, NBN modifications and set-up, wifi boosting, mobile phone repeaters, business telephone systems, security systems, CCTV, health safety alerts, and trouble shooting.

What area do you cover?: We cover the entire Fleurieu region.

Background: We have had for the business since 2000 but it was founded by my husband Anthony’s father in 1992 as Victor Telephones.  They were based in Victor Harbor, but we have since moved to Currency Creek where it is quieter, and found our old business name Victor Telephones was very limiting to just one town on the Fleurieu, especially when we travel all over the region and sometimes beyond.  As a result we created another business name Coast Communications Fleurieu that encompasses not just telephones, but all types of communication services.

My father-in-law started Victor Telephones in 1992 when he was retrenched as part of Telecom’s changeover to Telstra.  He then trained Anthony (who was a qualified baker at the time) and handed over the business in 2000 in which I did the paperwork and Anthony was the sole hand-on worker.  We had to create all accounting software and forms for our new business while I worked at the City of Victor Harbor. 

We found it hard getting a reliable casual helper for the business as it grew, so in 2011 I handed in my resignation at the City of Victor Harbor to become a trainee telecommunications technician and became Anthony’s fully-qualified assistant on the tools. 

In 2015 our oldest son Jamie, who has Aspergers, started working with us and in 2016 became a trainee telecommunications technician and gained his full licence.  Jamie excels in the detail of workmanship but takes a great deal longer than we have time for on most jobs.  He needs to be stepped through every new job thoroughly, which is very time consuming.  Once he knows a job site he is very thorough and precise.  Unfortunately most of our jobs are once-offs so we use him mainly on the large jobs.  Although he cannot work full-time with us because of this we have been able to re-direct him into training on the administration side of the business. 

In 2018 our youngest son Daniel decided to join our team and became a trainee telecommunications technician and it is working well. 

Since Daniel has joined our team I have been able to step back into a more clerical role as I struggled with the physical side of the job, and after injuries in my shoulders and arms, now I have the time to re-assess our business policies, strategies and advertising, this is where I have had time to investigate what is available to us in this region and join this group.

What have you learned on your business journey?:  Through this journey I have come to realise that women cannot physically do ‘anything a man can do’.  Sure, we have the brains, but we are by no means equal to men who have the physical strength to do things that I could only do if I was a very strong female – unfortunately I am not.  I thought I could do anything they can, but have had to take a big spoonful of respect for the things men – even small men – can do that I have had to acknowledge in my defeat.  I am using my skills in administration again and enhancing this through continual online training.

Why did you join the network:  I joined the Women in Business Regional Network to learn more on how to run our business more effectively and pick up any tips to improve our system and also to get our name out there amongst the locals and other businesses as I noticed this group focuses on networking.  We have heard many times how people have not heard of us, even though we have been here on the South Coast for over 20 years.