Belbaker building up business

By: Chris Thompson, Photography by: Chris Thompson


Adam Baker and his father Walter's bus, which shows his initials on the plate Adam Baker and his father Walter's bus, which shows his initials on the plate Adam Baker and his father Walter's bus, which shows his initials on the plate
The depot still has space to hold quite a few more buses The depot still has space to hold quite a few more buses The depot still has space to hold quite a few more buses
Peter Thompson and Gary Bateman regularly check buses to ensure eveything is running smoothly Peter Thompson and Gary Bateman regularly check buses to ensure eveything is running smoothly Peter Thompson and Gary Bateman regularly check buses to ensure eveything is running smoothly
The operations office is the best place to keep an eye on the buses as they carry out jobs The operations office is the best place to keep an eye on the buses as they carry out jobs The operations office is the best place to keep an eye on the buses as they carry out jobs
Possibly some of the best lawn in Zillmere Possibly some of the best lawn in Zillmere Possibly some of the best lawn in Zillmere

Fledgling Brisbane charter company continues to find new ways to grow its operations

About five years ago Adam Baker was a different kind of operator, running kindergartens in the form of Nurseryland Early Learning Centres.

Now charter company Belbaker is his pride and joy, having come a very long way in only half a decade.

Baker attributes the company’s success to the high standard everyone sets for themselves and others.

"We’ve found that our best method is to always keep raising the bar and trying to be better," he says.

"We try to provide the best product to our customers with sales staff who are always following up and trying to build better relationships with those people.

"I think that’s part of the key to our success."

Part of the approach which has led to such rapid growth within the company comes from his history of running a family-owned business, Baker says.

"That started off with my mother and father.

"We come from a childcare background, and we’ve been in that industry for about 48 years.

"What actually happened to get the ball rolling was that the local school bus broke down, and they rang me and said: ‘I know you’ve got a 13-seater coach, could you help us out today because the bus has broken down’.

"The same thing happened a couple of days later and a couple of days after that, and they asked how much we were going to charge them," he recalls.

Baker says he never intended to make the school pay for the use of their bus until the principal pleaded with him to take some compensation for his effort.

"That’s when I decided I’d get my first 24-seater bus, which was a Rosa," he says.

Since then, Belbaker has grown into one of the most successful new businesses in the industry.

The business now incorporates charter, school run, and contracted operations, as well as continuing to operate Nurseryland Early Learning Centres.

The Belbaker depot is almost entirely self-sufficient, with a refuelling station, bus washer, and a workshop.

In the company’s short few years, it has been the provider to hundreds of schools for chartering, as well as government transport for projects such as the G20 Summit and the Legacy Way tunnel.

Looking to the future, Baker doesn’t want to give any major plans away.

"We want to have relationships with the other bus businesses on the north side of Brisbane because there are some great businesses up here," he says.

"There are some businesses that come and go, but we won’t be going."

ABC’s September issue will include a full feature on Belbaker Bus Charters. Click here to subscribe to ensure your copy.

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