Success story - Toast Limited
When we were first introduced to Steve Turner and Al Wilson, their web and print design business had grown like topsy. The two lads from Manawatu had an idea and started to run with it. Without much business nous but with loads of talent and the desire and enthusiasm to make a go of it, they now had a very successful company.
Based in Takapuna, on Auckland’s North Shore, they operated out of their own building in Taharoto Road. Toast instantly caught our attention with their special flavour and the unique greeting committee of Bear and Elvis (a couple of four-legged friends in residence).
Prior to working with Full Focus
Before we came along, Al and Steve had realised they needed some structures behind them if they were to build a “real” business. Having taken advice, they had formed various entities to protect what they were building. Trouble was, no one had looked to see whether these entities fitted together or worked collectively the way they wanted them to. There was no certainty whether they were adequate or even if they had the full complement of required structures.
Added to this, because their business had grown from the grass up, there was no strategy or plan as to where they were headed in the future. Just being on the journey had sufficed until now, but as the years passed and the business turned from an idea into a successful venture, they realised they better take stock and make sure they had good foundations in place.
What we did
Our first priority was to conduct a review of all the structures, both legal and financial, which Al and Steve had in place. After careful examination their structures were shown to fall short in a number of areas. Once this was pointed out, Al and Steve quickly took the opportunity to rectify the shortfalls. Their existing trusts were tidied up so that they were in full integrity, power of attorneys were put in place, as were wills.
“.....they uncovered errors in our trusts, structures and company documents. Errors that could mean our structures might not hold up in court. .......”
As part of this review, we looked at their financial arrangements and found their borrowings were not working in their best interests – they were in fact hampering their progress. The usual “one size fits all” finance they had in place was not ony holding them back, it was costing them a lot more than it needed to.
After negotiation with their bankers, their financial arrangements were fine-tuned to provide them with outstanding scenarios for their commercial premises, as well as their private homes. Their relationship with their banker, once neglected by all parties, was re-established, and Al and Steve were beginning to reap the benefits of this.
To address their future strategy, we worked with Toast to develop a vision and strategic priorities plan for their business. This gave them the structure with which to develop and grow their business. They now had a clear future direction for their business and plan of attack, rather than their original, although successful, haphazard approach.
As we worked alongside Steve and Al, we noted their debtors were not in good shape. It made sense to have an outside person handle these errant accounts, to enable Steve and Al to maintain their ‘bon ami’ with clients. We offered to handle this for them. After an initial round up and a serious campaign to bring these into line, the scales started to shift and the 90 day plus column was looking better than it had in years.
" When we look at our Aged Debtors .... you can see the difference in black and white. The results are amazing ...".
The difference today
Steve and Al have certainty on the state of their affairs. They know their foundations are robust and will stand the test of time. They have the peace of mind that if the ‘shit hits the proverbial fan’, they and their families are safeguarded.
Their financial arrangements are specifically tailored to their individual circumstances and are giving them the support they require. Added to this, they also have a strong strategic relationship with their Bankers, which is something most business owners either fail to attain or don’t utilise.
Al and Steve have a new awareness of getting things right in their business – no longer flying just by instinct, but with a strategy in place that ensures they make good business decisions.
There's a new culture in place with their debtors. They have gone from being a constant problem to being well managed and count-on-able.
“....Our debtors in the 30-90 days period are now almost zero ... our clients now understand that we run a tight ship ..." more
Toast have by no means finished their transition - it’s hard to take the cowboy out of Al and Steve. But that’s part of their brand ... a brand that works ... and it contributes greatly to the success of a fresh, hot and tasty web and print design business called Toast.
" ... they bought up subjects we never really thought of, but in my opinion, were the most important of all. These included making sure our goals were in place, our retirement in sight, and our families looked after if anything happened to me or my business partner...." more
Want to become another Full Focus success story?
Stephen Turner & Alastair Wilson
Ph. 09 489 2726