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. They didn’t have much business nous. But they had loads of talent and the desire and enthusiasm to make a go of it. Now they had a very successful company.
Based in Takapuna, on Auckland’s North Shore, they operated out of their own building in Taharoto Road. Toast caught our attention. They had a special flavour and a unique greeting committee of Bear and Elvis (a couple of four-legged friends).
Before 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. They had taken advice in the past. Had formed various entities to protect what they were building. Trouble was, no one had looked to see whether these entities fitted together. No one knew if they worked the way they wanted them to. There was no certainty whether they were adequate.
Added to this, because their business had grown from the grass up, there was no strategy or plan. They weren’t clear on where they were headed in the future. Being on the journey had sufficed until now. But the years passed and the business turned from an idea into a successful venture. Steve and Al 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. This included all Steve and Al’s legal and financial affairs. After careful examination we found their structures fell short in some areas. Once pointed out, Al and Steve 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. We 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 holding them back. It was also costing them a lot more than it needed to.
We negotiated with their bank to fine-tune their financial arrangements. Steve and Al ended up with outstanding scenarios for their commercial premises. Their private homes were also handled well. Their relationship with their banker, once neglected by all parties, was re-established. Al and Steve were beginning to reap the benefits of this.
We worked with Toast to develop a vision and strategic priorities plan. This gave them the structure with which to develop and grow their business. They now had a clear future direction for their business. A 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. This would allow 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. 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 peace of mind knowing they and their families are safeguarded if the ‘shit hits the fan’.
Their financial arrangements are tailored to their individual circumstances. They’re getting the support they need. They now have a strong strategic relationship with their Bankers. This is something most business owners either fail to have or don’t utilise.
Al and Steve have a new awareness of getting things right in their business. They are no longer flying just by instinct. They have 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 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