Client Stories

Change of Scenery Landscapes

Residential landscape design and construction.

Pozitive Sign & Graphic Supplies

Importer and supplier of equipment, consumables and maintenance services to the signage industry

Sea Air Installations

Commercial air-conditioning ducting manufacture and installation

One Agency Reeves Properties

Residential landscape design and construction.

Qalchek

Water and Sewage Design Consultancy

Cult Design

Importer and retailer of designer corporate and residential furniture

Change of Scenery Landscapes

Business

Residential landscape design and construction
https://www.changeofscenery.com.au

Areas of Achievement

Leadership and Vision, Business Systems and Processes, Financial Management, Time Management, Planning and Accountability

Our Work with Change of Scenery Landscapes

Change of Scenery Landscapes is run by husband and wife team Nick and Lauren Kenyon. Nick had previously worked with Anil when he was employed at another landscape construction business, but subsequently left to start his own business. He approached Anil when he realised that he needed a Business Coach to help him with the business direction and to keep him and Lauren accountable and on-track to achieving their business goals.

Nick and Lauren wanted to create a profitable business which would give them the freedom to spend time with their young family. We have helped them to achieve this within 12 months and they have gone from a fledgling business to one that is now highly profitable, working on selective projects with a tight team of 5, and growing.

This was achieved through the use of our regular quarterly business review, goal setting and planning process together with regular education to allow Nick to step away from “the tools” and spend more time planning the jobs, training the team and ensuring that business processes and systems are used to run an efficient and profitable business. They also regularly attend our client Quarterly Growth Days where they hear from and share ideas with our other clients.

Throughout this process, Nick and Lauren also started becoming far more selective in the opportunities that they quoted on and where they spend their time. They now specialise in designer gardens and whole-yard makeovers instead of smaller (and less profitable) paving and retaining wall jobs. This approach was openly discussed with their team who also preferred doing this type of larger-scale work.

Pozitive Sign & Graphic Supplies

Business

Importer and supplier of equipment, consumables and maintenance services to the signage industry https://pozitive.com.au/

Areas of Achievement

Business Management and Leadership, Sales Management, Team Management and Development, Business Systems and Processes, Financial Management, Time Management, Planning and Accountability

Our Work with Pozitive

Pozitive was referred to us by their accountant. The business had already been established for over 20 years when we started working with them and had been recently acquired by long-term employee Philip Trumble and his wife Andrea. Since their ownership, the business had grown quickly and was becoming more difficult to manage.

The initial brief was for us to help their managers step up and take more responsibility for their departments, and be less reliant on Philip to get involved. While this was definitely needed, we also felt that Philip and Andrea needed far more structure in their own roles and how they managed the team.

We introduced a discipline of quarterly goal setting and planning, clarified roles and expectations for the senior management team, introduced weekly meetings between Philip and his managers, including meeting agendas and documented actions, and we trained the team on time management strategies so they also felt more in control and organised. Once established, this routine led to Philip and Andrea having far more control over their business and the performance of their team. Plus it freed them up from the day-to-day so that they could take holidays and get more balance with their young family.

Over the next 12 months we worked with the internal accountant to establish better processes and accurate financial reporting, we helped to set sales budgets, we worked with the sales manager to review and improve the performance of the sales team and we ran team training and workshops to generate ideas and to get the team involved in the future direction of the business.

Pozitive now has an extremely loyal team of 20 and they have expanded from Sydney into Melbourne. The team love the family-friendly culture and the focus on service quality that Philip and Andrea have created. Nine Pillars continues to work with Pozitive to help them expand further and remain focused on the professional management of the business.

“An excellent team providing personalised service. Knowledgeable and systemised, their coaching style is easy to follow whilst keeping you accountable. Great having Anil and the team as part of our growth strategy.” Andrea Trumble

Sea-Air Installations

Business

Commercial air-conditioning ducting manufacture and installation

Areas of Achievement

Strategy and Business Model, Customer Relationship Management, Team Management and Company Culture, Project Management, Business Systems and Processes, Financial Management, Planning and Accountability

Our Work with Sea-Air Installations

Sea-Air is a family run business started by husband and wife team Brett and Michele Seager in 1990. Over the past 28 years it has grown considerably and now also employs their son and son-in-law and a total team of 20 long-term staff.

We were introduced to Sea-Air by the Australian Industry Group (AI Group) as part of the NSW Government Entrepreneurs Program. The business review that was conducted as part of the program identified a need for Sea-Air to work with an experienced Business Coach to develop the management and leadership skills of the team, improve business processes and assist in the financial management and expansion strategy of the business.

We met with the senior team 1-on-1 to get their input and we conducted a financial review of the business to fully understand what makes the business tick, what the main levers were to improve business performance and the best options for sustainable and profitable growth. We quickly identified that the business needed to attract and work with better customers, improve team productivity and improve job management processes.

We conducted a whole-of-team survey to get engagement with the team and to involve them in the business improvement journey. Following on from this we held a team meeting to share the results of the survey. This led to agreement among the team that pay rates and year-end bonuses should be based on performance and should not necessarily be equal or based on length of service. We also documented the team roles and expectations and this led to much greater ownership, accountability and performance by the factory and site teams.

Another major focus was to make the jobs run more profitably. This was done by reducing the amount of work done for poorly organised customers and putting in place a customer relationship plan to secure work from higher-quality customers who had higher-quality and more profitable work. In addition to this, we improved the job management process and started to allocate and track team hours against jobs to improve the way the jobs were managed. This led to better profitability across all jobs.

Brett also became more confident in managing the performance of the staff and raising performance issues. All of these changes happened in the first 6 months of our engagement and we continue to work with Sea-Air on a succession strategy to allow for the business to be handed down to the new generation.

“Anil has been fantastic. I had a business coach in the past but we achieved more in the first 4-6 months with Anil than we did in 2 years with the previous coach. He has been able to build rapport across the team and we are in a good position for the next generation to start managing the business.” Brett Seager

One Agency Reeves Properties

Business

Residential property sales and management http://oneagencyreevesproperties.com.au

Areas of Achievement

Business Management, Time Management, Planning and Accountability, Team Management and Development

Our Work with One Agency Reeves Properties

We began working with Andrew and Vanessa Reeves soon after the start of their business. Andrew was a highly experienced and respected agent in the Penrith area but he had never run or grown a business. Since our engagement the team has grown from a handful of people to now having over 20 people across 2 offices.

Our initial focus was simply to get alignment between Andrew and Vanessa and to agree on common goals and priorities. We spent time understanding their independent thoughts about the business priorities and direction and documenting this into a one page plan that captured the long-term goals and immediate goals. This process formed the foundation for alignment and improved communication between them and their team. We also met individually with each team member to get their honest feedback about the business and we incorporated this feedback into our planning process.

We also spent time documenting the roles and responsibilities for each team member (including Andrew and Vanessa) which gave everyone greater clarity of what they were responsible for and what was expected of them. This extended into personalized time management and weekly plans for the team so that they had the structure and tools needed to work effectively in their roles and together as part of the team.

Andrew began to focus more on developing his team’s skills by meeting with them weekly to ensure that they had the support to progress their projects and absorb the Reeves Properties values and customer-service ethic. Andrew transitioned from being busy working “IN” the business (listing and selling properties) to getting a greater balance and working far more “ON” the business. 

The results speak for themselves with the business now regarded as one of the leading local real estate agents with strong listings and a growing property management portfolio.

“Vanessa and I worked with Anil for around 18 months. Our business has exceeded expectations in this time through Anil’s goal setting approach and the business structures he has introduced. I’d highly recommend him if you’re serious about growing and developing your business.”  Andrew Reeves

Qalchek

Business

Water and Sewage Design Consultancy www.qalchek.com.au

Areas of Achievement

Leadership Development, Team Harmony, Team Productivity, Business Systems and Processes, Planning and Accountability, Profitability

Our Work with Qalchek

We’ve began working with Qalchek after they attended one of our Business Mastery courses. We organised for them to access funding through the (then) Enterprise Connect program which effectively paid for half of our consulting fees for the 1st 12 months. They continued working with us on a regular basis after that initial 12 months to help them to achieve continued growth.

Qalchek was already a well-established and profitable business when we started working with them, however the owners knew that they needed professional business advice and training to help them better manage the business. As with many growing businesses, the owners were becoming busier and busier and were finding it difficult to get the senior team members to take on more responsibility. The team was willing but there was a gap between their enthusiasm and the skills needed for them to take on more responsibility. There was also a divide between the various departments because of the growing number of staff and the lack of time for the senior managers to manage their teams and the communication between the departments.

We initially conducted a confidential staff survey to get feedback from the team, generate ideas and get them involved in the change management process. We then held team meetings to “flesh out” the feedback from the surveys and work with the team to develop an action plan to improve communication and work processes within and between the various departments.

The team meetings also uncovered a need for the management team to learn skills to help them step up in their leadership roles. We implemented a more structured team management approach which included regular team meetings, improved job scheduling and tracking, resetting expectations with team members and a simpler and more effective performance review and goal setting process.

As the senior managers were able to take on more responsibility, the Managing Director was freed up to conduct more structured team training sessions (both group and 1-on-1 training) which allowed the business to continue to improve the skills of the team and take a further load off the senior people.

Qalchek have grown substantially in the last 2 years with record monthly revenues and profits and a team of nearly 30 people. They recently employed an Operations Manager to manage the job scheduling, human resources and accounting functions to allow the senior team to focus on business development and team training activities. We continue to implement a quarterly review and planning process plus meet with them fortnightly to provide support, set goals and keep them accountable and on-track towards the achievement of their plan.

CULT Design

Business

Importer and retailer of designer corporate and residential furniture
www.cultdesign.com.au

Areas of Achievement

Sales Management, Organisational Structure, Financial Management, Business Systems and Processes, Planning and Accountability, Team Management

Our Work with Qalchek

We initially started working with CULT Design (then Corporate Culture) after they attended a seminar that we ran for their accountant. This initial engagement was for close to 3 years. Since then we have kept in touch and assisted them with various small projects and advice. We recently re-engaged with CULT and are now working with them on a regular basis to help them to continue to grow and develop the business.

CULT Design is an icon in the high-end Australian design community. It was established in 1997 and has showrooms across Australia and New Zealand, plus an enviable reputation for quality furniture and high standards of customer service. Since we started working with them in 2009 CULT has grown from 24 staff to now have 40 staff and more than double the revenue.

As with most of our mid-sized clients, we first conducted a confidential staff survey to get feedback from the team, generate ideas and get them involved in the change management process. We then held a meeting with the senior management team to develop an action plan and to get their full buy-in to the process. The management team was enthusiastic and willing to take on more responsibility but they needed a more structured approach to goal setting, prioritisation and business planning. The business was excellent at setting a strategic direction and generating ideas, but less effective at implementing the strategies, especially as the business continued to grow in size and complexity.

We implemented our 90 Day Planning process into the business which included establishing a 90 Day Plan for each departmental manager. We also implemented more structured weekly meetings to keep the management team on-track and accountable to the achievement of their individual plans. In addition to the this, we tightened up the way the sales team was managed, with regular 1-on-1 meetings and weekly reporting of sales activity, projections and results.

These changes meant that there was a more structured and consistent approach to the implementation of the strategic plan. The next step was to review the organisation structure, including the roles needed and the required level of experience for various functions. This resulted in a restructuring of the sales team to provide more sales support for the sales reps to allow them to spend more time with clients. We also recruited a senior internal accountant to improve the financial reporting and management capabilities of the business. This person was also able to work with the operational managers to improve processes across the business.

The work we did with CULT Design provided them with the foundation for the next level of growth. It put in place functional managers with more responsibility for developing their part of the business and a planning process to ensure that strategies were implemented by these functional managers. It also freed up experienced sales staff from administrative tasks to focus on greater client contact which led to greater sales.

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