I have been working with Hugh at Action Coach Geelong for several years now and Hugh’s input, knowledge and ideas have helped our business to expand rapidly and grow profits. Hugh’s push to think about the next thing and differing opinions will help your business go forward profitably. I would recommend hugh to any business owner either looking for help or not or even if you are looking at getting into business.
Hi, I’m Tim Reinen. I am the Managing Director of Otway Precast in Cola, Victoria. We manufacture precast concrete products for construction. Precast elements that are of an architectural nature, that usually revolves around some of the more ornate work around government projects and schools, and sort of that kind of work.
We do a lot more ornate stuff, that bespoke type precast that involves a multitude of finishes. A lot of our work is based in Melbourne. We are currently working with the Melbourne University, also alongside a number of companies for a lot of cemetery work, doing a lot of ornate work in mausoleums, and a multitude of projects around the area from bridging through to buildings, through to seating and landscaping works. Yeah, we have quite a vast field.
A couple of great examples of the work we do more locally would be the Geelong Library, it was a large project for us. In 2004, we completed that one alongside Kane Constructions, it comprised of stair cores, lift cores, and the eastern elevation, including a pattern where we had to go extreme lengths to make the architects and the clients happy.
Another good project locally was the Surf Coast School at Torquay where we produced structural columns, which formed a wave around the building, along with 200-odd black items.
Over the past four years, working with Hugh, we’ve had a massive increase in profits. We went 30 times better in our profit margins and we’ve had a 237% growth in our revenue.
Going forward with Hugh we’ve got some pretty big plans. We’re on the verge of investing $2.5 million into a new facility, to better our turnover and increase more staff, and things are looking quite positive going forward. Planning on sticking with Hugh into the future and using his services. As we grow, we require some more expertise and Hugh’s definitely the man to help.
Into the future with the increase in popularity behind GFRC, we are setting up a factory to create GFRC. GFRC is a cement sand-based compound bound by structural fibers. Essentially it’s a lightweight precast panel, looks and feels exactly what our concrete does, but essentially is only around about 20th of the weight, which allows for better use into a multitude of areas, where normal precast weight or crane sizes don’t allow. So this helps us to help fulfill dreams of people wanting to use concrete products where they otherwise might be restricted.
The use of GFRC in the MCG mausoleum at the Melbourne Cemetery was a quite interesting one where we had to build custom window frames and feature columns, where the use of precast wouldn’t allow for due to the design and the weight, we used the GFRC product because of the lightweight nature and the ability to install it after the building was almost complete, as opposed to having something that was being damaged throughout the construction process.
Another asset of our businesses is the crane hire, so we currently have cranes up to 55 ton, and we’re about to introduce a new 685 Effer into our mix, which will give us quite good reach, in quite tight areas.
Predominantly we service the south west with crane hire. We’ve had a lot of background in petrochemical work and also throughout just general hire. We’ve been now with 30 years of experience. We’ve got all the rigging covered and lifting covered that you might need.
After over 11 years of running a successful Graphic / Web Design business with nine staff in two locations (Torquay and Ballarat). A major back injury and some client marketing cut backs had left my business enduring the worst financial year of its existence. This was a new experience for me, I had become accustomed to the business growing bigger each year. Some tough decisions had to made and I realised my business was not as strong as it could be.
For instance could I step away from my business for four weeks and would it not miss a beat? No was the short answer. I needed to change how my business was run and I needed help to achieve this, in step Hugh Bowman. After speaking to Hugh over a lunch one day I was immediately taken by his understanding of business and his interest in mine. I told him what my business was going through and he starting listing areas we could look at as a priority.
One of these areas was setting up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for all my designers. The idea being instead of getting a feel for how productive my designers were, we should track it more closely to ascertain how effective and productive each designer was. I spent time explaining to my staff what I had learnt from Hugh and why it was important for all of us as a team to meet our KPIs, this was met with mixed reactions, not surprisingly the more positive reactions came from my most productive staff with nothing to hide.
Six months after hiring Hugh my business was back achieving the profits I have always had, and more importantly we have achieved this with our biggest client’s marketing budget still 75% less than normal. To any business owner, here is my recommendation, you can always learn more even if you think you already know everything. Get Hugh to do a business health check on your business and see if you can make the same profit with half the work. Mine is a work in progress but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, where nine months ago all I could see was darkness.
PS. The Action Growth 90 day Planning sessions are awesome and the Richsales seminar was the best sales seminar I have even seen.
How much you pay yourself as a business owner will have a remarkable impact on your personal and professional life. Many business owners struggle with the concept of paying themselves a wage because they think, as the owner, they should only be taking profits.
Most business owners don’t actually mind how much they are paying themselves because they are reinvesting it back into the business. However, in order to grow, it’s often essential to take on a business partner and this is where it starts to get tricky.
Imagine you take on a 50/50 financial partner but they only work half the number of hours as you or their skill level is lower than yours. In each of these two cases, it makes sense for you to be remunerated at a higher rate than your partner. But how do you decide how much is fair?
The best solution is to consider how much it would cost to hire someone to perform the same job and pay yourself that much. That way it’s fair all round. Equally, the same thinking could be applied to your new business partner too.
The best way to pay yourself is by a salary with super attached. This way, you’re accumulating all the benefits an employee is due and all is fair and above board for your partners to assess.
Another benefit of paying yourself regularly is the sense of satisfaction everyone deserves from a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. This gives people a sense of achievement, keeps morale up and productivity too.
So I hope that’s helped. Of course things can get a little complicated sometimes when considering PAYG, the structure of your business, balancing salary with dividends, whether or not to take stock options or bonuses and all of the tax deductions employees are due. So give me a call, and I’ll walk you through these complexities and suggest a sensible way forward.