This article was originally created for Hayes Knight (now Nexia Auckland).
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It’s all in the planning – at least that’s exactly how HayesKnight North’s client GreensceneNZ see it. The Auckland central based arboricultural and landscape firm has had a relationship with Hayes Knight for four years. Over that time, the business relationship has evolved into where their advisor, Hayes Knight Director Brendon Cutler, is working closely with the business owners on an almost weekly basis. Brendon also attends the company’s quarterly board meetings as an independent advisor. “To me, Brendon is effectively a coach. He keeps me focused on our goals and he has pulled me away from always working in the business to working on the business” says Stacy Colyer, the founder of GreensceneNZ.
Having started in 1994, GreensceneNZ is now a leading arboricultural and landscape design, build and care company. Big on experience and passion for all outdoor environments, their ethos is ‘to enhance and protect living environments’. Initially specialising in tree resource consents, monitoring works around trees, tree asset management and green project implementation, GreensceneNZ began a landscape division two years ago. The new business is headed up by Mike Jack and Blake Cameron, two leading figures in the New Zealand landscape design and build industry.
Whilst the company’s initial strategic work planned for growth (GreensceneNZ now employs over 30 staff), the company’s owners found it difficult to remain focused on the business’s top priorities. When each milestone was reached, new opportunities and challenges arose. In this situation, Hayes Knight was able to add value by building on the initial business planning and really challenge the owners and their strategic thinking, as well as adding financial and commercial insight. This experience proved to the GreensceneNZ management team that outside expertise can motivate company owners to focus on the important things in business. Simply put, the independent view and support that Hayes Knight has offered GreensceneNZ has been invaluable to the company’s performance.
Implementing a formal planning process has really helped GreensceneNZ build solid foundations for commercial success. Brendon is convinced that proper strategic planning is an essential ingredient in the recipe for growth in any business – “Without a detailed plan, not only is it difficult to remain focused, but it is often hard to get any traction without having specific action plans required to achieve your strategic goals”.
A little-known fact is that Hayes Knight offer tailor-made business planning workshops. GreensceneNZ are now very familiar with the benefits of participation – “To have the opportunity to come to Hayes Knights North’s office, use their boardroom and have on tap specialist advice created the platform for us to get the most out of our strat day.” GreensceneNZ’s experience of looking to Hayes Knight for guiding the company throughout the strategic planning process is not an isolated case. Brendon explains that many businesses these days are demanding that their accountants are ‘more than bean counters’ and that they become an integral part of the team. The words ‘trusted advisor’ have become a typical description of how quality accountants are seen by their clients and that is certainly part of Hayes Knight’s ‘beyond the numbers’ philosophy. In fact, Stacy goes so far as describing Brendon as “an essential part of our team”.
GreensceneNZ Directors pictured from left to right: Blake Cameron, Mike Jack, Stacy Colyer.