By far the most successful business that I have had a stake in during my life to date started late in 2007 and ran into the GFC. Not good timing, highly stressful at times and a great story after. From a $15k start up to a multimillion dollar business, providing a livelihood to 85 people at its peak, to an eventual sale in 2012.
Our business started with three partners, a paramedic, a salesman (me) and a doctor, and the vision to create a medical company that managed and reviewed medical data for industry, then use the data analysis to sell evidenced based intervention strategies. This is not quite how it worked out but the idea was there. The potential clients however dictated a different strategy that ultimately worked. The change in direction led to a change in the Directors, from three down to two.
The business started in my garage, with my business partners and I all working or consulting to other companies to keep the cash coming in that we all required to live on, while we tried to grow the business. I was struggling with trying to put data into MYOB for accurate reports for my business partners. I reached out to a bookkeeper who started coming to my garage to enter data and check that what I was entering was correct. Winter approached fast, the business was growing and the bookkeeper was not really interested in coming to my house anymore.
Enter “the other bloke”, a guy I had worked with before, very intelligent, great with numbers and a previous CFO. Cool, our new bookkeeper I thought. Later on as I was educated by “the other bloke”, I was pleasantly surprised and rather embarrassed at calling him and his firm a bookkeeping company. Management accounting, payroll, accounts payable, reviews of Directors liabilities, three way forecasts, tendering tools - wow, they were smart and much bigger than I had thought.
The business was continuing to grow. My business partner “Operations” was in full swing ensuring our product and our people were the best they could be. My business partner was the most competent, passionate and thoughtful person I have ever worked with and she produced an outstanding product that was highly desirable to our clients.
“The other bloke” and his company had the tools and smarts to look after the numbers, and provide reports to me that gave me comfort and sometimes heartburn! "Payroll was how much?" Wow, we were growing fast. “The other bloke” and his team smiled and said "we will put together three way forecasts and send them to the banks so they can compete on your work." Good luck I thought, getting the banks competing for our work, they didn’t want to talk to us a year ago! Sure enough the bankers started ringing to see if we could fit in a lunch with them. Sensational, another problem solved, cashflow sorted, and I could continue focusing on business growth.
Without "the other bloke” otherwise known as The Accounting Department, and my business partner “Operations", there is no way we could have continued to focus on sales and business growth.
Now I have the opportunity to help The Accounting Department grow their business and assist other business owners with their consideration of outsourcing.