Nurturing growth to the next level
The client was a Tauranga based company in the highly competitive rural and commercial market, providing solutions for enhanced soil health and plant performance. Its significant customer base included farmers and commercial growers. The owner had spent more than 12 years at the helm, growing the business from a backyard operation into one of New Zealand's leading manufacturers and distributors of liquid fertilisers for horticulture and domestic use.
In a market that needs lots of education and brand acceptance before customers agree to adopt a new product, the growth of the company had been an uphill struggle. Importantly, it also required holding relationships with clients that the owner had set up over the years. In this industry, quality products, business credibility and ongoing relationships with major clients were integral to success.
The company's reputation was closely linked to the owner who felt the time had come to spend more time fishing and on the fairway. Indeed, he was becoming frustrated with his lack of desire to continue working in the business he had built. Unfortunately, the business was his only source of income.
The owner wanted to identify talent that could take over the business at an operational and management level - with the potential for business transition if all went to plan. Following input and analysis from Platform 1, a former General Manager of a large rural dairy supplier came on board. He was supported by an advisor who worked with the owner and new GM on integrating the relationship, business processes, strategic growth and the owner's wealth and income.
The owner was the first to admit that he was likely to be "reluctant to give up the cheque book". However, the transformation in his life was as swift and rewarding as it was comprehensive.
Only four months into ownership transition, the owner delivered on his promise to hand over the keys to the business and "go fishing". To his pleasant surprise, the transition process not only went from strength to strength but also without a hitch. It all happened at a speed that reflected the efficiency of the new structure and management.
The owner now enjoys his retirement and, apart from assistance requested by the GM and Board Meetings, he has seen continued growth of his business. He appreciates a good income and is growing the value of his asset. Over the last few years, this income has significantly outperformed any other investment he might have made had he sold the business outright.