A little over five years ago Mahurangi Matters caught up with a bunch of young Mahurangi entrepreneurs just starting out in business. We were curious to know how they were getting along today …
Neil Taylor Cabinetmaker & Design
Thoughts in 2015: Back in 2015 Neil hoped to still be in business, have updated to more modern machinery and be providing opportunities for apprentices.
How have things turned out? Warkworth’s growth has ensured that business is booming. Moreover, rising house prices have encouraged people to renovate rather than move, ensuring even more work. Neil has updated his computer design software and acquired a CNC cutting machine. He took on his first apprentice at the start of this year.
Biggest buzz? “I really like dealing with the clients and turning their dreams and visions into reality.”
Top tip: “Research who your advertising is reaching. No point in putting an ad in a paper that is way outside where you are going to want to travel.”
Thoughts in 2015: Back in 2015, Monique worried about having left a secure job in Auckland, while still having a mortgage to pay off, to become self-employed at Matakana Physio.
How have things turned out? Monique recently took over Matakana Physio from Robyn Weston. Monique says the business has grown over the last five years. The practice has extended its hours and is now open six days a week. Soon it will move to new premises at Matakana Country Park. .
Biggest buzz? “I love helping people and seeing them achieve their goals and get back to what they love doing, when previously they couldn’t due to an injury.”
Top tip: “I would say patience is key to starting a business, but also this quote resonates with me: ‘If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right’. Mindset is everything.”
Thoughts in 2015: Back in 2015, Tom said his biggest challenge was biting the bullet and getting into business on his own. He figured the way to grow was to be honest and straightforward with customers, which would keep old ones coming back and bring new ones through the door.
How have things turned out? Strong growth has prompted Tom to take on two extra staff, expand into the building next door, procure additional equipment and offer new tyre and wheel alignment services.
Any regrets? “None at all. It’s sent me grey like any business will. I guess you’ve got to take the good with the bad and, hey, grey hair isn’t all bad.”
Top tip? “A wise man once told me, ‘if ya don’t hit the wall … you’re not trying hard enough’ and that can be applied in many ways. If it’s in your heart to give it a go, then dive in the deep end and give it all you’ve got.”
Dan Wood Electrical
Thoughts in 2015: Back in 2015, Dan was working 65 hours a week partly motivated by the fact that he and partner Bailee were expecting their first child. He said the physical work was the easiest part, the more challenging aspect was catching up on the paperwork and the accounts.
How have things turned out? Dan now has three children and is down to working about 45 hours a week, which he says is better for his family and allows him to pursue outdoor interests and hobbies. He’s taken on other employees in the past, but says he feels more relaxed when he has just himself to think about.
Big lesson: “There was a period when we were working towards ‘bigger and better’ goals but have come to realise the extra stress is not worth the extra money.”
Top tip: “Focus on the goals you want, not what you think you should be doing. And enlist the services of an HR consultant before hiring staff.”