Business Purpose and Flowers
The before and after story of Sarah Regan and Little Flowers
Sarah Regan owns Little Flowers in Sydney. Little Flowers is an innovative floristry business who’s Purpose is:
More smiles, more faces, more reasons
Sarah has written below about her experiences working with me generally and in a couple of specific areas:
As well as about her journey to becoming a successful business owner with a Fun business that will sustain her for years to come.
Feel free to contact Sarah by phone or email for any further information:
mb: +61 449 000 554
Roland is a sounding board and he puts me in touch with other experts who help me short cut a process and who I know can be trusted
Roland ‘holds my hand’ through the things that I find scary of overwhelming (even if other people might not find them scary) so that I keep making steps forward and keep making progress.
Roland keeps me on track and continually pushing forward, and as a consequence, I continue to develop my business and leadership skills and become more competent along the way.
- I had been through different accountants, neither of whom I had managed to get a great relationship with. Both used to surprise me with unexpected invoices that always seemed expensive in relation to the advice provided. They were also quite patronising and dismissive. I felt that I was not knowledgeable enough to ask the relevant questions to get the best out of the relationship. It was intimidating and frustrating
- Having little financial literacy, I did not realise that I should be getting monthly reports, let alone what I should be looking for when they were finally delivered. When it transpired that the reports weren’t accurate I didn’t know where to start to put this right.
- I did not know how much I could afford to pay myself – now or in the future, whether we were making profit or not, or if I had a sustainable business. I just knew that we were very busy, needed to employ people so that I had time to try to work it out, but possibly couldn’t afford to employ them. It was terrifying. (It was at this point that I decided to work with Roland. This was not an easy decision given that I was pretty sure we were losing money, and in that context, Roland didn’t come cheap. But I new I had a great business idea with a lot of potential and I didn’t want to mess it up. It was a bit of a leap of faith as I didn’t know anyone who had worked with Roland before. But as it turned out it was one of the best business decisions I have ever made.)
- Roland introduced me to two accountants that he knew and trusted, and guided me through the process of ‘interviewing’ them, to ensure that my next one would be a keeper
- He was someone I could ask ‘stupid’ questions to – until I found an accountant that I trusted
- He advised on how much accountants should be charging, to help ensure I didn’t get ripped off. Just having someone to ask these kind of things was a great ‘short cut’ and really reduced my stress levels
- He helped me work out some ‘key performance indicators’ that I could measure on a daily / weekly basis, so I could start to get an idea of how we were going throughout the month, rather than waiting for the monthly reports (which were not making any sense at the time)
- Roland helped me stay focused and kept me moving forward on a task that was really challenging and at times quite dull! His guidance – and being accountable to him – meant that the feeling of “overwhelm” didn’t get the better of me, and I saw the task through
- He ‘held my hand’ through the process of a significant price increase – for a business that has only one product this was very nerve wracking and having his counsel gave me the confidence to make this crucial but scary change
- I have an accountant that I trust – she understands my business and is a partner in helping me make it stronger
- I get monthly reports – not just the basic ones, but extra analysis, tailored to my business, that I can easily read and understand
- I consider myself to be financially literate
- I know how the business is doing financially, I feel really in tune with it
- The numbers have gone from being something utterly terrifying to something that helps give me clarity and makes decision-making easier
- I have given myself two pay rises
- I feel much more confident and hopeful about the future of my business – and as a result the future of my life
- Heavily reliant on one staff member, and as such professionally (and personally) vulnerable in the event of her leaving / being sick or on holiday
- Staff member heavily pursuing pay rise we couldn’t afford and felt ‘over a barrel’ as my life and the business would go backwards if we did not grant it
- Nervous about employing new people, not sure what job description was, overwhelmed by the legalities and ‘HR’ stuff involved
- Reactive, employing new people ‘too late’ – when we were already stretched and I was working very very long days because we were understaffed. constantly on a back foot
- No real training process or clarity around what was expected of staff for them to be doing a ‘good job’
- Everyone working at wildly different paces. resentments creeping in between staff members. difficult to ‘replace’ a faster person at short notice as it disrupted the whole work flow and led to the underperformance of the team as a whole
- Several injuries in the work place
- Reactive when it came to people taking holidays, resigned or were sick. ended up back ‘on the tools’ myself.
- Highly stressed and constantly worrying about whether people were happy or whether they were about to leave
- Standardised production process. more efficient, fairer and more transparent. a more positive team dynamic as a result. calmer working environment
- Everyone works at the same pace so team members are interchangeable in the event of sickness / resignation
- A clear pay structure is in place – fair and transparent and I am able lead the discussion regarding pay rises rather than being reactive (okay not yet, but it was and it will be again soon!)
- I now schedule shifts 3 months in advance. have a team of regular staff and casual staff. ‘deputy’ online rostering system in place and people can swap shifts without me getting involved
- Safety assessments have taken place, and health and safety measures put into place to dramatically reduce risk of injury. no injuries in last six months.
- I have ‘spare’ people in the mix ready to go as florists
- I have a proper training / induction process for new florists in place. training manuals and ‘on the job’ training
- I am confident that i have a happy healthy work place and have created a positive environment. more relaxed about people moving on as i have strategies in place to replace them without (hopefully!!) a major impact on my personal or professional life – or on the rest of the team