We met Zac in July 2018 at his 2-day business planning & strategy workshop on the recommendation of another business owner. At that point our business was just Katie, myself and one other staff member. Our 20-month-old online gifting business (www.giftboxboutique.co.nz) was growing fast but we were going about it without an understanding of the best way to manage the growth. We felt like we had no control over it. Everything was a reaction to what was happening, and we really struggled to find the time to work on the business, rather than just in it.
We came out of that workshop with an actual strategy and plan — and a new business coach.
Two years on, with Zac’s guidance, we now have 11 staff members, our revenue has increased by 597% and this year we will send out over 55,000 gift boxes. Our business has hit the next level.
This is our first business, and the first time we have worked together, and like any husband/wife business it can be hard to take the relationship out of the business. We see Zac as a valuable sounding board. When there is a decision to be made and we can’t agree, we call him — he’s unbiased and has great outside views, so we always love his advice. He knows his shit.
His financial nous has been huge for us – that’s an area that’s always been quite weak for us as business owners, so having him be able to look over our P&Ls and give us feedback and guidance in that area has been incredible. We also get a lot from being accountable to him.
We love the way that he communicates with us. I’m a fairly casual kind of guy and I respond well to a casual conversation — Zac is approachable, he’s easy to understand and he makes you feel comfortable talking to him. Most of all, he’s made me feel comfortable about not being your traditional tie-and-shiny-shoes business owner. I didn’t think I was made to be a business owner in terms of not being a corporate kind of guy but Zac’s given me permission to be a business owner as I am, authentically — he’s shown me I don’t have to fit the traditional mould to be good at what I do.
Personally, he’s encouraged me to think more about our staff and developing a mutually beneficial partnership, providing them with opportunities and abilities to upskill. Employing staff has been a huge learning curve with the different personalities and ways of learning, so he’s been beneficial in regard to that to me, growing my skills and strength in that area.
For Katie, Zac gently taught her how to let go and hand stuff over to our staff by getting her to look at it strategically. He looked at our business revenue, calculated our hourly rate as owners and gave us a figure and told us to ask ourselves, “Is this worth $400 an hour to you? Is that task a good use of my time and is it furthering our business?” That mind set has helped us move upwards.
Since working with Zac, we feel like we are now in charge of the business and its growth, in terms of customer service and quality we know that with Zac’s help we have developed a team that takes ownership of this aspect of the business while we focus on tackling the big picture. We’re excited to see what the next few years bring!