We asked some of our favourite business owners about their experience working with Daniel -
“I would not be in the position I am today without Daniel's help”
When I first started working with Daniel, I had two florist businesses. I felt that both could be doing better than they were.
With Daniel’s help, I eventually sold one at a good price and now make more money off the one business than I ever did when I had two.
My business has grown, despite further competition from larger players, and while other florists have closed their doors, I have managed to keep the business going.
Daniel has guided me with my business for over six years, and during that time I've been through bad health, a difficult relationship breakup, earthquakes, and loss of my mother.
Even though I've been a florist for 32 years and knew a lot already, having a business coach meant I had someone to talk to about business stuff when no one else understood, a sounding board for difficult decisions so I didn't feel alone, and helped me to step outside my comfort zone.
It has kept me and the business on track when things got tough. I even discovered that my bank was more willing to help when they knew my mentor was involved which really helped at the time.
Daniel has been an important part of my business and I would not be in the position I am today without his help.
Ruby Tuesday Florists, Northlands Mall
"We've gone from a loss, to break even, and now profits are climbing, all set for a great year ahead"
Working 80 to 85 hours a week in the cafe. I was frustrated, trapped, angry and confused that things just weren't working when I was working so so hard.
I had just lost over $46,000 and my Accountant told me something was wrong and I needed a mentor.
I didn't want to because in my mind it meant that I couldn't do it myself and I must be a failure. Also, I wasn't sure I could afford it as this would be another bill I would have to pay and could get even further into debt.
In just 6 months we covered all our costs and stopped losing money, and now our Accountant has just confirmed that we are on track to be making a good profit this year.
Coaching with Daniel has paid for itself many times over already.
I care about my staff sometimes a bit too much, a few took advantage and cost a lot of heartache and money. Daniel helped me navigate some difficult staff and legal issues.
Now I back myself more with clear boundaries which my staff respect; this is working a lot better.
Now I have much more confidence in myself and my business. We are looking at buying a house which was just not an option before while the business was in such bad shape.
We've gone from a loss, to break even, and now profits are climbing, all set for a great year ahead.
Amongst the noise and busyness of the cafe business, Daniel has been able to help me see clearly what I need to do and when.
Business is in control and less stressful, cash flow is easier and I feel human again and balanced. It's still a work in progress but I now get time off to spend with my partner Luke and it feels like I have a life again :)
Topp Stop Cafe, Amberley
"Profitability has lifted significantly, putting us $50K ahead of this time last year"
Since first owning the restaurant, the numbers kept going down every year. Less customers. Less margins. Less profitability. Things kept getting harder.
Reality was we’d been making losses. It was stressful and despite all our hard work, we had to keep putting money into the business.
We decided to start working with a business mentor because we had to do something and we were keen to see how far we could get.
Daniel’s help to get the food and drink costings right has made a big difference – we could see how to change things. He’s also been able to help us get everyone on the same page heading in the same direction.
Daniel helps you think outside the box. We’ve been getting more events - one promotion we did to rest homes has resulted in 10 bookings so far, a 20% response rate.
This has helped to take the pressure off financially. Profitability has lifted significantly, putting us $50K ahead of this time last year.
It’s been great to have support to work through the tough times. We’re more resilient now. The goal setting helps to keep things on track, you know where you are at.
We have a good plan now, feel more confident and under control.
George & Julz Ridgen
Owner-Operators at Terrace Winebar & Restaurant, Darfield
"Daniel has been a valuable mentor to me through a tough first year of business"
Before I started business coaching with Daniel, I was struggling with my advertising, finding my target market, profit margins, and generally lacking motivation.
Through working with Daniel, I've gained more purposeful techniques to advertise my business, key ideas to find my target markets, Facebook advertising strategies and trying different techniques.
I know not to spend a fortune on advertising where it’s not likely to work, and how to follow up with potential customers.
This has resulted in gaining new customers and larger orders.
My goals are now broken into achievable timeframes and more realistic. I have prepared weekly/month goals for the year ahead and a plan which is starting to produce results.
I have in place a plan to reduce stock waste and ideas to manage stock more effectively and have set up realistic profit margins and product pricing.
Overall I now have a sense of purpose to what I’m doing, clearer direction, confidence in myself and products - and motivation to try new ideas and keep going.
Daniel has been a valuable mentor to me through a tough first year of business.
I was constantly supported by him and felt he instantly understood me and my business needs, and guided me to find creative and economical ways of achieving my goals.
On a personal level, Daniel showed empathy and understanding, ultimately giving me the confidence to keep working at everything. I’ve truly appreciated this!
Tudor Rose Gifts
"With Daniel’s support we were able to increase our profit by a massive 186% in just 9 months"
We specialise in all aspects of domestic landscaping & fencing needs.
Our business was growing so quickly and we were both concerned that we didn’t know how to handle a larger business as we could see the problems were getting bigger as the business expanded.
Grant was working massive hours every week and we realized that if something happened to him the business would be in real trouble.
Daniel was able to show us how to put the right systems in place so the business could become less reliant on Grant, while also increasing profits without compromising on the quality of our service.
With Daniel’s continued support we were also able to increase our profit by a massive 186% in just nine months, and have over doubled our sales and staff at the same time, which has been awesome.
The other thing we found invaluable was that Daniel was able to give a different perspective and direction which helped reduce inevitable tensions that can arise in a husband/wife team!!
We are both feeling much more relaxed and in control of our business and now have the confidence to take some valuable time off for leisure which had not previously been possible without major worry.
We would therefore have great pleasure in recommending Daniel’s services to anyone who is looking for the help & expertise to maximise their business structure in any way and especially as outlined above.
Grant and Sally Stewart
Stewart Contracting Canterbury
"We have a much better lifestyle now and more time for family"
Working most nights and sometimes weekends, our business was relying too heavily on both of us, and if either of us could not work income would immediately be affected. This was putting too much pressure and stress on our business.
We had a good business but it was not giving us the results we wanted.
We were frustrated and knew we could do it better. In effect we were floundering around without clear direction on where to go next with the business.
With Daniel's help, we now have some great systems in place in all aspects of the business which has meant that we have most nights and weekends free again , staff are now much more manageable, quality of work is better, and we have clear direction for the business.
We feel much more in control and are far less stressed than we used to be!
We have a much better lifestyle now and more time for family.
The most valuable thing for us is having a coach who pushes us to get the important things done. This has helped us achieve our long term goals much quicker - including being able to afford a new property.
We also now have an independent view of the business which reduces arguments and helps us make better decisions - for us and the business. Thank you Daniel!
Wayne and Maxine Service
Hurunui Drainage and Plumbing
"I was able to grow the business by 126% in 6 months and 200% / double my profits"
I have been working with Daniel for six months now and have had incredible results. The business had been growing but was not making any more profit.
I was tired, doing 70 hour weeks, and feeling really frustrated as I just didn’t seem to be getting ahead.
After working with Daniel for just six months, things are now completely different.
We deal with a lot of corporate customers who can be tough negotiators; Daniel has shown me how to negotiate fair rates and simple ways of getting the best new customers for my business.
This has meant that I was able to grow the business by 126% over the past six months, and DOUBLE my profits compared to last year.
Previously I was working 70 hour weeks, but with Daniel's help systemising the business I now work around 45 hours weeks while getting more done.
I feel much less stressed and finally have control of my business.
Working with Daniel has been one of the best business decisions I have made for a long time.
Purge Rite Pipe Services
"With Daniel's help I've been able to achieve my goal of working only 4 days a week in the business"
I have been working with Daniel for over two years now and have had great results and significant growth over this time – we have increased our business from 4 to 6 staff, including taking on a full time manager.
With Daniel’s help I have been able to achieve my goal of working only four days a week in the business and spending more time with my family, rather than always being on call.
I now have much more control over the business and know how to keep sales and profits on track.
He has shown me some great strategies and I would highly recommend him to other business owners.
North Canterbury Glass
"We have had an increase in sales of 216% (over double) in one year, and a lot more growth"
I was doing a lot of work and a lot of effort was going into marketing and everything else and I wasn’t really getting the results that I desired in either the amount of customers or turnover. I was getting quite frustrated with that.
Since working with Daniel I haven’t looked back. We have had an increase in sales of 216% (over double) and a lot more growth.
Daniel gave me the motivation to employ someone three days a week to be out on the road increasing my on-farm customers – which has increased by 800% and has now become the biggest part of the business.
Shop sales are increasing as well with the other ideas that Daniel has put in place with us.
The future is looking a lot brighter. I would suggest [to other business owners] that if you’ve been trying a lot of things and they haven’t really been working then contact Daniel at Business Solutions.
You will get to where you want to be a lot faster than you could on your own.
North Canterbury Stock Feeds
Note: Since this interview Michael has increased his business a further 300% using the same initial strategies.
"With just a single idea we were able to increase our profits by $40,500 per year"
Working with Daniel of Business Solutions has been a great experience both for our business and for us personally.
With just a single idea we were able to increase our profits by $40,500 per year.
We now also have much better control over our business and have learnt to keep costs and margins tightly managed.
He has also helped us with motivation, guidance in dealing with some tough staff issues, and achieving more in our day.
Now we have much more time to work on improving the business instead of just reacting to the day-to-day challenges.
We have direction and purpose at a whole new level and know what needs to be done to ensure that our business continues to thrive.
Murray and Jackie Marquet
Canterbury Power Solutions
"If you are thinking about working with Daniel, don’t hesitate, just do it."
We’ve had the cafe for 2½ years. We struggled and found it very hard for a start off. It was so stressful. We were both under so much pressure with working long hours, basically seven days a week.
We had a lot of issues going on, the economy had gone down; we just didn’t know how to make a business grow. We were borrowing whatever we could to keep the business afloat and we were going downhill fast.
One day Daniel was meeting with someone in our cafe. He came up to the counter and asked if I was all right. We sat down and Daniel said ‘I’m here to help’. He gave us some good advice – and it worked.
Since then we’ve been meeting regularly with Daniel. He’s excellent and it’s thanks to him that we are now operating a very successful and profitable business.
We increased our turnover by over 70% and we now have a good team that can manage the place without us being there.
Debt is reduced and we are no longer under the same pressure financially.
We have also gone from working 7 days to 5 days per week which has made all the difference to us both in business and personally.
If you are thinking about working with Daniel, don’t hesitate, just do it. You need somebody to think beyond the square. When you’re so busy and you get so involved in your business, you don’t get time, and he does that for you.
You think you know your business until a professional like Daniel comes along and says ‘what about this?’ You think ‘that’s so simple, why hadn’t I thought of it’.
Dave and Gaye Minards
The Grub Hub Cafe
"Increase in our net profit of 192%"
We are a wholesale and retail nursery. We specialise in fruit trees and edibles, and have the biggest range in Canterbury.
We’ve been working together with Daniel for close to two years. I have found inspiration again for my business and have enjoyed success with a number of the strategies we have implemented.
Particularly successful have been add on sales and loyalty card initiatives which have both produced strong results.
Two of the major frustrations were my paperwork and the marketing side – I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know how to put it together – and Daniel’s help with that has been wonderful and got me on the right track.
The increase in the first year was 8% in sales, increase in margin 34%, increase in our net profit of 192%.
We’ve been struggling with our margin and always thought it could be better but didn’t know how to put that together – and with Daniel’s help we’ve got there.
Speaking to a couple of other people with similar businesses to our own, one was 28% down, with a little bit of work that he did, he lifted to 18%, but he was still down. It was a tough year particularly for our industry [with the earthquakes] – through that time, to get an increase, we were over the moon.
Personally, I have a happier home life, a little bit more time out, which had been a real issue for me.
I thoroughly recommend any business to take on a mentor. Often in business you think you know it all – then you start working with someone like Daniel!
"Sales have nearly doubled - profits are the best they have been for a very long time"
Our family business had gone through some massive changes with the sole director being unwell; his son had to take over. It was also towards the end of the downturn, and the company had been in very hard times for a long time.
Some hard decisions were overdue to be made, with everyone hoping it would ‘come right’ eventually and simply not wanting to acknowledge the ugly truth.
Daniel was sought initially to give some advice on the basics of business.
With Daniel on board looking at the true figures and really crunching the numbers accurately, some key issues became evident very quickly – in particular the margins that were not being made, that no one actually knew how to work the margins out, no one was paying any attention to overheads and what the true costs in the business were.
It took Daniel being on board to show us the true picture.
It was the turnaround and starting point that we needed in order to make the necessary changes.
Daniel’s advice and knowledge has put the appropriate amount of emphasis and attention on the key parts of the business that were necessary for its survival and have given us the ability to move forward to a prosperous future including buying new machinery and extending the factory.
Since working with Daniel, sales have increased by 92% (nearly doubled), and more significantly, by quoting correctly and seeking customers best suited to our business, we have tripled our margins.
Profits are the best they have been for a very long time. We now regularly look at all key indicators for the business and have much more control over the business and its direction.
Daniel has given us the comfort in our own ability to run the company as we know we have sound and solid advice when we need it and will always make good decisions as a team in the future (a team that very much includes Daniel).
Daniel is worth his weight in gold. I couldn’t recommend him more. Anyone that would like help with their business, and results they can take to the bank, should get in touch with him.
Don Yates, Hayden Yates, Hilary Pheloung
"You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain"
We were in a situation of working from a small premises (basically from home) and forced (due to earthquakes) to move into rental premises.
Obviously once you have increased overheads you need more sales.
We brainstormed an idea to go to the school and try and get the contract to supply them, but I honestly thought it was a closed door. But with a nudge and a push from Daniel, went in there and was surprised by the fact that we got the contract.
The first year this will likely be worth in excess of $20,000 and the second year we are expecting more than that.
After working with Daniel for six months, we are definitely ahead. I have more knowledge about how to approach customers and facilitate the sale, and new ways of finding customers as well.
It’s quite easy to bury your head in the sand and get on with it. But it’s good to sit down and talk with someone outside of the industry and get an idea of some ways of doing things that you hadn’t thought of.
If you’re considering using Daniel’s services, definitely give it a go – you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Are you looking for results like this in your business?