Kelly Lehmann is really good at getting in and out of tight spots. In fact, that’s something his business is built around, being able to get cranes to do some really tricky stuff for his clients.
The motto of Wills Contracting (2000) Limited is “Where there’s a Wills there’s a way” and Kelly’s hiab and trucking business has been delivering, moving and lifting materials in Taranaki since 1990.
Kelly was in a bit of a tight spot with his own business, and it took several months of working with Business Performance Advisor Craig Oliver to be able to comfortably manoeuvre his way out.
Like many business owners running a successful and growing business, Kelly was immersed in the day to day running of the business. He realised that if he wanted to be able to step away from the business a bit more, he needed to make a few changes.
In the nine years of establishing Wills Contracting, Kelly had felt uncomfortable or unable to be away from his business long enough to take a relaxing break. Holidays would involve multiple work phone calls and a general anxiety about what was happening in his absence.
Craig’s solution was to work intensively with Kelly over a nine-month period to produce a business manual that captured everything in Kelly’s head and put it down on paper. The business manual is a rather large document that essentially lets everyone in the business know how Kelly wants things run.
The manual has improved the profitability and efficiency of the business, as well as the business’ saleability, although Kelly has plans to expand, not sell up.
Working through the manual with Craig- which covered everything from systems and processes to accounting practises, to marketing to IT – allowed Kelly to discover gaps in his business that needed to be addressed.
Some gaps were urgent – such as protecting the integrity of his business data with regular and safe backups in the cloud. Kelly said while he is surrounded by capable business providers that offer IT and accounting services, you “don’t know what you don’t know” and sometimes it’s knowing what questions to ask your advisors, in order to get the right solution.
Kelly said the business manual has allowed him to step away from the business with confidence in the people and the systems and processes he now has in place and documented for everyone to follow. In the last year he’s been more involved with his kid’s school and taking time off for school day trips, and has been abroad several times and comfortably left his work phone at home.
Having a business manual is something he’d definitely recommend to all businesses, as even the process of working through the material to put the manual together, has had large payoffs for himself, his family, and his business.