Turning a business into a thriving hive
Updated: Mar 9
Back in 2009 Craig and Sue were both keen to buy another business but it seemed every time they approached Lindsay at Grace Team Accounting for purchasing advice the answer was a repetitive no. Until the day he introduced them to the honey business.
“We’d already been working with Lindsay for over 20 years so trusted his advice and as we’ve learnt over many years in business; building strong relationships is key.”
As like most things in business the first few years didn’t go quite so smoothly as anticipated. Hive placement was all done on a handshake back in the day so when Craig and Sue bought the business unbeknownst to them if another beekeeper came along and offered the farmer more money to place their hives on the land then it can and did happen. Add to that a bad honey year due to wet weather, there were the obvious challenges to overcome.
Now 8 years down the track Ross Apiaries has gone from 600 hives to 2500 hives and the majority of contracts with landowners are now in place. Winter is down time for both workers and bees so apart from repairs and a few smaller jobs it’s not until Spring rolls around is it all go again. November starts with most of the hives being transported from Bay of Plenty and Rotorua to the Central Region with a smaller amount taken over the hill to Port Waikato and collecting honey and looking after the bees continues until April.
“We’re both keen apiarists having learnt from the ground up. Over the years our children, other family members and friends have worked with us and still do to this day. We have an amazing Filipino beekeeper manager and his wife, who have a lot of experience so there’s a lot of team spirit in the business which you need in such a demanding role.
“When working with nature you have to adapt and focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. Being able to step out of our operational roles and sit down with Lindsay face to face at least twice a year means we get to discuss strategy and take our head out of the day to day running of the business. As a husband and wife business partnership this is something we find invaluable. When we need him to give us a quick answer he’s so approachable and obtainable and it’s nice to get a fresh perspective from someone who completely gets us and what we do. He has a complete handle on our business so offering sound governance and understanding the business landscape in quite a vulnerable environment gives us the reassurance and durability we need now and into the future”
“Grace Team Accounting also assisted with the implementation of cloud accounting software, Xero, which made life alot easier and even though now we’ve been able to step back and hand all our bookkeeping, tax and GST returns and annual reporting back over to Grace Team Accounting at least we know how it all works and what it means. It really been a great fit from day one”
“The fact that we’re still hugely passionate about our business and the industry is a clear indication we’ve got great people around us, including our staff and Grace Team Accounting”.
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