As a developing exporter, we were offered a business coach for a year to help us with a business plan to grow and develop our export business. At the time we were a small family-run company based in Stones Corner in Brisbane, with me and my two brothers at the helm, which obviously comes with its own unique set of challenges.
The business coach we were very fortunate to get was Julienne from SuREAL, who was initially made available to us one day a month to assist with our business plan. In 2000, after the year was up, we decided to employ her directly ourselves as a consultant until 2006 when we appointed her as our Chief Executive Officer (10 days a month) until the sale of the business in 2011. She was then retained as a consultant to transition the business into the buyer’s global operations.
Julienne ran our strategic planning process, and established the regular meetings needed to make both short and long-term decisions and to run an efficient business, such as our strategic sales meetings. She wouldn’t do things herself unless it was appropriate, but she took over all of the important operational business functions and ensured things got done, like the full implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) process for our office. She basically made everything come together like a well-oiled machine.
When we came to sell Beech Ovens, Julienne worked with us on our strategy and helped us increase the credibility of our offer quite considerably, and ultimately positioned the business to sell at the best possible price. Julienne pulled all of that together.
Because she had the experiences of a Chartered Accountant she knew everything that had to be done and comprehensively understood and managed every aspect of the operations, including:
It really was a textbook running of a business.
I was leading this company and she was my right hand woman. She made a lot of the hard operational decisions, which gave me the time and made it easier for me to concentrate on making the business successful. Together we made a lot of very good decisions.
As a family business, we benefited hugely by having Julienne involved as someone independent. She was able to put personalities aside and just jump in and get things done.
We did the ultimate – we developed a business, made it run really efficiently, and then we managed to get a multi-national to buy it for the best possible price. We started from a tiny little insignificant thing and took it to the second biggest of our type in the world, out of a little office in Stones Corner, and Julienne helped us every step of the way. Personally that was incredibly rewarding.
There are just so many layers to Julienne’s abilities. It’s quite extraordinary that she has so many skills, and she really is a dream to work with.
Because she’s run a business herself and been a senior professional in a multi-national consultancy, she’s the ultimate project manager for anything you want to throw at her, and is just a brilliant business woman.
Nothing fazes her, she appears fearless. I would recommend her services to anyone who wants their business to be improved.