Over the past decade the Western Bay of Plenty has enjoyed growth like no other part of the country with the exception of Auckland, and with that has come a plethora of new businesses and startups drawn to the region’s lifestyle and opportunities.
Among those drawn to the Western Bay is Rachel Woods, Principal of the new +MORE Bay of Plenty office. +MORE is an advisory and accountancy firm whose core purpose is to create successful business owners.
Only up and running since early April from her central Mount Maunganui base, she has already managed to gain a firm foundation of local clients wanting to draw on her advisory and accounting skills to take their businesses to the next level.
“We understand that success looks different for everyone. Whether it is spending more time with your family, growing your business, or achieving financial freedom, whatever success looks like for the business owner, we listen and work with them to help achieve their version of success.”
Dan Henderson, founder of +MORE believed there was a need for more tailored, proactive advice for small to medium businesses, one that went beyond the usual compliance driven accounting demands. Today +MORE extends across six regions in the North Island, from Auckland to Wellington.
Drawing on over a decade’s worth of corporate and commercial experience and a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Commercial Law, Rachel is focused on applying her corporate honed skills to her clients’ businesses.
“There are a lot of methods and applications used by large corporates you can apply to
small-medium enterprises very successfully. I am hoping to introduce clients to those tools, many which they may not have been aware of.”
With her previous extensive corporate experience, her focus is on helping identify operating efficiencies in businesses and driving increased profitability with better processes.
This includes identifying what constitutes key performance indicators for that
particular business and its owner.
“By getting alongside a client and really understanding what motivates them to succeed, and defining what success looks like to them, then we can set relevant targets.”
“For some it may be to have a better work life balance, for another it may be to grow it to the next level in size and sales, for another it could be
to have it in good order for sale or succession.”
She shares the +MORE philosophy of being a running mate with their client and their business, getting a full handle on the personal and financial motivators, and staying alongside them as they strive to achieve them.
While mentorship can play a part in her advice and support, Rachel says it is vital to not simply become a cheerleader to a client’s efforts, to bring reality and honesty to their performance assessments.
New Zealand small to medium businesses are typically well served for conventional accounting services. But Rachel says the ability to take a “deep dive” into the client’s business, and keep that relationship an ongoing one, rather than simply a quarterly or yearly review, is less common.
“We are committed to becoming an intrinsic part of the company, not only to be able to review, but to support clients so they are engaging with whatever process we recommend and are able to see it through.”
In a world where the business environment has been changed so radically by covid, the need to adjust practices is possibly even greater for those who were in business “pre-covid”, versus those who have only kicked off in the past year or so.
“It is very much a different world. Business Contingency Plans (BCP) are vital, whereas before, small to medium scale businesses may not have prioritised them. BCP’s may well have softened covid’s blow for some.”
She sees opportunities for more businesses to ensure they future proof their operations against such future events, putting processes in place to help reduce the reliance upon a few key staff or locations, ensuring the operation can remain sustainable after such events.
Given the proximity of all the +MORE centres throughout the North Island, Rachel also welcomes the ability to draw on the company’s 60 staff and their knowledge or skill levels that can be applied to specific client issues.
“That ability to leverage off all that expertise, rather than trying to be a jack-of-all-trades is a real strength, particularly as business demands become more specific and complex.”
Having not long returned to Mount Maunganui, Rachel is impressed with the level of innovation and optimism that pervades local businesses. For her the move has bought the promise of a close local community, good weather, and an easy commute after life in Auckland.