Lee Dewerson has put in the hard graft and for many years has worked 60-hour weeks relentlessly, learning all there is to know about the Audio-Visual technology world. Lee is now a Co-Owner and Operator of Safe N Sound Limited, a high-end retailer and installer of audio-visual systems, which has branches in New Zealand and Australia.
Lee finds value in being involved in The Alternative Board peer group process.
“Despite starting out as an electrician, my true passion was always audio. So about 15 years ago, I worked in the automation side of things for various companies in Auckland. I wanted to suss out the industry and learn all there is to know about the audio field. I got to the stage where I was ready to go out on my own. This hard work has led me to where I am today, with my own business.”
Being a Member of TAB has provided Lee with lots of lessons—an important lesson includes being more deliberate and taking the necessary time to do things right.
“I’ve learned to take my time and not to rush things. Things take time. I now make sure that I know exactly what the client wants and the best way to do it. I ensure that I understand all of the products and all of the people involved. By attending Board Meetings you learn a lot about your own business. You also learn a lot about yourself, especially from different perspectives.”
Lee explains further.
“When you run your own business, you can get narrow minded and tunnel vision can easily set in, especially as there just aren’t enough of you at that one level. It is good to have everyone’s opinion. I’ve resolved several issues while sat at the Board table with the other Members.”
Lee’s other tips to business owners are to make sure that capital is available to fund growth, work as much as possible, don’t give in and, most importantly, don’t overspend. The Alternative Board peer group process provides the support and accountability that allows Lee to stay true to these tips.
Most people don’t go into business to do the books, but Craig Hibbert did!
As part-owner of a retail sports store for 25 years, Craig was responsible for keeping the books, but, like a lot of small business owners, he had no idea what he was doing. Craig chose to up-skill and qualified as an Accounting Technician with the New Zealand Institute of CharteredAccountants.
Craig founded ‘Bookworks’ in 2004, motivated by the continual avalanche of client records which he’d received in shoe boxes. Craig’s forte is fixing messes in his clients’ software.
Craig finds value in being involved in The Alternative Board peer group process.
“Running your own business by yourself is lonely, having the understanding and support of the other Members has been crucial in my decisions. Sitting around the Boardroom table, with my peers, has shown me that I am not alone. I spend most of my time fixing clients’ software messes, as well as training and supporting my clients in a one-on-one situation,” he explains. “I am an Approved Trainer for MYOB, QuickBooks and Xero, and because of these accounting qualifications, I bring that extra level of knowledge and experience, filling the gap between client and accountant, because having been in both positions, I know that neither one understands the other very well.”
“I’ve learned to take more time over my decisions in order to consider all aspects. I now make the decision for myself and not the others, when it’s right for me and because it’s right for me.”
Craig attributes the success of his business to the approach of treating his clients and their businesses as though they are his own, and by doing what he says he’ll do when he says he’s going to do it. The Alternative Board peer group process allows Craig to remain true to his word by enabling him to be consistently and consciously accountable within the business world.
“I urge all small business owners to seek support and advice from others when and where you need it and, importantly, that you act upon that advice.”