In the beginning
Studying Law and Arts degrees in Christchurch NZ, and working in a wine bar to support herself, Sam developed a passion for wine. The story that unfolded is in her words the result of ‘abject student poverty’.
From these humble beginnings, Sam has soared to national recognition as a wine show judge and winemaker with her own boutique vineyard (in Tasmania, producing highly acclaimed wine under her Stargazer label.
Even though she was successful at laying the business foundations within an extremely competitive industry, Sam admits it was easy to lose track of the day to day finances.
Setting Sam free
Sam was meeting all her ATO obligations but wanted her business to do more toward meeting her goal of self-sufficiency. An expert winemaker, Sam wanted the business to run as well as her winery. She really wanted to sit down with someone to discuss her cashflow, debtors and other business issues including her goals for the business and how to go about achieving them.
Having worked on Sam’s tax and annual financial statements, Saywells already had a good understanding of her situation. Then, on the back of newly prepared financial reports, it was agreed that Saywells would take a much more active role in Sam’s business finances. This essentially meant taking on the role of chief financial officer (CFO) for her business.
With input from Sam, we compiled a detailed income and expenditure forecast outlining regular monthly items that were to be expected.
Striving for growth in a young business has its pitfalls. Paying wages, dealing with mother nature and maintaining a predictable personal income meant robust reporting and forecasting tools were essential.
Working closely with Sam, we were able to attend to issues as they arose and identify sustainable solutions to business growth and profitability obstacles such as cashflow and finding the capital necessary to support growth and sales strategies.
Sam’s life continued
Sam continues to produce her wines and it seems the world just can’t get enough of them. Here in the Hunter Valley, we continue to interact with her regularly, providing status reports and seeking her input in relation to any upcoming events or preparing for unexpected matters. Scheduled meetings allow Sam to develop a deeper understanding of her financial health while it allows us to feel like we are ‘on the ground’ and part of her Tassie team.
What our CFO service has meant for Sam
“I am so fortunate that Saywells are so proactive – when Craig suggested that this type of arrangement would help my business I was sceptical as I had been so used to doing things on my own, but having their eyes and ears on my business has given me confidence that my efforts are taking me closer to my goals.”