Initially, we met with Debra and an associate to discuss an idea they had which focused on creating a community hub which offered classes and skills. Personal circumstances intervened and the idea never passed the discussion phase however it was at this point we were introduced to Debra’s fascination with bees and her ability to create candles and balms out of bees wax.
12 months after the initial discussions, Debra and Christopher contacted our office to discuss the possibility of starting their own business which manufactured scented lip balms and body balms from bees wax and essential oils. While Debra had been manufacturing these products for almost a decade for family and friends, this was the first time they had considered turning the hobby into a business venture.
What skills or tools were used with the client?
We underwent a due diligence project with Debra and Christopher to identify whether there was a feasible business idea. Included in the due diligence project was the following:
Building a business plan from scratch
Creating profitability forecasting models from Year 0 to Year 5 with different scenarios built for wholesale and retail
Forming a realistic manufacturing schedule for the first five years operations
Identifying the fixed and variable costs associated to determine both a break even revenue and a pricing strategy
Developing a five year cash flow forecast for retail, wholesale and a combination of both
Producing projected financial statements to assist with possible funding requirements
Assistance with government and small business grants
After the feasibility of the business was determined we underwent the process of structuring the business with the best interests of Debra and Christopher in mind. We also assisted with importing sample products from overseas as well as branding and marketing of the business.
We also assisted with the creation of the website using Shopify and helped research payment gateway options and postage for distribution of the products.
Finally, we introduced Debra and Christopher to the cloud accounting products available and once Xero was identified as the most appropriate choice, provided training in this area. This is now a fully functional online business that makes wonderful products and gives back to society by donating 10% of annual sales to Bee Research.
What was the client’s initial reaction to the early results?
The business and entities were created as a result of the work completed as well as the business plan which was very well planned and executed. It is still referred back to regularly to assist with the strategic direction of the business. It provided Debra and Christopher with extra drive and motivation to make the business work, and they have adopted the mindset of taking on any challenge.
Where is the company today and how has the business been improved through the advisory provided?
De’bee is now a regular on the local market scene throughout the state, it has been involved with the National Road Cycling Championships as a promotional item and it a fully functional online store.
Regular check-ins with Debra and Christopher concerning the on-going financial performance of the business are undertaken and management reports are issued with KPI’s and benchmarks utilised to monitor the performance against the strategic direction identified.
The business has also managed to solidify relationships with local and state retailers which has increased the reach and awareness of the brand.
What is next for this client?
The next stage for the business is to continue to grow and become a reputable brand leveraging off the quality and simplicity of the product. Ideally, large retailers will be identified which will then stock the product nationally as well as continuing to grow the online store to sell the products internationally.