Butopia is a boutique high-end residential construction company led by husband and wife team, Greg and Amanda Watts. The company's name represents its mission to build every client's 'utopia' or ideal place: their dream home. They offer concept-to-completion solutions for new builds and renovations, work closely with their clients' architects or designers to meet the brief, and employ three staff and two agency apprentices.
Like many small family businesses, Butopia was run in an ad hoc manner with archaic systems, no formal agreements for timely invoice payment, no project management software and all communication being delivered verbally. Consequently, the company faced regular confusion due to miscommunication and a general lack of organisation and control. These uncoordinated operations culminated in a poor team culture and general frustration. The directors knew that if they wanted to grow the business and take it to the next level, they would need to create a sound business foundation to improve their existing workplace culture and attract the right people to join them.
When Amanda first joined her husband in the business part-time, she drew on her corporate experience to recommend how its operations could be improved, including establishing well-documented systems and processes. As Greg was time-poor, Amanda initially decided to take on the task of writing their operations manual. However, after discovering the onerous nature of that task, they engaged Intelligent Directions to do it for them.
Intelligent Directions Managing Director Anthea Stevanovic says, ‘Greg and Amanda loved how our service took on the whole project for them, without creating more work for them to do, which they had experienced with other consultants, who gave a lot of direction but stopped short of the hands-on, practical solutions we provide.’
Anthea and her team immersed themselves in the business, gathering all the information they needed to create the company’s systems, processes, policies and procedures in a smooth, streamlined way. On completion, the directors only had to review the end result and suggest a few final tweaks before full implementation.
Anthea says, ‘They appreciated our systemised approach and continued guidance throughout the process.’
Systemising the business dramatically improved Greg and Amanda's leadership capabilities and gave them a clear pathway to business growth. Furthermore, the tangible results delivered by the new systemised way of operating gave them the confidence to move forward.
The team benefited from the newly defined business structure and the documentation of their individual roles and responsibilities. They are now empowered to take ownership and be more creative.
Ultimately, everyone's capacity, efficiency and productivity increased, leading to significant business growth. Butopia's turnover increased sevenfold in three years, and the company's largest project value increased by a multiple of 3.2. The improved market visibility created by the more significant projects saw them attract bigger and better projects.
Butopia now has the right people in the business with the right culture born of strict criteria around hiring and staff development. This solid team culture of intent and responsibility means the team is able to run independently. No longer having to rely on agency staff, Greg and Amanda have grown the team to nine full-time employees, all with a true sense of ownership and autonomy. Current operations and future team growth and development are supported by fully documented systems and processes and the right recruitment process. Knowing everything will run smoothly with or without them has given Greg and Amanda the freedom to spend more time with their family, take holidays and work remotely if required.
Greg says, 'What changed for us personally was our mindset around having an actual business, going from a 'blue collar' to a 'white collar' operation. Working with Anthea and her team has transformed the way we think and what we do.'
If you are experiencing similar challenges to those faced by Greg and Amanda or are curious to know how Anthea and her team at Intelligent Directions could support you, contact Anthea here.