Persistence pays off for award winning family business

Time to read: 3 mins

Setting up a business can be a daunting task, filled with a lot of unknowns. This was certainly the case for husband and wife team Steve and Angela Bevan, owners of award winning irrigation business; Think Water New Plymouth.

Having sold their home and most of their belongings back in 2004, Steve and Angela moved with their three children to Stratford in order to take up a business opportunity. Unfortunately it never materialised despite their best efforts. Without an alternative source of income, they set up Dairy and Water Specialists in their garage, utilising the contacts Steve had from his many years experience of working in irrigation.

As a family business, Angela took responsibility for administration tasks whilst pregnant with their fourth child and this didn’t slow them down. With the help of Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Director, Philip Macey, the husband and wife team bought out their opposition and moved into their first premises in Strandon. This move saw the beginnings of a strong relationship between Baker Tilly Staples Rodway and Dairy and Water Specialists.

Baker Tilly Staples Rodway became their trusted Business Advisors as well as supporting them with HR, Recruitment and Accounting Software implementation. Along with strategy and business growth sessions, which included succession planning, the business grew rapidly and within two years they soon needed bigger premises.

The decision to move to 99 Gill Street New Plymouth (their current location) was not an easy one, especially because most of their work is done on-site. However, after focusing on their long term vision it was felt the high profile location was worth the extra costs. Little did they know, a year later the premises, including stock and showroom, would be severely damaged by a tornado.

It took them a year to get back on their feet, but again, the resilient couple made the most of a bad situation and took the idea of becoming a Franchisee to Philip.

Angela said: “Our business was doing well so we needed to acquire more knowledge and resources without growing beyond our means. We were lucky that a lot of our customers came from word of mouth due to Steve’s experience within the industry but we couldn’t keep up with demand and were spending too much time in our business rather than on it. Becoming a Franchisee meant we could start to look at the bigger picture and gain help with marketing and knowledge sharing with other irrigation specialists throughout the country.”

Dairy and Water Specialists became Think Water New Plymouth in 2012 and were awarded 2017 Think Water Franchise of the year out of 14 NZ branches.

Angela continued, “Philip helped us to understand the process of becoming a franchisee and showed us that by making this move, we weren’t going to lose out. We’re really happy with our decision to join Think Water and would recommend becoming a Franchisee to anyone looking to grow their business.”

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