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Clearwater Civil

Case Study

Clearwater Civil

What does your business do?
Clearwater Civil are an excavation company that’s proud to be 100% local owned and operated! We are based in Dunedin and operate throughout the Otago district, with extensive experience in a full range of earthworks, civil construction, and utility installations. At Clearwater Civil we’re proud that we can provide comprehensive solutions to customers, from design, planning and concept all the way through to the finished project.

What goals do you have for the business?
Our number one goal is always to get each job done to the highest standard and ensure our customers get the best service possible. An innovative approach is often needed to complete a job on time and to its specifications. We developed a “can do” culture throughout the whole organisation over the past 35 years to facilitate innovation and growth, which is the backbone of us achieving that goal.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
We’ve faced some of the challenges many New Zealand businesses face – the small size of Dunedin, a lack of personalised support from banks and financial institutions, as well as difficulty finding experienced staff and cash flow.

How did you overcome your key challenge?
Finding the right people is always important. We met a financial advisor who understood the needs of our contracting business and as our company grows people are wanting to work for us, which just shows how continuing to develop, innovate, and offer a good product helps your business grow as it can help attract the right people. We’ve also worked with two banks instead of one, which again helps us find solutions more tailored to our needs.  

How important is good planning to your business success?
Good planning is based around the fact that it’s actually very hard for us to plan where our work is coming from. Because of this, we need to plan to have flexibility, to be independent, we need to have good cash flow, and know where we financially sit all the time.

What about you - why did you want to start your own business?
I worked on the family farm when I was young and branched out into agricultural contracting when I was 23. We bought the family farm, and at the same time started an earth moving contracting business to improve cash flow – things were tight, but we could always see a future.

How did you start working with RightWay, and how do you find them?
We needed to improve our systems as the business grew. To help with this Chloe introduced Xero and we recognised that we needed to change accountant, RightWay was recommended to us. The system RightWay has allows us to follow along with our cash flow, and meet our financial commitments - with the flexibility required in our business that's very important.

How's your relationship with your Business Partner - how does your Business Partner help you with achieving your goals?
We have a regular personal relationship with our Business Partner who comes to see us at our office bi-monthly, but they're also just a phone call or email away if we need. Our Business Partner ensures we know where we stand regarding cash flow, profit and loss, GST, and tax commitments. Our office staffer Chloe has really mastered Xero and puts in the hours making sure it’s correct, which really helps the team at RightWay ensure we’re where we need to be – so it works well as a partnership. With everyone working together, our directors can plan for growth, capital expenditure, staffing, and keeps us up to date with paying our taxes!