Case Study

UrbanVirons – “Despite our best efforts, we were struggling to move past the $7.5 million revenue mark. We needed to do something different, but we didn’t know what.”

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UrbanVirons

Founded in 1979, UrbanVirons Group has grown to be one of the leading horticultural, landscaping and arboricultural service companies in South Australia. The company is a preferred supplier to state government, councils, community housing, commercial and industrial property owners and property managers in both metropolitan and country areas.

UrbanVirons has over 40 years of industry experience, employs more than 70 staff, 20 subcontractors and project manages major horticultural maintenance contracts within South Australia.

Belinda Seddon, CEO of UrbanVirons attended a Growth Clinic and went on to participate in the Growth Modules with two members of her executive team via the Growing South Australia’s Companies Program.

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obstacle

The Challenge

In 2014, Belinda stepped up from CFO to CEO as part of a new management team whose challenge was to reinvigorate UrbanVirons and explore new opportunities. The team inherited an established and trusted brand, and a mature business that – while successful –was not necessarily taking advantage of all the market opportunities. The challenge was to break through to the next level as a company while ensuring that growth could be sustained.

“If you’re going to grow your company, you need to understand what’s getting in the way of your growth – and the Growing South Australia’s Companies program helped us do that.”

 

approach

The Approach

Prior to coming to the Growth Clinic and the Growth Modules at the Australian Centre for Business Growth, the CEO and Director had taken on the responsibility for strategic planning. Participating in the program helped Belinda and the management team realise they needed to plan together, and they needed to be more strategic as they developed their plans.

“In the past we’ve been much too operations focused.” explains Belinda, “Coming to the Centre forced us to get out of the day-to-day running of the business and focus on learning about the paths to growth. That’s been really powerful for us.”

The team implemented a new management approach and set tangible growth goals that were communicated across all teams. By aligning the whole company behind this plan, Belinda and her team have been able to drive considerable growth in revenue and profit during the program.

“We are now thinking about our company in a different way. The experience has made us think much more strategically about planning for growth.”

outcome

The Outcome

Participating in the Growth Modules via the Growing South Australia’s Companies Program has paid big dividends for UrbanVirons. The company will do $9.8 million in revenue this year and is experiencing 15% year-on-year growth. During the program, growth led to the creation of eight new positions–providing new jobs for the local community, and the company expects to add more jobs later this year.

“The Growth Modules were a great opportunity for the executive team to come together and take a long hard look at the business”, says Belinda, “We were able to dive into what was preventing growth, and to strategise and create plans to unlock the potential of our company.”

Growing faster than at any time in its 40-year history, and now looking at the opportunities to develop products based on its own intellectual property–UrbanVirons is well placed for future success.

“We’re growing faster than even we thought we could, and we’ve got every opportunity over the next three years to more than meet our expectations in terms of growth and profitability.”