2018 Master of Growth Winner: Southbase Construction
L-R Shari Carter (Deloitte Private Partner), Leon Brazier (Southbase Construction CFO), William Birch (Southbase Construction Northern Regional Manager), Ben Fahey (BNZ Head of Corporate and Commercial)
Long-term growth is very difficult to maintain but construction company, Southbase Construction, have made it look easy, taking the top spot on the Fast 50 Master of Growth index last week. Fantastic results aren’t new to them – the business saw an incredible $5 million dollars in revenue in their first year. Now, almost six years old, their 745% revenue growth has boosted them well above their 2018 competitors.
We spoke to CFO, Leon Brazier, to discuss Southbase Construction’s Fast 50 success and his team’s approach to running a national company.
How do you and the South Construction team feel about winning the Master of Growth index?
We're obviously delighted, it's very humbling.
How did you recognise the win at your offices?
We shouted it from the rooftops through our intranet, Facebook and Twitter! We like to celebrate our success with our team, because we know that without them, we wouldn't be in the position that we are today. The award will take pride of place in our Auckland office – it’s where we're newest in the market and are most keen to establish our brand and reputation.
Why do you think Southbase Construction has seen the sustained growth that it has?
It's a little bit of being in the right place, at the right time. We're a construction company in the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes that was founded to be client-focused and innovative. The business was founded by an extremely experienced team and we have used that experience to provide innovative solutions for our clients.
Also, we've proven in a relatively short space of time that we've got an outstanding delivery record for our clients, based on innovation and knowledge. Our catchphrase is 'determined to deliver', which I think sums it up.
Are there any lessons that you would share with other business owners?
Good people is essential to the success of any company. I like the phrase, 'A's hire A's and B's hire C's' - I think I might've heard that at the festival actually! We're so lucky, we've got so many outstanding people in our business.
We came from humble beginnings, with an office in a back yard garage before moving to the outskirts of town. While we moved premises and recruited really early, we were always looking for good people and we always knew what was going on in the market.
What factors will contribute to your continued growth over the next year?
As a national business, we're focusing on cementing our regional structure and from my point of view as CFO, regional supply and financial reporting. Fortunately, we’re blessed at the moment with good market conditions and if we continue to live around our brand and reputation, we should see significant growth opportunities from where we are.
How did you first hear about the Fast 50?
I was aware of the experience from speaking to different companies, but our contacts at Deloitte Private did encourage us to apply! Also, as we bank with BNZ and they're a part of the event, they'd been quietly nudging away at us to enter as well!
How would you describe this year’s Fast 50 experience and the Festival of Growth?
Really good, particularly attending the business panels and as an opportunity to celebrate success, and network with other businesses.
Do you think there is anything unique about New Zealand when it comes to starting a business?
Our culture is very ‘can-do’ with a large pool of talented people, so as a place it's easy to do business. I think you can see that by the large amount of successful businesses, and particularly export businesses, here!
Jen Scouler works in the Deloitte clients & marketing team across digital content and social media. She also works closely with Deloitte Private.