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When simple strategies result in growth, freedom and a better business.

“What Sean did for me in that first meeting changed my outlook straight away. Sean is extremely genuine and believes in the changes you can make for your business.”



Sam Broomfield, Managing Director of Build by the Sea

About the Business

Sam runs the Woolgoolga based business initially established by his father in the last ‘60s. The company specialises in quality custom design homes and renovations, multi-dwelling and commercial constructions in the Northern Beaches region of the Coffs Coast.

Build by the Sea & Business by Design

Sam has been working with Sean and the team from Business by Design since February 2019.

Challenges / Obstacles

After a decade or so in business, Sam knew he had a successful company on his hands, but he felt bogged down in the grind. He’d observed his father working on the tools into his late 50s and that wasn’t a business model Sam wanted to emulate.

Always Saying “Yes”

Work was all-consuming and the idea of continuing in that vein for another three decades was a horrible prospect for Sam. He explains. “Being a born and bred local means you want to help everyone. You often say ‘yes’ because of those personal relationships. We had a really successful business and whilst that opens doors and presents great opportunities, it can also be extremely overwhelming.”

Little separation between home and work

With so much on his plate running the business, Sam’s work / life balance was poor. Plus, with a home-based office that Sam and other team members worked from, there was little separation between the two worlds.

No time to work ON the business

As is often the case with qualified and skilful tradespeople, business starts small as is manageable but as it grows the owner is consumed in the business leaving no time to work on it. Sam describes this as ‘wearing too many hats.’ Sam needed to learn to defer and delegate to other team members so he could shift his focus accordingly.

Lack of Structure

Sam was lacking clear business plans (such as a structured, five-year goal) which left him somewhat directionless. Vital organisational components were also not in place.

Why Sean Martyn was the ideal fit

Sam clicked with Sean right away and understood from the outset how instrumental Sean could be in helping Sam overcome his business challenges. Sam says he found it refreshing to hear certain home truths from someone else, to air those business issues that he’d been hesitant to acknowledge.

Great Support

“I was somewhat sceptical about business coaches as I’d met with others previously where that connection had been lacking. It was different with Sean. He’s extremely genuine and believes in the changes you can make for your business. He’s very engaging. I was drawn as much to his personality as his expertise. He gives you simple tools to help you reach your goals.”

Immediate Changes

Sam welcomed Sean’s goal orientated approach. “It’s fantastic,” he says. “What Sean did for me in that first meeting changed my outlook straight away. He identified where we were going well and addressed those areas where we were performing poorly. The outcome of that initial discussion was that we had a great business, great staff and were making money but we were missing some important systems and needed to set some clear and realistic goals. Sean provided great strategies and right away, it was easy for me to see where we could improve.”

Changes Implemented

A Pinpoint Focus

Sean helped Sam define what he wanted most for Build by the Sea. That clarity helped Sam determine his ideal clientele, key service area and other aspects where lines had become blurred.

“Sean bought it back to a pinpoint focus, reminding me what to focus on. It was all about where we want to go, who we’re servicing and why. After all, work needs to be enjoyable but there has to be profit. That has to be the end goal. Sean also put the word ‘no’ in my vocabulary and for a ‘yes man’ like me, that was a game-changer.”

Learning to Say No

Sam learnt the value of saying ‘no’ be it to potential clients or to staff members. This is an aspect he has found particularly freeing. These days, he’s more likely to push back on employees, especially in areas they are responsible for. “Saying no also means not taking ownership of everything anymore. It may be in relation to accepting a job or when engaging with employees. I now understand that compromises can be made and it’s ok not to say ‘yes’ all the time.”

Screening Potential Clients

Sean encouraged Sam to introduce a system for refining clientele. As new enquiries came in, Sam and the team would look at whether a client was financially ready to commit / had  plans / designs in place etc. Alignment also came into question, i.e. was a client the right fit for Build by the Sea? “We’ve learnt to engage people on our terms. Before we might have dropped everything to fit around a client but now, we set clear expectations and that feels good.”

Team Effort

Another factor that drew Sam to Business by Design was that he was encouraged to bring staff on the business mentoring journey with him. “This meant I was not only learning for myself but for and with my staff as well. This team approach has made it easier to implement the necessary changes as we’re all on the same page.”

Key Outcomes

Build by the Sea has increased in sale and sophistication over recent years as a result of the strategies Sam worked on with Business by Design.

Sam was able to have greater freedom in the business, delegate more, improve systems, unite staff and simply, do business better.

* In learning to delegate to staff, Sam has created more freedom for himself.

* The business has also introduced clearly defined roles and responsibilities for employees. As a result, everyone understands what’s required of them and performs their job better.

* Greater focus has resulted in shared team goals which has been unifying for all.

* Introducing and implementing simple and accessible systems (i.e. integrated software systems etc) has also been beneficial for the Build by the Sea team.

* Sam says Sean has taught him to do business better, freeing him up to work on the business and not just in it. “I realised I needed a clearer head to give staff precise answers when required, allowing them to move forward sharply and professionally.”

* Thanks to Sean, Sam says he now has the right mindset for business success. “I’m all about those big conversations, about getting into the appropriate headspace to plan and set clear goals.”

Goals and Achievements

Sam and his team have just ticked off one of their big, bold goals – a fantastic new shed! The shed has offices, a factory space, workshop and consulting room for clients. Reaching this milestone also means that the five staff who had been working from Sam’s home no longer have to.

Another wonderful goal Sam has achieved in completing the shed is having created a ‘man space’ for himself. This is where Sam can dabble in those things that bring him joy and spark creativity like tinkering away on electrified motorbikes. This dedicated space will bring solace for Sam and be a welcome reprieve from work.