Located just under an hour south of Adelaide, the Aldinga township has gone through some exciting changes recently. Part of that transformation is a new retail development called The Temperance Precinct.
Partly new and partly old, the older part is in the development’s namesake, the old Temperance Hotel which was built in 1868. The most well-known tenant in this part is Miss Gladys on Sea. The new part is two new double-story buildings, one of which houses Maxwell's Organic Grocery and Cafe, while the other houses our great clients, Sage House and Sage Loft.
When the owners, Tim and Naomi, opened the doors to Sage House in December 2019, it was the culmination of a lot of hard work, long days and nights, emotional ups and downs, amateur shopfitting and cabinet making, and financial risk. 15 months down the track, they have definitely experienced the ups and downs of any new small business with the added obstacle that is COVID-19 also thrown into the mix.
Sage House is a homewares and gift store focusing on goods that are local (on the Fleurieu), South Australian and Australian where possible. Tim and Naomi were pleasantly surprised by the quality of local products which they stock on their shelves.
“We were amazed at how many talented people were living in and around our community.”
Sage House is open 7 days a week and employs four staff members while Naomi and Tim also put in many hours themselves to keep wage costs down.
Sage Loft began life as an Airbnb whereby Tim and Naomi quickly saw an uptake in occupancy for the 2019/2020 Christmas holidays, boosting cash flow but also the household workload.
As we all know, it was a little later into 2020 when COVID’s impact was really felt here in Australia and Sage Loft began to see more and more last-minute cancellations from interstate guests. While there were enough local guests to keep things ticking over, it was the uncertainty that continues to this day regarding border restrictions that caused Tim and Naomi to rethink the approach to Sage Loft.
The innovative owners decided to transform the Airbnb into a consulting space that is currently used by counsellors, a naturopath, a massage/reiki therapist and a dietitian.
“This is definitely more aligned with our initial health and well-being vision for the Loft along with providing a lot more consistency in terms of knowing what our workload is and what cashflow this will generate.”
Tim and Naomi run the businesses using a Square POS system and a Xero accounting package. They initially worked with a local accountant who set the businesses up on Xero but when she made a career change, Tim reached out to Lee Green’s Melissa Probert, who was delighted to take the call.
“Having known Tim for many years, I knew that he was a great communicator and we were able to schedule lots of Zoom meetings to work through the Xero issues, offer some training and get the business reporting on track. Technology is key to working with clients over greater distances and the screen sharing functions of online meeting platforms paired with cloud accounting packages allow great remote training possibilities.”
It was the prompt problem identification and resolution that Melissa was able to implement for Sage House and Safe Loft that Tim most appreciated.
“There were a few issues that Melissa identified straight away and her knowledge of Xero quickly ensured there was no handover time lag.”
“The Xero software is really user friendly once you get to know the ins and outs. I use a well-known competitors accounting package in my day job and Xero just seems to be a little less convoluted.”
While Tim and Naomi aren’t quite sure what a ‘normal’ year of trade might look like, they are hopeful that they have endured the biggest period of uncertainty and are optimistic that Sage House and Sage Loft can continue to support local artists, businesses, and health and well-being workers for the foreseeable future.
Melissa is optimistic too. “With Naomi’s obvious style and creative flair and Tim’s business knowledge I have no doubt this business will flourish in the years to come. They have already succeeded by growing a new business in such challenging times and showing how adaptable their business model can be.”
If Lee Green can help your business succeed, please contact us on (08) 8333 3666 or firstname.lastname@example.org