Three Tree Landscaping | Kick starting in Covid

Stefan Curry took the leap into starting his own business one month before the Covid-19 pandemic put NZ into lockdown. It was not the promising start he had been expecting but he did find the enforced stay at home useful to work ‘on’ his business.
Some of that time was spent “getting his name out” on social media – Three Trees Landscaping provides design, hard and soft landscaping to predominantly residential owners in the greater Wellington and Kapiti Coast region.
Stefan also worked with Moore Markhams to ensure he had all his business systems set up correctly. A newcomer to the world of running a business, Stefan is relying on the accounting firm’s team to help him “learn as we go”. He says the prompt responses he gets to his constant (but slowly declining) questions has made his life a lot easier. “Everything gets taken care of so easily.”
Having that support has been amazing, he says. And particularly so during and post the Level 3 and 4 periods, when he was kept apprised of all the Covid relief available for him and his two new employees.
Since entering Level 1, things have taken off. Stefan now employs a team of six, three team leaders and three apprentices, which leaves him in the office full time to deal with inquiries, prepare designs and quotes, and essentially project manage each job.
To date, landscaping work has taken Three Trees as far up the coast as Waikanae and Stefan is eyeing Wairarapa and even Hawke’s Bay as potential target markets.
A qualified quantity surveyor, Stefan previously worked as an estimator and then general manager of another landscaping company. In 2019, he decided the time was right to start out on his own and began the process of establishing his business.
He’s done so with the help of two silent investment partners and admits he had his eyes opened to the intricacies of setting up a Shareholders’ Agreement. Bruce Stormer, Moore Markhams Wellington director worked closely with Stefan and his partners.
“Bruce helped us work out the best way to do things, so it was fair. Who was putting in what but also helping us to set goals and how the agreement would work. Everything’s been done properly so there’ll be no problem down the track should anything arise.
“It’s now in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet and hopefully never to be looked at again,” says Stefan.
Looking back, Stefan says it’s been a full-on year with long hours invested but one that’s been amazing. “I wouldn’t take any of it back.”

You can learn more about the importance of Shareholder Agreements here.

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