Experience goes a long way when starting a business and Elanie van Greuning of Crossroads Accounting & Advisory Services Ltd has a lot of it. She has been a certified accountant for over 22 years, served as an Operations Manager, and helped her own family business grow from a financial and business development perspective. But when it came to starting her new business she knew to utilise the talents of others.
This is how Excio came to provide a bespoke photoshoot for Elanie. Elanie was so happy with the results that she joined the Excio Image Library to update her website with photographs that better represented her business.
A vision brought to life
Up until a couple of years ago, Elanie always dreamed about co-owning a chartered accountancy practice.
While several opportunities came up, she knew for various reasons these were not right for her.
The right time to start a business comes along when you’ve completed due diligence and you know it is right in your heart and your head. It is when you have the ability to be true to yourself and quickly establish your all-important story as a basis for that business.
For Elanie the vision of Crossroads came to her at an outreach in Carterton in mid-2021:
“It was a normal day, and I was looking forward to attending a Christian Outreach in Carterton with my family. During the night, as the pastor preached, the Lord started to speak to me and the idea of our business was born on that night. I knew Jesus had called me to open this business and use it to display his love and glory to people. Over the next month he confirmed in various ways to me the structure of the business, the name of the business as well as the fixed percentage of net profits that he wanted us to sow back into the community.”
The journey so far
Simply put, “it’s been great and exciting” says Elanie:
“As with any start-up it has its highs and lows. There are challenges and victories, and both these make us stronger and helps to improve and grow our business. I’ve also learnt the valuable skills those close to me have.”
Tapping into the talents of family, friends and ex-colleagues to provide support along the way, has made it that much easier for Elanie:
“Those of us in a start-up business, often want to do everything, but reminding ourselves where our skills lie and asking for help in areas we are not strong in, is actually ok and the best decision to make. I have had to remind myself that we all have different God given skills and my team now extends beyond those in Crossroads.”
For Elanie, as for many, her biggest challenge to date has been digital marketing.
“Everything from designing a logo that reflects what my business stands for, creating a website, to learning marketing in the digital arena, has been a big learning curve.”
Elanie has recently decided to engage with a marketing company. And as part of expanding her business network she joined the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce where she met Ana Lyubich, Excio CEO/ Co-founder.
#FairSharePhotography and a photoshoot
“I loved the Excio fair share model with photographers and supporting local photographers. Ana mentioned Excio does photoshoots and can help with photos needed for digital marketing. Extending my team to include Excio just made sense.” says Elanie
Elanie took up the offer for a business photoshoot for her website. It just so happened to be Excio’s Co-founder who stepped in due to their relationship.
Like a lot of people Elanie doesn’t enjoy having personal photographs taken.
“But Ana has a way to make one feel comfortable. It felt more like a chat than a photoshoot. I definitely recommend her to anyone needing photos and wanting a photoshoot at a more personal level” says Elanie.
Think about your concept
The best tip Elanie has for selecting her photos came from Ana who advised her to think about the concept. **When choosing photos for the Crossroads’ website, this is exactly what Elanie kept in mind:
“I discussed photo choices with friends and family and chose several images from Excio. I also used one of the images from the photoshoot for the “About us” page. There were so many good photos she took that my daughter ended up choosing the one of me.”
If a photo aligns with your original idea or plan for your brand, that is what you should go with. Do this, and you will get compliments from people other than your immediate family and friends.
Specialised expertise and going the extra mile
Knowing more about Elanie’s story gives us a greater understanding of the Crossroads business. By seeking advice on marketing and the visual aspects of her business, it allowed Elanie to focus on the things she excels at.
For Crossroads this is providing full-service expertise in assisting franchises: from due diligence when considering buying a franchise; business, accounting & tax support along the journey; through to selling the franchise. Crossroads also offers all compliance, advisory and business development services expected of a chartered accountancy and advisory business. As for Crossroads’ point of difference Elanie picks three aspects that are important for helping her clients:
- Complimentary annual accounts/tax return meetings for all business clients so they understand what was compiled and what these figures mean to them. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the past year to make improvements
- Offering clients the freedom to call / email quick fire questions. Crossroads offer several complimentary phone / email packages based on client business structures
- Not starting any work unless we have agreed the fees in advance.
“Time is often a factor for clients along with cost. We all know the importance of stepping back from working in your business to working on your business. We want to meet our clients halfway – if they take the time out to reflect on their business, we will remove the cost barrier.”
Elanie also noted that Crossroads operate with a high level of integrity which stems from their core Christian values. They are passionate about serving the community and their business plan includes sowing a fixed percentage of net profits back into local and international charities where the need is greatest. If Elanie’s approach to business resonates with you, then you can contact her at https://crossroadsaa.nz/ and check out her gorgeous website at the same time.
To find fresh New Zealand photographs to illustrate your unique business story, take a look at the Excio Image Library.