May, 23 2021

Importance of Hiring right and Business planning

A series of what do successful businesses look like, Andrew Stratford talks about the importance of hiring right, the use of SOP's (Standard operating procedure) as part of you business planing. 


Listen later with MyApiary podcast. 


Who is Andrew Stratford

Some of you may know the name Stratford from Comvita which is where I started out my beekeeping life under my grandfather Claude. Claude started a company called Convita and I was bought into the Comvita fold when it was still relatively young. There was about 14 staff working here when I joined back in 1991, worked with Convita for 11 years. The final six years as the honey buyer and also during that period I started beekeeping myself so just as a hobbyist but I wanted to be able to communicate better with beekeepers from who I was buying honey. Left Convita in 2002, my wife and I decided we wanted to move and we wanted to start our own business so we got involved in a beekeeping business initially with a few other partners and then in 2004 we bought them out and that business was called Lakeview honey and was based in centre of the north island in the central plateau the southern end of Lake Taupo a combination of different aspects to it pollination honey.

Managed that business until 2012 and at which time we sold the business to a bigger company um that company didn't really have a lot of expertise in running beehives and so I continued to work for them contracted to work for them for three years. At which time I exited so left them in august 2015 and restarted a beekeeping business this time based in Taupo at the northern end of the lake.

Decided that we would make this business a bit smaller, we initially started as a producer of beehives and then we moved into honey production so running at that time 500 hives I bought one staff member on to work with me. He had some experience already we spent a bit of time working together was a really really good partnership relationship and then in 2018, I decided to step back because there was an opportunity to work for a large corporate help them re-establish themselves they were in a bit of a mess and so I stepped back handed our beekeeping business which at that time was under the name bequest I handed that over to my staff member my role became a lot more strategic management role and we employed another young guy to join him and those two guys have now been working that business for three years really without my hands-on involvement.

I worked for the corporate for two years roughly just under two years and then I've gone out on my own and doing some consultancy now so that's sort of a timeline of how it's worked for me I've since moved to by the way since moved to the coromandel so still working four days a week taking a day out to go do a bit of fishing and a bit more time in my relationship with my wife yeah so fair to say you've got quite a lot of experience and work and through the advisory service team I worked with a number of businesses and seen lots of management styles and what works and what doesn't work.