Case Studies

From Nothing – to Fully Operational Business With Paying Clients in Less Than 90 Days!

The Client:

Home Sweet Home Nursing is a start-up business in the Aged Care and Nursing Industry. They provide high quality in-home care that allows elderly, frail or disabled people to live their lives in the comfort and enjoyment of their own homes.


Before approaching The3rdgear the founders of HSHN had worked with a business coach for 6 months but had become frustrated with their lack of progress. They realised they needed more than just business coaching and began looking for a system that would help them build all of the key components of their business model. After doing some research they decided The3rdgear was the system they’d been looking for.

The Challenge:

Business partners Karen and Marella both had extensive experience and qualifications in the Aged Care and Nursing industry, but neither had run their own business. The learning curve was going to be steep. They were already overwhelmed by the amount of work involved in creating a business and needed clear, practical planning, as well as fast easy to implement actions to get their business up and running quickly.

Our Approach:

We started by applying The3rdgears Start-up Planning System to identify and prioritise the key parts of the HSHN business model. We then moulded these into individual action plans focusing on the core areas of Sales, Marketing, Financial Management and Operations. Each area had its own plan developed and these were worked-on simultaneously with a target 90 Day Launch date.

We worked with HSHN to create their key marketing messages and strategies. We built their company website ( ), and created a brochure to assist with the sales process we had developed together. We also assisted in sourcing and screening legal and financial service providers to help establish the basic management and compliance aspects of running the business.

The final stage was to create a practical Operational Plan that would guide the development of their day-to-day operating and management processes.


When HSHN came to us they’d already invested 6 months of valuable time and money but had nothing to show for it. The3rdgear helped them create an effective strategy and business model, along with all the basic processes needed to start operating their business.

Because of the The3rdgears Start-up Planning System Karen and Marella now have a business plan, a live website, a company brochure, a sales and marketing system, and they’ve secured their first paying clients, all within 90 days of starting their project with The3rdgear.

 Clients Perspective:

“The3rdgear have been amazing, we really didn’t think we could achieve so much in such a short period of time, I’ve been recommending them to everyone we know. Every small business should be using this system”.


When we first met Dorry in April 2006 he was well on his way to the success he’s achieved today. It was DKMs third year in operation and Dorry was keen to continue the business’ growth. He knew that to achieve this he’d need to bring structure into the business in terms of reporting, accountability and responsibilities for his key staff.Dorry also had several ideas about the future of the business and wanted to share these with his team in a concise and meaningful way.

Our Approach:

We started by facilitating a detailed personal Strategic Vision for Dorry. This was then translated into a strategic vision for the business, which was shared with all staff. Once we had the teams’ buy-in we moved forward to define an organisational structure that would work for the future. We also developed accountabilities and performance measures for each member of the team.

In addition to these organisational systems we conducted Executive Development coaching for DKMs’ key team members over a 6 month period. This allowed us to develop each team member fully into their evolved role and prepared the business for further growth.

The Result:

The whole team now shared one common vision and direction for the future of the business. In addition, each person knew their part, and they knew how success would be measured on an individual basis.

Through the Executive Development program we also identified and developed key staff, on of whom became a core part of the management team that helped turn DKM Blue into the business it is today.


“Working with The3rdgear certainly made a contribution to the business’s growth and direction at the time. The systems we implemented from the project gave our whole team a good foundation to move forward with, and the Executive Development program helped our people grow as individuals and to work better as a team.”

– Dorry Kordahi Managing Director DKM Blue, BRW Young Entrepreneur of the Year, 2010 BRW Top 100 Rich Lister.


H&M Contracting are well established commercial and civil plumbing contractors based on the NSW Central Coast. The company’s two directors wanted to streamline the business’s operational performance. They also wanted to be more strategic in the way they managed and developed their business.

The Result:

Working together with the directors and staff The3rdgear identified several key opportunities to streamline the business. Over a period of twelve months we restructured the business and clarified key outcomes from each position in the organisational structure. We then implemented a regular feedback and review process for all staff. This provided improved clarity of purpose for the entire team and quickly improved culture and morale.

We also reviewed the day to day activities of the business and streamlined several operating processes by implementing improved documentation and management systems.

Clients Perspective:

“We’ve never been more organised. We have the right team now, everyone knows what needs to be done and things get done properly. As Directors we’re able to focus more strategically on business development, and as a result of our improved reporting systems we’ve reduced our overheads and set realistic measurable growth targets. We’ve now got the confidence to push forward and achieve our big picture vision for the business.”

Brett Hillock


H&M Contracting


GB Electrical is one of Newcastle’s largest and longest established Electrical Services companies. They provide a comprehensive range of electrical services for residential, commercial and industrial customers.The company is owned and managed by four directors who are each responsible for different areas of the business.


While the business was very successful it was becoming increasingly challenging to manage all of the associated functions and co-ordinate resources between the groups’ business units. This lead to the Directors each being over worked which was also holding back the businesses growth, as they were running at maximum capacity yet there was excess demand for their services. The Directors were each becoming increasingly tired, however they each also wanted the business to develop and grow.

The Approach

Given that there were four different key stakeholders involved, each with their own personal goals and priorities the first step was to facilitate a common direction between the four Directors.

Once we’d achieved this we focused on redesigning the organisational structure and developing Key Performance Measures for each Business Unit. We also developed an operational plan designed to reengineer key elements of the businesses day to day functions.

The Outcome

In their strategic vision the directors established a key goal of increasing overall turnover by 25% within two years and to have each business unit running effectively under management. They also wanted to see significant improvements in day to day efficiency and increased co-operation between business units and staff.

12 Months after starting the project Darren Andrews – Operations Manager and Director says:

“We’ve just received our 4th quarter figures since we started the project and we have increased our turnover by 16% for that period while maintaining a steady cost base. We’re right on track to achieving our 2 year growth targets. Our day to day operations are much smoother and we’ve had some really big wins in certain areas of the business. I have more time to do the things I should be doing and everything is running much better. To be honest, as much as I wanted this to work, when we started I was pretty sceptical that anything was going to come of it. We’ve tried things like this in the past and they’ve just fizzled out or not worked for us, but this is really impressive. The business is a lot different and we can all see real improvement from The3rdgears systems.”


The Chriss Group is a family owned business operating multiple IGA supermarkets across Sydneys’ North Shore. When the3rdgear first started working with the Chriss family, the business was preparing for a management transition. Their original store had been run by the father of the family for many years, with another store being run by one of his sons. The other son had also recently joined the family business.

The Result

Succession planning was a key agenda item on the project schedule as well as developing performance management systems (both human and financial). The operational processes also needed to be reviewed and streamlined.

By focusing on the core elements of the business we were able to develop a uniform set of systems which would form the foundation of the groups’ “Multi-store Management System”. Once we had these in place, we commenced a training and development program with the two sons as they prepared to ‘take the reins’.Today the family have been able to successfully branch out into property development as well as running four IGA stores with a view to expand even further in the not too distant future.

Client’s Perspective

“When we started our project we had two stores which required our constant attention. Today we have four stores operating profitably. We’ve developed and implemented strategies that have allowed us to remain profitable and competitive despite the pressures of major chains encroaching on our territories. We’ve also created an internal management framework that allows the stores to run under management without the need for our involvement in the day to day activities. As owners of the business we now have more free time, which means we are able make better strategic decisions.”


Rustic Touch is a multi award winning designer and builder of high quality, prestige and luxury homes with a strong focus on smart design, environmental sensitivity and eco sustainability.

The Result

Within 18 months of beginning their program with The3rdgear, Rustic Touch had completed their best financial year ever with a 100% improvement in turnover on their previous best year. There was also a significant profit to the partners which was predominantly re-invested to support the next phase of the company’s development.

Client’s Perspective

“We’re much more confident with the future of our business, our relationship as business partners has been enhanced along with the quality of our lifestyle. Our staff are happier and more focused and we’re all excited about the future.”


Modelco have created a unique range of beauty products which today are sold world wide. Shelley Barrett the Managing Director of Modelco has created an internationally recognised brand in only a few years and was awarded the Earnst and Young – Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2005.

The Result

“Management can see a marked difference in the day to day operation of the business since the implementation of the systems and strategy you facilitated. I feel staff are more confident and now have a clear understanding of the direction we intend to take the company.”

Client’s Perspective

“Prior to working with Aaron we were faced with many challenges. We had concerns regarding our staffs actual job descriptions and how their responsibilities needed to fit with the actual vision and direction for the company. We’ve implemented your strategy and Modelco is now on the shelf in every David Jones store nationally and represented internationally in Paris, London, New York, Hong Kong and Dubai. We thank you for all your efforts and ongoing follow up. We would not hesitate in using your services again and I would highly recommend them to others.”


Dickens and Hawthorne are importers and manufacturers of high quality giftware. They supply wholesale products to the major department store chains and selected resorts and hotels. Managing Director: Stephen Jackson

The Result

Stephen reported

“After implementing a lot of the solutions we had identified as being necessary to improve the business we have had noticeable improvements in many areas. In the Sales and Marketing area we have reduced costs and saved time through improved paperwork and systems resulting in fewer errors, improved communication, better product and happier customers.”

“All the other areas of the business, Finance and Administration, Purchasing, Human Resources, Product Development, Warehousing and Manufacturing have also benefited by becoming better organised, again saving both time and money.”

Client’s Perspective

“The staff are happier so morale has improved, information is easier to access, communication is better, both internally and externally and the general quality of our business has taken a major step forward. We would absolutely recommend your services.”


CommInsure is the insurance division of the Commonwealth Bank. They approached The3rdgear with an interesting case involving one of their Income Protection clients.Russell (CommInsure’s client) had been a self employed brick layer for over 20 years when he injured his back. Since the injury he’s not been able to work full time as a Brick Layer, and medical advice was that it was no longer a suitable profession for him.For Russell this was devastating news, he was exceptionally good at his trade and enjoyed working. He was still getting small amounts of supervisory work but not enough to maintain a good standard of living. Fortunately for Russell he had income protection with CommInsure who were prepared to support him both financially and in assisting him with retraining and rehabilitation.CommInsure approached The3rdgear with an interesting request, could we help Russell identify an alternative business for himself and could we help him plan, build and launch it?

After meeting with Russell we felt there may be some opportunities for him, so we commenced a 6 month business planning and development process. We developed a Strategic Vision for Russell and then went through a series of opportunity and scenario planning exercises until we’d identified the ideal way forward. We then created a business and marketing plan based on Russell’s preferred options.

Four months later his new business was borne. At the conclusion of our project the new business had a full book of work for the next 12 months, and Russell was in a position where he could select the type of work that best suited him and his team of tradespeople.

“This has been great for me, I’m much happier, and more motivated. I’m doing the kind of work that I really enjoy and the business is making good money. The3rdgear has been great for me.”

– Russell Winter

Lake Macquarie Building Solutions

“The idea of approaching skilled providers’ such as The3rdgear for business coaching is something that we now do for our clients to assist them following illness or injury. I’ve got to say we are really impressed with the results of the project. The3rdgear delivered everything they said they would, and a little bit more. As for Russell, he’s like a different person, and his business is doing really well. This was a great outcome for everyone.”

– Tim Hulme


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