Business Development Group offers new insights to Advanced Accounting business partner Marko de Vries
At Advanced Accounting Aaran McLeod brought business partner Marko de Vries to the team two years ago. For the first year Marko worked as an employee while they went through a careful process of making sure they could work together effectively and were a good fit for running a company together. Good team culture is important at Advanced Accounting, and fortunately it was what Marko was looking for too. He also needed to get his head around what it would be like moving from employee to business owner, a position he had not been in before.
Marko has a strong background in accounting and finance. Finding he had a natural affinity for numbers he had trained first in accounting and then completed a BBS majoring in Finance at Massey University. After finishing his training Marko worked in the accounts department at The Manawatu Standard for a short time before gaining employment at local finance company —Speirs Finance. Looking to connect with friends and family overseas Marko took off on a working holiday landing himself a job as an investment banker in London in a large corporate environment.
He returned six months later to a job at accounting firm Brumby Simpson Partners Ltd which eventually got taken over by accounting firm Allan McNeill. It was through his employment there that he received excellent mentoring and was able to work his way through becoming a registered chartered accountant (CA). Marko spent seven years at Allan McNeill before the opportunity to work with Aaran McLeod arose and offered what he’d been looking for—a chance for growth in his career.
Aaran and Marko recognised that their different personalities were complementary. It meant they had their own specialist areas based on their strengths. They learned to respect each other’s boundaries and adapted when necessary to suit each other’s quirks. Aaran is a more fast-paced action man who comes up with ideas, whereas Marko is more considered and operations focused. Both of them have similar values, are family oriented, and possess a strong drive to help people achieve their goals.
Running Advanced Accountings Business Development Group (BDG) is Aaran’s domain – he is passionate about supporting people in business and bringing them together in a supportive environment. Marko was under no pressure to attend but felt intrigued, and despite being an accountant, he had only been in the shoes of an employee, so he felt it would be a good course to gain a look at the whole picture of business ownership.
The benefits gained from attending BDG have been multi-faceted allowing Marko to learn more about looking ahead and making plans for business in the future as well as gaining a lot from listening to other business people’s experiences. Marko knows that a lot of what he learned will be useful advice for his clients and feels he has a much fuller knowledge of many aspects of business ownership, identifying that it is more than just financial.
Marko’s position as someone entering into a business partnership was unique amongst the BDG but turned out to be a great opportunity to understand the theory behind the practise of how Advanced Accounting already operates. He was able to verify that Aaran practises what he preaches and felt grateful for the team culture Aaran had worked hard to grow. Marko learned what working on your business entails and feels he has a much fuller knowledge of business in theory and practise with the advantage of seeing business through a variety of different business owner’s eyes. While he’d experienced in practise the benefits of a clear organisational structure, leadership and the importance of having a strong vision and purpose, having the opportunity to visit the theory was useful and insightful.
BDG helped Marko make more inroads in his transition from employee to business owner and helped him identify responsibilities that he hadn’t considered before. He knows that business is not easy and that it can be a scary and isolating experience if you don’t have other business people to talk with. It also helped to fine-tune the way Advanced Accounting do things with Marko and Aaran working from the same content and reinforcing their practises. Marko found there were always new insights to be gained from listening to others which suited his natural philosophy of always learning.
Marko can see the benefits for someone in his position—moving from employee to business owner—attending the BDG pointing out that “you don’t know what you don’t know” and he would recommend the Business Development Group to business owners at any stage of their journey through business.
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