Harrison “Harry” Carlon started The Shed Fitness Studio 13 years ago with his business partners Henry and Tabitha. They wanted to provide busy professionals in their community with effective, targeted, and high-quality exercises, as well as offer support and guidance to ensure that their workouts are properly controlled and progressive.
Since then, The Shed has grown steadily over the years, catering primarily to the Bowral area. However, The Shed’s continued growth came with particular challenges, one of which was accounting.
Harry and his partners, personal trainers first and business owners second, didn’t really focus on accounting. Like any other business, they dealt with accounting matters like taxes but didn’t really have an in-depth grasp of why they were doing things a certain way. Prior to working with BLG, Harry and his partners had an accountant.
“When we started as a company, none of us had any accounting background or had undergone courses in running a business. We had an accountant who… wasn’t a good fit for us. He wasn’t really educating us on why we were doing things a certain way. He was just sort of doing them,” shared Harry. The accounting side of the business started to get out of hand and became hard to manage.
Their approach to accounting started to change when a client recommended BLG.
Valuable service and clear communication
Harry and The Shed’s part owners met with Luke Bland, who was a Manager at the time, and one of BLG’s Directors. Their first meeting signalled a shift towards better outcomes and working relationships for The Shed and its owners.
“We were very confident straight away - based on their punctuality, presentation, professionalism - that we were going to be getting a very different service, which is exactly what we needed. We’ve been very happy ever since,” Harry said.
Harry’s statement still rings true to this day, over three years into working with Luke and BLG. He adds that one of the things that stood out for him since they started working with BLG was Luke himself.
“He’s very good in the way he communicates - things are black and white and really straight to the point. He’s educating us, but he’s also a bit more direct with us. He speaks to us.” According to Harry, Luke helps them understand the basics of accounting and has been consistently coming in with good ideas from day one, which is what they were looking for.
Moving towards a bigger, brighter future
As The Shed continues to grow and strengthen, Harry and his team have their eyes set on expanding their reach. Luke is still very much on board and is currently helping them meet their goal of opening a second location. Throughout the process, Luke’s support and encouragement has made a significant impact, with a review of their financials showing what a great opportunity they have available to replicate what they’ve already done with The Shed’s first location.
“He’s very pro-growth. That’s good for us because we’re all pretty careful these days. I used to be a little bit more devil-may-care with taking risks, but now I’m changing as I get older, and Luke is filling us with confidence to go for it, which is nice.”
Harry adds that one of the things that set BLG and Luke apart is professionalism and organisation. According to him, the structure and the goals make them feel like they are actually going somewhere.
“With BLG and Luke, I feel like we’re getting a better grasp of all those different requirements, and there’s a plan for everything. So, whenever we receive bills, we know that each has already been assessed and minimised as much as possible,” said Harry.
When the COVID-19 crisis struck, BLG was able to help The Shed navigate the new challenges that cropped up. Luke was able to identify opportunities that allowed Harry and his team to maximise rebates from the government, with the stimulus helping their business stay afloat despite having no income.
Aside from helping them make critical business decisions, Luke was also instrumental in shaping The Shed’s owners’ personal financial decisions, from buying a house and organising refinancing for a car, to setting up Airbnb for rental properties. Whether they have been making business-related financial decisions or personal ones, Luke has guided Harry and his partners through these matters, explaining things in a way that enabled them to understand why they were doing what they were doing.
They have gained more knowledge around the various tax requirements for areas like land tax, superannuation, workers compensation and the reasoning behind each decision they make. With Luke’s help they are able to navigate the complexities of the Australian tax system and have plans in place for everything they need.
Benefits and results
Since working with BLG, Harry and his team have seen positive results across the board. These include:
Working with BLG has equipped Harry and his business partners with the knowledge needed to strengthen and build on their business. With clarity around tax obligations and business requirements, Harry shared that they now have a clear goal, focus, and direction aimed towards business growth.
“Rather than just looking at it as ‘you have to pay this and you have to pay that—we’re going to help you do that’, there’s an actual direction when you’re with BLG,” Harry said. Another aspect that Harry appreciates when it comes to working with Luke is that he always makes Harry and his team a priority.
“Luke has not made us feel like he doesn’t have time for us. So that’s not even a worry on our end, because every time we call him, we feel like he’s got all the time in the world for us, which is really nice.”