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ENV opened our doors in August 2014. Initially as a solo practitioner, I worked out of my mother-in laws spare room, but quickly and successively growing out of 4 premises as the ENV family grew. I had a couple of “tame” clients who supported me during the early days, enough to keep in the black and support growth.

ENV shape environmental solutions for our clients. We are a solutions focused organisation who rely on the individual strengths of our staff to deliver collaborative win-wins for our clients. We listen to our clients and stakeholders and understand views, needs and opinions. We are also an agile organisation who are quick to respond to the needs of our clients and the market.

In reality, this means that we get our hands dirty and provide environmental consulting, remediation, resource recovery and occupational hygiene services and solutions.

We speak to mentee James Foster about his mentoring experience.

What inspired you to contact Sourdough and request a mentor?

I was introduced to Paul Jameson via Sourdough Business pathways and so after a coffee meeting he put me in touch with my first mentor… this was in 2015, just when I was going from solo start-up to putting on my first staff member and planning for growth.

Who was your mentor?

Allen Horstmanshof

Briefly describe your experience with your mentor.

Allen is a dynamic and accomplished businessman. He has played a fundamental role in the growth and wellbeing of ENV. I use Allen as a sounding board – one that has vast experience. His responses resonate and providing feedback such as “trust your instincts” gave me a charge to keep forging onwards. This removal of doubt more than any specific advice has been priceless. Where he has issued caution – I listen.

I continue to meet with Allen once or twice a year to discuss how we are going, what we have achieved and where we are moving too.

What were the tangible results you got from your mentoring experience? 

  • % increase in revenue? We have nearly doubled revenue each year for 5 years straight. >$3.0M turnover this year
  • Increased number of employees? 13 new employees, mainly from local catchment and Southern Cross University.
  • Expansion and growth of your business? We now have 4 key areas of business with 24 revenue streams and clear purpose, vision and aspirations.

Do you have any other insights to share about you mentoring experience with Sourdough?

Sourdough lunch meetings have been a great way to rub shoulders with other aspiring local entrepreneurs, talk and learn about how other businesses are going. The thoughtful content is often inspiring, challenging and entertaining. Meeting others going through the same pains and or successes helps!

What are the next steps for your business?

ENV will continue to consolidate and grow. Moving forward, we may take our business model and reach outside the Northern Rivers…