The Company You Keep

Woodlane Orchard

Woodlane Orchard is a business that started with the most noble of intentions: selling dried fruit so it wouldn’t go to waste. In this episode of The Company You Keep, owner Kelly Johnson reflects on how customers and farmers have bought into the Woodlane vision and helped the business blossom.

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Woodlane Orchard on building a blossoming business from fruit and veggies

In this episode of The Company We Keep, hear from Kelly Johnson, Owner and Manager of Woodlane Orchard. Kelly explains how her humble plan to support local farmers has blossomed into a successful enterprise yielding interest far beyond her expectations. Her big-hearted approach to business has paid off for her and her local community. 

Communication is key to Kelly’s business and her personal touch to every transaction has helped her develop and grow a loyal and trusting customer base.

Speaking of her customers, Kelly says: "We've got really happy customers. I love my customers. They're wonderful. And you know what, it's one of the things in terms of growth right now, we need to expand. One of the driving things I have to bring more employees in is that I need to spend more time in an interface with my customers and my wholesalers."

If you encounter a challenge, Kelly suggests you act fast. By making speedy, calculated decisions, she tripled her business in two years and attracted interest from interstate and offshore. But she's also conscious of not taking on too much, too quickly, saying: "I need to grow the business at a sustainable rate. Everywhere you go, you read, if you grow too fast, you'll fall over, you won't have to do it. And I've been really mindful of that."

To be mindful, Kelly taps into the SMART approach: "SMART actually means a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timeframe, and it's just perfect for a small business.

"Everything you do should be within the parameters of SMART. And one thing I learned really early on is, you create a business plan and then you're lucky enough to have a business that's growing really well and really fast, and not getting upset that you've outstripped your business plan, who cares? That's great. That means your whole business plan was a goal. Tick that off and create a new one. Yet again, balance it out with SMART you can't go wrong."

Tune in to find out tips for forging strong strategic alliances in your local community, how to eliminate waste while supersizing profits and how improving your e-commerce can provide a shot in the arm for profits.

Top 10 business champion

Woodlane Orchard has been recognised as a Top 10 Business Champion in our Together in Business member recognition program. 

Disclaimer: Our guests are real business owners and their experiences are their true stories. The guests express views and opinions that are from their own learnings and insights.

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