With offices in Alice Springs and Darwin, NT Link is a family owned and operated company that sells, hires, designs, manufactures, transports and installs commercial and residential modular transportable buildings. Originally founded in 1983, the business employs a team of 65 employees, with projects including the manufacture and installation of remote area housing to indigenous communities, as well as providing turnkey camp solutions for mining, defence, and remote area civil works projects.
“From the beginning, we had an understanding of a unique product with multiple uses and believed we could deliver outcomes in a timely manner,” says Libby Prell, Director of NT Link. “We had a vision and a belief in what we could do, if not a clearly written business plan!”
Although the ownershad a clear vision, it hasn’t always been easy to get others – including banks – to believe in what they were doing.
Libby explains, “It was a challenge to finance expansions in an industry that wasn’t well understood, especially when our assets (transportable buildings) weren’t recognised as assets that could be used as security. We’ve had to rely on strong cashflow and to build up a property portfolio that the bank relies on to this day. Fortunately, we’ve had some incredible and insightful bank managers along our journey who are effectively partners in our business.”
The determination of the owners and the broader NT Link team – as well as a true need in the marketplace – have led to success, and NT Link is currently in a significant growth phase as major projects within the Northern Territory go live.
“NT Link has been able to successfully diversify its service and product offering so that its revenue streams are not overly dependent on a single business sector,” explains Richard Bowden of Accru Harris Orchard.
Building a great business
Libby says that to her, building a great business comes down to three key things:
- People – Having a team that gets as much out of what they contribute to their work as what they get paid
- Profits – Not necessarily every month or every quarter, but over a period of 3-5 years
- Projects – When the owners (and their team) truly understand what they do and can deliver what they promise.
“Our vision and belief in our business and our team – as well as targeting specific projects and building relationships with clients that we can deliver for – have been key to our business success,” says Libby. “It’s also been essential to have a huge dose of resilience and ensure that we have the right partners, like our accountants, insurers and legal advisors.”
Richard adds, “The company also has a strong alignment of values between the owners and staff, as well as a deep understanding of their industry, which have been vital.”
Accru Harris Orchard’s role and involvement
The company has been a client of Accru Harris Orchard since 2017. During that time, Richard’s team has assisted in many ways, including strategic advice to help the company consolidate and protect its asset holdings, tax planning, business strategy and restructuring and importantly navigated the owners through their first real intensive ATO reviews.
Richard says, “We’ve undertaken a progressive restructuring of the entity structure through which the company holds its trading and non-trading assets. This has resulted in a streamlining of the overall group structure by significantly reducing the number of entities involved and has facilitated a substantial improvement in the degree to which retained profits are protected from trading risk.”
Libby explains that the company had outgrown previous accounting firms. As the business grew, so did the scope of accounting work required and the need for assistance.
“Whilst our internal team now includes a CFO and Finance Managers, we’ve relied heavily on Richard Bowden and his team across our Group,” she says. “They’ve become a critical part of our team. We consider Accru Harris Orchard as an investment, not an expense!”
To learn more, visit the NT Link website.
Want to learn more about how Accru Harris Orchard can help you build a great business? Contact our team today.