How this plaster laid the foundation for a growing construction business

John Green had an inclination towards construction from his youth. So one day, when a guest speaker came to her high school looking for apprentices, she knew she’d found her break.

Jono cut his teeth working on residential buildings before the global financial crisis hit the housing market (and his employers), forcing him to move into the commercial sector. Jono’s silver lining was taking on contract work and eventually combining its own crews to accommodate both industries once the economy rebounded. And here’s how JCG Projects born.

From his early days building houses and castles, Jono has turned his childhood passion into a growing construction business with a team of carpenters, plasterers, painters and his own apprentices.

Of course, being the boss comes with its challenges. But with the right digital stack and the support of his trusted advisor, Jono is building a bright future for himself and the team.

Keeping cash anywhere, anytime

Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, Jono has always understood the importance of accountants and bookkeepers to small businesses. So in the early days of JCG Projects, he prioritized investing in consulting.

It was through a business networking group that he found Olivia Story Gecko Accounting. Jono says she helped him turn JCG from a one-man band into a proper company. “It’s not just about winning jobs; What happens in the background is also important,” he says.

From the start, Olivia set Jono up with Xero to handle everything from quotes and invoicing to scheduling and client management. In particular, the platform helped JCG Projects maintain its cash flow. Jono explains: “We tend to have a lot of material and labor costs, so even a few late invoices can disrupt our entire payment cycle. But with Xero, I know what’s coming in and out, both now and in the coming months, which means we can plan for what’s ahead.”

What makes it easy? John uses The Xero mobile app, which means it can stay on top of the books from anywhere—including workspaces. “Checking Xero in the morning and afternoon has become routine. We see what invoices need to be pushed out on a daily basis,” he says, adding that “it just makes life easier.”

Easing the burden with digital tools

Without a doubt, running a construction company is difficult. From managing client and vendor relationships to planning and executing major construction projects, Jono’s to-do list is seemingly endless. So it’s no surprise that – under Olivia’s guidance – she’s launched an army of apps. Xero App Store To help ease the burden.

Some of Jono’s favorites include Tradification – A work management tool that helps construction sites reduce admin hours by streamlining things like requests, quotes and invoicing. And as for taxes, strip There was Olivia’s recommendation to help JCG diversify the types of payment it accepts (eg credit cards, Apple Pay).

is also Dex, which Johnno uses to capture data. “This is really good for us because we can take photos of the receipts and then quickly upload and reconcile them in Xero. Before that, we checked everything manually. I’ve lost stacks of receipts this way (quite an important one too) that I had to reprint. Overall, Dext has saved us a lot of time and money over the years,” he says.

What’s more, all these apps (as well as those listed in the Xero App Store) integrate seamlessly with Xero. For Jono, this means his account is always up to date – without any manual data entry.

Building a team (and culture) to be proud of

With the financial foundations in place, Jono was able to focus on growing JCG – expanding his crew to take advantage of the construction boom. He says, “When everyone else is struggling to find workers, we have the opposite problem.”

When you hear about Jono’s values ​​- as an employer and entrepreneur – it’s easy to see why people are lining up to join his team. Even in the early days when business was slow, he had the foresight to invest in quality talent. He brought in his first apprentice (at a time when he could cover the work himself) to give the pair’s younger brother his first career break. He laughs, “I took a financial hit for a few months, but it has paid dividends as he is now one of our leading carpenters.”

Today Jono says it is the most profitable business owner. “Creating jobs and knowing that my team and their families are being cared for is an amazing feeling. It’s a big part of why I do what I do,” he explains. In fact, his team and the culture of JCG are his proudest achievements. “We work hard, but we also have a lot of fun. I try to get the boys outside as much as possible – after a big project we often go fishing or camping to spend some time,” he adds.

What about the future of his business? John is optimistic. “The next ten years will be twice, if not three times, better than the last,” he says. If JCG Projects’ first decade is anything to go by, we think he hit the nail on the head with this prediction.

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