Craig and Kathy Hogan speak with Salisburys
Cricket coach Craig Hogan and wife, Kathy, are the first to admit that they’ve always liked trying new and different things throughout their careers.
So when a guesthouse in Bright VIC came onto the market for sale, being overseas did not phase them.
Instead, they saw the potential in changing up their education and sports coaching careers, mobilised their families to inspect the property, and took the plunge into business ownership.
Craig originally knew Salisbury Accountants & Business Advisors Director, Matt Salisbury, through the East Albury cricket community.
Matt was the first person Craig and Kathy turned to when making the transition to being business owners.
“We had been PE teachers in Albury and had a close relationship with Matt who was captain at East Albury cricket club and who’d been doing our tax for years,” says Craig.
“When I moved into cricket coaching I got a position working in the British Isles setting up cricket programs in Ireland and the Channel Isles, but after some time we were thinking of coming home.”
“We were in Bordeaux and saw a listing for Alpine Aspects being for sale so we asked our family to inspect the property on our behalf.”
In 2016 Craig and Kathy returned to Australia and Matt helped them purchase the business.
“We had no jobs to come back to so we said let’s try something different – we knew that Bright was a busy place all year round having holidayed and loved it there, so we knew the area pretty well.”
“But when it came to owning a guesthouse, we didn’t have a clue what we were doing and found ourselves flying by the seats of our pants, learning as we went. Luckily we had Patrick Rorke looking after us on the day to day details.”
“The good thing about Matt and Patrick was that Salisburys was a real relief to us as we had no idea what to do about financial compliance, recordkeeping or tax regulation.”
“When we were choosing a business structure, we didn’t have a clue what was best for us tax-wise so we ran the business as a partnership on their recommendation.”
Salisburys also set up Craig and Kathy to use Xero for their accounting and bookkeeping from the outset.
“Salisburys got us onto Xero – when you’re trying to code bookkeeping entries, the saving grace was Salisburys could support Kathy via the cloud.”
“Their service to help us with the day-to-day running and month-end BAS was appreciated. One of the big things we knew was that, if we got stuck, Salisburys would get back to us quickly.”
Craig and Kathy also launched a website and linked that to holiday booking websites. Salisburys were on hand during the development of their marketing plan.
“We had done a lot of travel over the years so knew what we liked when we travelled which made us realistic on pricing.”
“It helped that we were genuinely interested in people and lived on the property, but we eventually got jobs so relied on digital to keep bookings ticking over when we weren’t there from nine till five.”
“Salisburys managing our personal tax, our business tax AND helping run our business was a massive help,” says Craig. “It was very smooth sailing with direction from Salisburys on where to go, what to do and how our day jobs incorporated into our overall tax situation.”
Over the five years of owning Alpine Aspects, Craig and Kathy had a lot of delighted guests coming back because they made the experience so special. But they decided to sell up at the start of 2021 to move closer to family in Wollongong.
After working with Salisburys on everything from setting up their business and getting it going, Craig and Kathy worked with Patrick on what they needed to do to sell it, including the essential tax planning.
Alpine Aspects successfully changed hands in June 2021. Craig and Kathy got a sale price they wanted so they could semi-retire and keep their hands in part-time cricket coaching and teaching. Being in Wollongong doesn’t stop them from working with Patrick as personal tax clients.
“We’re not savvy as far as tax goes and how it all works, so we basically defer to Pat on all those matters and never have any issues. We just let Salisburys do their job and leave it with him.”
In and out of business ownership, Craig and Kathy never doubted Salisbury’s professionalism.
“We’re totally confident that they know what they’re doing. They knew what we were going through and were always helpful. If we had a question about anything we would just ring them and certainly never felt the clock ticking – every contact was a personal one.”
“Owning a business was a really positive experience thanks to Salisburys. We enjoy doing different things and we now look forward to finding our next opportunity.”
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