Using FUTRLI Saves 94% of Office Time for Tourism Industry Business Owner

Posted on 28th June 2017 in Customer Stories

Written by Freya Hughes

Naren King runs a busy tourism company in Australia from Bali. He’s living the entrepreneurial dream: being able to manage every aspect of his business from a tropical island. How? Crystal Castle, a gorgeous tourism hotspot home to the largest crystals in the world, opened in 1986 and has been built from the ground up. Today, the lively premises employs a team of 60 and everyone is made accountable for the company’s success, and with the help of FUTRLI, shares in that success. Regardless of the distance, three core revenue streams drive the business: visitor numbers, cafe revenue and retail sales. We caught up with Naren to find out the whole story, and prove that cloud-based technology can make running a business remotely from paradise can be done, stress-free.

What’s FUTRLI’s commercial impact on Crystal Castle?

FUTRLI’s saved me 94% of my time. I now review my entire company’s performance for the past month in 30 minutes – it used to take eight hours! This financial year we’ve wildly outperformed our industry with 15% sales growth. I don’t know a single business in our sector which has experienced double digit growth – nor a business that’s been operating for as long as ours. We’re in a business climate where major retailers are going bankrupt, while the tourism industry is beginning to stagnate.

Crystal Castle’s Lotus Cafe

You’ve saved 94% of your time with FUTRLI. Can you elaborate?

Before FUTRLI, I battled 40 different spreadsheets and data sources and I was spending a day trying to get the same grip on my business. I hated month-end trying to figure out what’s going on and I still wouldn’t have the same understanding I get now. Quite appropriately, FUTRLI it allows me to feel very zen about my finances, and whole operation!

I can get a “trend” monthly P&L on the day of month-end and it’s up-to-date a day after the close. It’s so fast, honestly, it is amazing! One of the biggest deal-makers for me was FUTRLI’s ability to handle non-financial KPIs – it’s so worth the time spent setting up.

Did you try anything else before?

I considered Spotlight and Fathom but personally, I found them dry. They looked like accountants had built them, FUTRLI has the passion of entrepreneurs in tech – I can feel it. They understand me.

Ganesh, god of new beginnings, stands at over 2 metres high in the Buddha Walk.

How do you keep your team focused on financial and non-financial figures all the way from Bali?

Everything is based on visitor numbers so we can see how much they spend on entry, in the cafe, in retail, which make up our key revenue points. We introduced a financial and non-financial KPI-based profit sharing scheme recently. The whole 60 person team is more enthusiastic and engaged. To do this, we use FUTRLI to track KPIs in each department. Our various leaders sit down with their teams and analyse each KPI with them. Even our teenage weekend team that do kids’ face painting have their own KPIs because they’re part of the profit share too, theirs based on the beauty of their art!

We have a cook who spoke to me after the first KPI meeting, and he told me he had no idea about KPIs, Profit and Loss, Cost of Goods Sold, or any of it. He said that seeing it all laid out in FUTRLI just made it make sense to him, so it’s been really powerful keeping us on the same page.

As our business success is based on the result of untold numbers of tiny actions and interactions, everyone can now see how even the smallest things that they do can positively impact overall success, and therefore their team’s and their own profit share bonus. That’s engagement and empowerment, like I’ve never been able to bring in so powerfully before.

The Enchanted Cave at Crystal Castle

Has implementing FUTRLI changed the way your team works?

We track growth in terms of a percentage compared to the year before, then we drill down into those different categories. For our retail shop, for example, we look at the dollars per person per visitor spent, the average dollars per sale, etc. If I notice a negative change, I can call them up on it. Or they’ll tell me they put a lot of energy the month before to into changing a display, and we can instantly see that result. Positive or negative, they can alter their behaviour to fix anything. They run a lot of what they do from these numbers; it’s graphical, summarised and digestible for anyone in the business. You don’t need a degree to understand it all – and that’s what makes it so powerful!

Does the software help you to work remotely?

I’ve been looking for something like FUTRLI for 20 years! I’ve tried everything, all sorts of things but this software is the best I’ve come across.

I used to waste hours trying to track each metric in my business, but now I sit here on the 5th or 6th day of the month and I’m looking at all of my boards and cards set up across the whole business, financial and non-financial. I’ve got my finger completely on the pulse of what’s going on, so I can sit here in Bali and talk to my team about what’s going on via my iPhone or iPad. I love it!

What’s the best thing about FUTRLI for your day-to-day?

A couple of things. Business is so much more than just financial numbers, and FUTRLI enables us to bring in all those non financial results that are meaningful to us, whether that’s our social media growth and engagement, or the scale of support for our local community, or our safety record, or the percentage of visitors who keep returning because they love it here so much.

A pair of the world’s tallest geodes are now on display in the Shambhala Gardens. At 5.5 metres, the Crystal Guardians are an exquisite smoky quartz geode.

My bank now loves me. They told me they’ve never before seen an SME with this level of quality reporting. Its one of the big four banks – Commonwealth. I opened up my laptop in a meeting a few months after starting FUTRLI and the bank manager’s mouth dropped open!

I’m more excited about running my business with this level of simple control, monitoring and planning. It’s incredibly complex running a business that’s been growing for 31 years and has 60 staff with multiple departments.. Entrepreneurs can become overwhelmed with this complexity and FUTRLI brings it all back to a simple level. FUTRLI makes running my business more enjoyable again because it’s made the complicated, uncomplicated.

I have to add that support from FUTRLI has been super helpful, we’ve had joint video calls with my internal accounts manager Karen (who loves FUTRLI) joining in from Byron Bay, Australia, me from Bali, and the FUTRLI Brighton office, where we have developed FUTRLI together and that’s been awesome.

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