Peter van Herk
Peter started his own business in 1988 after working as a Ranger with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Being a hands on person he started designing and making furniture in his backyard, building the business up to 9 employees and marketing and selling in to Japan.
Setting up his own timber drying operation to ensure the quality of timber for the furniture his business morphed in to the timber industry and then in to business consulting as other businesses and government departments kept asking him to do for them what he was doing for himself- business planning, production efficiencies, implementation, entrepreneurial thinking and innovation.
This resulted in 18 years of business planning, coaching, project implementation, financial analysis and problem solving.
Peter has worked with over 60 businesses and organisations and says:
"With this experience I see what works and what fails is pretty common over all businesses.
Business is black and white, you make a profit or die...easy!
However, the big variable is the business owner because it is their strengths, weaknesses and paradigms that determine how well the black and white stuff gets done...difficult!"
"I also wish I had the knowledge I have now when I started my business. For one, I never would have listened to the accountant who said "Don't worry about the numbers Peter, they are all about the past"... that was about the worst advice I was ever given..."
- Bachelor of Natural Resources (U.N.E) Science based natural resource management degree.
- Associate Diploma of Park Management (R.M.A.E)
- Craft Certificate : Cabinetmaking (No. 38841) Issued 11/09/03
Areas of expertise
- Business feasibility, planning, implementation and operations
- Australian native timbers: processing, value adding, sales and distribution, marketing
- Natural Resource Management
- Self taught furniture maker specialising in the Australian hardwoods
- Research in to the development of jointing techniques and design methodology specific to Australian hardwoods in furniture, sponsored by the NSW timber industry
- 2 industry innovative design awards
- NSW small business award for enterprise
- Export marketing and sales of furniture in to Japan
- Timber drying operation in Gloucester NSW processing 200m3 per month incorporating 6 solar assisted kilns, 4MW sawdust furnace for axillary heating.
- Timber drying training courses and timber drying expertise
- Development of solar timber drying kilns with Advanced Environmental Structures (WA) and installation of kilns for the cypress, hardwood industry in Australia and Fiji
- Jacks Road Gallery: Exhibition and sales space for furniture and artworks, Gloucester, NSW
2002 to current
- Business development consultancy
- Worked with over 60 businesses in feasibility, planning, implementation, rescue and sometimes closure.
Ancillary skill sets
- Extensive skills in on-line educational development delivery (e-learning)
- Website development
- Database development
- Property and residential development
- Pilot (Private Pilots Licence, Command Instrument Rating, Float Plane rating, aircraft owner)
Some Consultancies :
- Olympic Athletes Village (Newington), Head consultant for the provision of ecologically sustainable native timbers
- The Australian Museum, Future of Australian Threatened Ecosystems (F.A.T.E) September 2002. Developing Long term supply and markets for Arid Zone Timbers.
- Project Manager: 2004-2006 Australian Arid Zone Timbers project as per FATE above.
- Broombush Industry Strategic Plan: Retained by: Forests NSW, Broombush Industry Group (BIG) and NSW State and Regional Development
- Small business workshop delivery for Indigenous Business Australia over QLD and NSW presenting 150 workshops, dealing with 250 individual client business proposals
- Workshop development and Australia wide piloting delivery for Small Business Start up and Taxation
James is also a founding partner of Skilled at Business. A business owner in his own right, he has assisted in mentoring businesses in the hospitality industry utilising his background experiences in catering, food production and agriculture industries. James is the media director of 2T Media Production, specialising in slide presentations and his passion for recording family histories in Kindred Tales. His unique take on visual presentations and slightly warped sense of humour sets his work apart from the mundane oh-so-correct stock images so often seen.