Vicki Mordue, Founder and CEO of Biodiverse Consulting, tells Business Matters the secrets of her company Biodiverse Consulting’s success
What products or services do you offer?
Ecology and tree surveying and assessment, biodiversity net profit services for developers large and small, and business support services for environmental organizations looking to diversify and/or expand their income opportunities.
What type of company do you work with?
Primarily property developers including infrastructure, utilities, housing and leisure industries and other companies serving the development sector e.g. B. Architects, planners, landscape architects, engineering offices. We also offer corporate support for environmental organizations.
What problem is your company solving?
Keeps clients compliant with wildlife and habitat protection legislation and ensures they deliver the most wildlife-friendly developments possible.
What is your USP?
Businesses in balance with biodiversity. We work with both, which gives us a unique insight into the challenges and opportunities our clients face when it comes to managing budgets, stakeholders and expectations.
What are your company values? Have you ever been challenged and if so how did you deal with it?
That business and development go hand in hand and that with the right advice and guidance, this development can really make a positive contribution to protecting and enhancing wildlife. We were once asked by a client to look the other way in relation to the protected species we found on their development site. We politely declined the offer, but continued to work with the customer to inform them of the penalties that such action would entail. More importantly, we have assisted them through the protected species licensing process in a cost effective and professional manner, so that the species in question is no longer seen as an expensive, unwanted impediment to the project, but rather as an asset to its future value.
How do you ensure you recruit a team that reflects your company values?
Our values are: adaptability, passion, creativity, integrity and people, and we actively seek ecologists who share our passion for wildlife and the changes our sector is undergoing. New hires must demonstrate their creativity in solving some of the more difficult projects that we specialize in.
Are you happy to offer a post-Covid home/office hybrid working model?
Absolutely! As long as the team has the right facility and space to work in the comfort of their own home. We are fortunate to be out in the field most of the time and so the team still gets face to face collaborative learning from their colleagues in a more Covid friendly way. Our head office is in a Grade I listed building at Dissington Hall, Newcastle and we plan to open another one in the South East later this year.
Do you have tips for effective supplier and customer management?
Don’t be afraid to ask for upfront payments to secure work, especially from new clients, so you can manage risk and cash flow. I think it’s also crucial for small businesses not to accept payment terms longer than 30 days from customers. As a small business, managing cash is the most important aspect of running a business.
If you could ask government to change one thing for business, what would it be?
To support small businesses more sustainably in the first three years of trading. Over 60% of startups fail in their third year and providing ongoing financial and advisory services would make a world of difference.
What is your attitude towards your competitors?
There are no competitors in such a niche business; future employees only.
Do you have thoughts about the future of your company and your dreams?
We need to think beyond the net gain in biodiversity, even though it has only just come online, and towards the net gain to the environment. Currently we have carbon trading schemes, flood protection requirements, green and open space needs for people… just to name a few of the natural services that we need to give special consideration to when planning new developments.
Environmental Net Gain will bring together a consistent and transparent mechanism for developers to consider all of these aspects of the natural world in one scoring process. This allows our clients to plan/manage their risks accordingly and identify opportunities where they can make a real difference to people, wildlife and climate change.