Evoke Audio is a music production and audio post-production studio based in Henderson, Waitakere, Auckland that was founded by friends Matt Eller and Ricky Simonds. The two are brimming with expertise, competence, and passion for their work. That hasn't stopped them from finding immense value in the sounding board of a Business Mentor.
Harmony in business
Matt told us they'd enjoyed creating a trajectory for growth from the beginning of Evoke Audio. "We were both working in sound and often working together. So, it made sense to join forces – we had been mates for a long time.
"We've also both been in this business for a long time as sole traders, part-timers and casuals. We were ready to escape the contractor mentality and create something bigger than ourselves."
They describe Evoke Audio as a nimble studio providing high-quality audio services. "We pride ourselves on creating bespoke audio, collaborating with our clients to enhance and elevate the story being told."
Amplifying success with a Business Mentor
Ricky explains the pair came across Business Mentors when exploring resources and support. They matched with Paul McGrath, a Mentor with over 15 years of experience in mentoring and more than 25 years in business. Paul was encouraged to start mentoring by his own Business Mentor, who spotted his talent for helping people grow and develop.
Paul brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, and he was impressed at everything Matt and Ricky had in place.
"I've set up a check sheet of questions that I ask mentees to complete before our first meeting. This means I can work out where they're at with their business."
Ricky said the process itself helped them get clear about different things.
"We had things together, but we wanted to make the most of opportunities and navigate some issues. We were keen to find new markets for their audio services and to build relationships with new clients.”
Hitting the right notes for success
With Paul as Mentor and their own diligent approach, things have happened fairly quickly.
Matt said a standout piece of work was a podcast documentary for RNZ and Tahi FM, ‘Elephant in Bedroom’. It won at the NZ Podcast Awards in Best Documentary Podcast and Best Sex and Relationship Podcast. It was also a Finalist at the NZ York Festivals Radio Awards for Best Personal Lives Podcast.
"In the last 12 months, we've had a big influx of big jobs within our industry, which is super exciting. We're getting calls and gathering impetus based on our reputation and work," says Matt. “Our focus is building relationships and fostering those."
Matt and Ricky credit Paul with helping them grow their confidence in business dealings. They appreciate his empathy, experience, and expertise.
"Paul has a great instinct for what works in a commercial sense. And we noticed in our first correspondence that he was open and frank."
Experience that resonated
Even though Paul's experience in business has been in a different industry, he's still been able to offer valuable insights for Evoke. Matt and Ricky could check in with Paul when they struck new situations. Talking through things for a fresh perspective has allowed them to make the most of opportunities they came across.
Paul says he can draw on parallel situations that he's experienced over the years. "People often find it useful to hear other examples."
One such example was around a big sale of audio equipment. Matt and Ricky helped with the set-up and were then able to offer training as well.
Matt and Ricky said they're excited about what's next for Evoke Audio and love having Paul in the picture.
"An experienced Business Mentor like Paul can help business owners like us to navigate challenges and achieve their goals."
Paul seems to be getting equal satisfaction from mentoring Matt and Ricky as they do from their growth. He says, “Helping young people in business is immensely satisfying, especially Matt and Ricky. They're receptive and listen carefully."
“The well-tuned coffee machine at Evoke Audio Studio is also a great bonus."
If you're a small business owner in New Zealand looking for support and guidance, Business Mentors New Zealand can connect you with the experience and expertise of a mentor dedicated to your success.