Award-winning Australian landscape photographer Scott Leggo and his wife Phillipa are a picture perfect example of what’s possible when you embrace cloud-based services in business. Together they operate the business behind scottleggo.com to provide Australian landscape photography as wall art for homes and workplaces. They moved to a 100% cloud-based business after implementing Xero in 2014.
When Scott and Phillipa planned an extended photography trip to the Northern Territory, the 30-night trip in a campervan represented the ideal opportunity to explore the natural beauty of remote and spectacular parts of Australia. It was also the perfect test for the remote working capabilities of their business – and a test for their relationship, they joke, spending such a long period of time together in a Maui campervan.
“As a photography business that specialises in Australian landscapes, traveling to various locations around Australia is essential,” says Scott. “Equally, when we’re away, we need to continue to operate the business, irrespective of our physical location. Using cloud-based services has opened up the possibilities for us to conduct the entirety of our business operations from wherever we may be.
“We recognise the importance of customer experience, too, so it’s critical that we can be responsive through our online store, over email and phone. The combination of software-as-service platforms we now use enables us a degree of freedom and flexibility needed to run the business from anywhere that has an internet connection.”
The couple travel regularly, whether that be simple day or overnight trips to longer adventures – from the heights of the Australian Alps to the beaches of South-West Western Australia. “We are certainly not the traditional business with staff that sit at desks all day long, that’s for sure!”
Embracing Xero was a straightforward business decision, says Phillipa – a CPA, who had a successful corporate career prior to working full-time in the business.
“I worked with some of Australia’s leading brands in a range of positions from auditor through to CFO,” she explains. “This background gave me exposure to a wide range of ERP systems, and still I’ve been impressed with the simplicity and automation that Xero provides our business. Xero integrates well with other platforms, is fast, reliable and simple to use.”
Scott had some initial reluctance with storing their financial information in the ‘cloud’, she says. “But those objections soon evaporated when he saw the productivity benefits and functionality that Xero brought to our business. This experience helped give us the confidence to move all other elements of our business operations to the cloud.”
Less time spent on finance and admin tasks has resulted in more time spent exploring Australia, the pair explains. “Bank feeds and the simplicity of Xero have saved us time, which is invaluable to any business,” says Phillipa. “And the ability to have a real-time financial picture of our business creates a degree of trust and performance assessment not otherwise possible.”
Xero is now just one of the many cloud-based products used by the Scott Leggo business. “We are always looking for ways to simplify and automate processes to generate leverage,” Scott says. “Xero integrates with our CRM system, e-commerce store and other apps, allowing seamless integration across all of our cloud-based systems.
“With everything working so well together and all without the requirement for any physical infrastructure, it’s great for doing business in remote locations. We now need nothing more than our laptops to service clients anywhere in the country and maintain visibility of all information and performance data on our business.”
Back at their office in Canberra, Scott and Phillipa are confident that the flexibility afforded to them through remote work has a strong place for any business.
“The productivity gains we’ve been able to achieve through simplification and automation is something every business can’t afford to ignore if they want to remain competitive,” says Scott.
“This year, we have already been to Tasmania, Victoria and NSW for various trips. This month we have a trip planned to the Snowy Mountains, and in coming months will be in Queensland and back to the snow before the middle of the year. We don’t even think twice about how we’ll run the business while away anymore. Everything just works and we can focus on what truly matters – capturing stunning photos from amazing locations anywhere around Australia.”