How to sculpt a great business

What makes a great Qualmark business?  Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award holder Sculptureum is a world class sculpture park described by its founder as a place for people who've been turned off art by boring displays and arrogant curators.

Sculptureum, north of Auckland, was awarded a Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award after its first assessment.  Tourism Business Advisor Gregg Anderson identifies what stands out for him about the relatively new business. 

“Sculptureum shows the importance of a company having a business plan – but also having a brand structure document alongside (or even vision and values) to bring the personality of the business alive.” 

“It’s also important to get systems right to ensure consistency, and I think the addition of a great manager from a service/hospitality background has made a huge difference.  Sustainable practices add value to the business and the brand.”

“I am big on the culture of a business, and Sculptureum have a wonderful Brand Structure document that really guides many aspects of the business, and is so apparent when you are talking to the team, looking at the systems or collection.  It sits alongside the Business Plan and acts as a guide to help shape marketing and communications plans, but more importantly it acts as a benchmark for every decision and is reflected in every action.”

Their promise:  to inspire, uplift and amuse revealed through the creativity of people, art and nature. “This really starts with the collection and the job the owner has done personally developing the layout and curation of the collection.  They have live animal exhibits for the kids, $10 through to half-million-dollar exhibits presented with a sense of humour, style and artistic licence.  They are already planting extensions to outdoor galleries and things like shelter trees were planted and grown in situ not relocated – this is real attention to detail.”

Personality:  people remember us by how we make them feel.  “My 14 year old niece still talks about it and she had never been to a gallery before.” 

Values, including:  infectious passion, perfection, knowledge and creativity.  “This comes through in presentation, the caring nature of the staff, their passion and the owner doing free guided tours at the weekends.  The stories behind the pieces; preserving the silence for tours.”

Mission:  to enrich people’s lives by inspiring them through creativity, art and nature.  “The outdoor setting is great, and full of surprises.  Big visual presence and meticulous presentation outdoors.”

Great systems:  “It’s really well engineered and investments have been made to put the right tools in place, (separate reservation systems for events, general visitors and restaurant – no compromises!). Picking a former hotel GM as the GM of an attraction has resulted in fastidious attention to detail, as he runs the ground staff like housekeeping in a 5 Star hotel (his words not mine).  Grounds prepared by 9am when the public arrive.  Visitors never hear a lawn mower or leaf blower.  Sculptureum use CCTV to monitor both visitor flows and state of the paths.  The same great systems are in place in the restaurant, through health and safety, training programmes etc.”

Environmental ethos:  This builds on from the base that the vineyard is a member of Sustainable Wines NZ.  The ethos flows through gallery, restaurant and grounds (use of organics, recycling, biodegradable cutlery at outdoor casual café, regulated spraying, composting, used cooking oil re-purposed as bio-fuel). 

Everything is totally consistent with brand and values.