GOALS: Helping the business owner plan and manage growth
BUSINESS IN PROFILE: The business owner was really an ‘employee’, working wholly ‘in’ the business with no time to devote to growth and not earning enough to meet personal and financial goals. Margins for most customers were very low, and the business relied on domestic outdoor work which was affected by the weather.
THE CHALLENGES: To free up the owner’s time to focus on business growth.
To teach the owner about good business techniques in marketing, selling and people management / delegation. To overcome owner’s caution at increasing prices for long term customers. To systemise procedures so the owner could reduce his hours.
THE STRATEGIES: The first activity was to identify profitable and unprofitable customer groups and then implement a price increase to generate immediate revenue gain. This resulted in the loss of one or two previously unprofitable customers (thus improving profitability of business as a whole) and permitted recruitment of an additional cleaner to take over owner’s day to day duties. A bonus system was introduced to motivate staff to offer simple up-selling and cross-selling services (free window clean for referred business and carpet protection offered with carpet clean). One employee was given responsibility for the carpet cleaning side of business on a semi-franchised basis.
THE OUTCOMES: With the free time available we have worked with the owner to identify higher margin areas of his business as target areas for growth. This proved to be commercial cleaning services and owner is now building a client database to market prospects in a large nearby town. At same time the owner is applying newly learned marketing & promotional techniques to attract new business as well as increasing sales to existing clientele.