Back to the future

The scene

Starting a business is never easy, especially when you do it alone. Being your own boss is hard work.

One client set up their own business and then brought in partners, which added a new dimension. For many reasons the partnership wasn’t optimal.

It proved to be exhausting and the owner learned that not everyone, including his partners, has the same:

  • work ethic
  • values and beliefs
  • rules around customer service
  • desire to put customers or clients first
  • commitment
  • business goals
  • the financial knowledge.

When we met this client again, he had reverted back to being a sole operator and was ready to move the business forward. He needed efficiency expert assistance to do so quickly.

Review of team dynamics

While the client had employed team members he believed were the best for the job, we conducted a review with

We asked many questions. Who was on the team? What were their responsibilities?  Did team dynamics need to change for growth? Were roles and responsibilities clearly defined? Were employee and business owner expectations the same?

It quickly became evident that two positions in particular were problematic. The business manager wasn’t actually managing the business and the junior all-rounder was doing her own thing, on her own time, in her own way.  These and other team dynamics issues had to change.

Because the business owner was concentrating on maintaining existing clients and   finding new ones, he was trusting the team to take care of his business.

After completing 360 reviews, we recommended adjustments to all employment contracts and position descriptions to incorporate clear guidelines and key performance indicators.  All position titles were updated to accurately reflect roles and responsibilities.

Review of financial position

Next, we reviewed the financial position, meeting with the accountant and gaining a better understanding of the complex trust and company structures. With this information, we put together a financial strategy to ensure business longevity and set realistic financial targets and goals. Even book-keeping roles were changed so all accounts were up dated and maintained accurately.

Made marketing a priority

The business had relied on securing clients through word-of-mouth. This had served them well, but no other marketing initiatives were in place.

After another full review, we recommended that the website—a key marketing platform—be overhauled with a brand refresh and new imagery. We coordinated implementation with a content writer who rewrote all content, incorporating values, goals, points of difference and messages direct for the reader.

We also recommended a social media strategy and coordinated implementation with the same content writer, also a social media expert. We next coordinated a library of new imagery, from Shutterstock and through a professional photographer who took warm and inviting team photos (money well spent).

Got community engagement rolling

Being a sports nut, the business owner wanted to sponsor local sports teams. It was a match because a large portion of his client demographic was also keen on sports. We recommended a sponsorship budget and approached clubs that would reflect  the company’s community engagement commitment.

We recommended a smaller local club, a bigger club with larger reach throughout Canberra, and a national sports team for national exposure. Once final choices were made and the budget approved, we implemented an events calendar to ensure the business was represented at all events, sporting their company jackets.

Manage a major move

During all this activity, the business also moved locations.  We managed all contracts for the new premises, assisted with relocation and settled the team in.

Business coaching

With everything in place it was time for another level of business coaching with the owner, who was now comfortable knowing that:

  • business foundations were solid
  • decisions could be made quicker because we knew the business inside and out
  • there was a solid level of trust, including on the recommendations we continued to make to ensure his business was successful and sustainable
  • we understood his industry and could coach with relevance
  • we had a great relationship with the business suppliers.

Results

The business:

  • made major strides and accomplished a great deal in a short time, by relying on our efficiency expert services
  • implemented ideas and initiatives they would never have thought of on their own
  • got to the next level without major disruption to daily business
  • saved time and money by avoiding taking internal staff off-line to execute major initiatives and monitor and evaluate results
  • kicked big goals, positioning them to grow and grow and grow.

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