Sales Increase In Tough Market…
Sales increase in tough market by 9%
Sales set to improve by 20% this year
Better Business Planning now in place
By the time David Jones, Managing Director of Frontline Telephone Answering Service, met his Business Coach, his family run firm had been operating steadily for 11 years and had managed to sidestep most of the recession, yet the business was stagnant! Enter a Business Coach who managed to help them restructure their business for a business development headline of ‘sales increase in tough market’
Frontline Telephone Answering Service, situated on the south coast of England, is a virtual telephone answering business offering a wide range of services from order tracking to virtual receptionist and PA duties. Originally born from another business, it simply started up in 1999 as a sideline. David explains: “We started answering customers’ calls rather than just being an answering and message centre.”
The business grew steadily and although David didn’t have much experience in the market, he managed to close a deal with NHS Direct. David continues “It was great; anyone who required a district nurse in our local area, would call us.”
Although this was their biggest contract, bringing in £22,000 per year, David knew there was scope to move the business forward, but he just didn’t know how. What’s more, although his business had escaped most of the recession, in the last few months things had become a lot tighter.
“We’re directly influenced by how busy companies are. So a few of our building clients left us, as they had little work coming in, and I knew I needed to find new business,” explains David.
David decided to attend a seminar conducted by his ‘future’ Business Coach. “We just got talking. The Business Coach made so much sense and I really liked his structured approach.”
Following a further one-to-one business discussion, the Business Coach put together a detailed report. “I was impressed”, explains David, “he really understood my business and where I wanted to be – he just ‘got’ what we were all about. I signed up immediately.”
This was a quick decision by David and Gary was equally quick to respond. In true Business Coaching style, a plan was put in place a week after the initial meeting. Since then David has met with his Business Coach on a weekly basis and during this time he has helped him look at every aspect of the business. David continues:
“Prior to working with our Business Coach, the business was growing, but I wasn’t in control. I was going after the wrong type of new business, I wasn’t measuring what was working and didn’t have anyone to run my ideas past. So it has been fantastic to have a mentor on board with so much experience. Gary has the perfect aerial view whereas I was just too involved.”
As a result, in just a few short months things had massively improved and David now knows the future direction the business is moving in.
A crucial area which most business owners struggle with is time management. So first off the Business Coach helped David focus his precious time and effort, identifying areas he should concentrate on, things he should delegate and things he should stop doing all together.
“Before the turnover never truly reflected the work we put in, but the Business Coach helped me restructure our approach, and concentrate our efforts much more productively,” explains David.
With time being freed–up David was able to concentrate on more new business, as a result turnover increased by 9% in a tough market.
The Business Coach helped David categorise his customers, identifying the types of customers that are the most profitable. This exercise then helped him focus his new business efforts as he explains:
“We’d just not thought about this before. It’s a simple thing but such a powerful one. Now when I am looking for new business, I aim for higher margin businesses, which is much better for our long term future. I only have so many hours in the week, so it is really important that I direct that limited time at the right prospects and opportunities – which I’m pleased to say I now do.”
The business day-to-day efficiency has also improved. With our Business Coach’s help, David systemised the way work flows through the business, now everyone knows who is doing what and when. “Now I have targets set and we are organised. We know what we need to do each week and have a clear plan – which feels really great.”
In good companies customers enjoy a consistently good level of service. However, David had never laid down systems to ensure this happened. Once again the Business Coach has helped with this. David now has a formal sales process in place and each sales person has a script to follow. Before they had no formal system, no procedure to follow, customers often received a great service but there could be variations. However now they are systemised. David now knows what each of employee is doing.
David continues: “The scripted approach makes sure we get things right first time, quickly and efficiently and by the most cost effective route! It makes the end result much more predictable.
The Business Coaching process focuses on not just the individual business owner, but on getting the team working to its optimum and this really helped David’s business. “We have all been on a team journey together with our Business Coach, so the morale within the company is great.”
“The team are much happier. We have our own training department and the staff work hard to ensure that our managers, team leaders and customer service staff receive ongoing ‘in house’ training as well as being sponsored to take nationally recognised qualifications.”
With the impetus from our Business Coach, David has conducted a 3-5 years plan and a 10 year target projection and he can see exactly where his business is heading and how the future looks.
“Since our Business Coach came on board I feel more confident, he has helped me move the business in the direction I wanted it to go. I certainly couldn’t have done it without him, the business is more efficient and I have more hours to actually run and grow it.”
As a result David is predicting customer numbers in the next year to grow from 250 to 275, turnover to increase from £1m to £1.2m and profit margins to rise significantly.
So their Business Coach certainly has helped them achieve the headline of ‘Sales increase in tough market’!