Project Description

Business Growth

Challenge and Outcome Summary

A Software agency was looking to boost growth but over the last year despite significant marketing pushes had failed to do so.  With new clients were not sticking and many jobs were facing issues mid-stream that resulted in skyrocketing costs.

After realigning the sales team, setting clear targets and a new sales bonus structure along with adding a workflow process to track jobs, sample job quality, plus manage customer queries and complaints the foundations were set to be able to grow exponentially.

In this case the $20mil target was never met because the business acquired sooner than planned by a much larger competitor, for a price that was more than three times what the owner had ever dreamed of.  The best in class systems and processes we implemented that resulted in a premium selling price.

Business Growth - business advice, business coaching, cfo advice

Challenges

Growth target from $3mil to $20mil is growth of 5x the current sales over 3 year, a year on year growth rate of 160% which is a very ambitious target, although possible in the software industry.  However the right business structures need to be in place to enable and sustain such growth.

Lack of transparency around what and how the sales people were selling – there was a lot of over- promising and selling things that could not be delivered so that sales numbers and commissions were high, as were bad debts.

Lack of systems and processes to align the sale with the delivery process so jobs were handled in an orderly and timely manner from start to finish – many jobs were started and then “put aside” as newer jobs arrived.

No client communications process so road-blocks, queries and outstanding matters were not logged or followed up, and client complaints were swept under the mat rather than resolved leading to reputational damage.

Staff search and on-boarding needed to be streamlined to enable resourcing growth in alignment with the work growth.

Facility management needed to be planned to ensure the staff and equipment were appropriately housed during the growth phase.

Background

The company was looking to grow revenue from its current position of $3 million annually to over $20 million during the following 3 years to prepare for a IPO (public listing on the Australian Stock Exchange). The firm had already engaged a variety of advisors and coaches who had assisted with their successes to date.  However, despite a steady stream of new work the business had begun to slip backwards.

The founder wanted achieve his goals by first optimising every aspect of the existing business model to ensure maximum performance and then identifying appropriate ways to target rapid growth.

Solution

The solution targeted the key areas causing pain in the business:

1. Ensuring the sales team clearly understood the deliverables of the organisation and tied part of the sales KPIs to include “payments received on time”, rather than being only focused on “number of contracts signed”.  This improved the suitability of customers and aligned the contracts to capabilities preventing contracts derailing due to activities outside the firm’s scope.  The clients were delivered what they expected and better reviews and referrals resulted.

2 Adding a workflow tool to track end to end job management, queries and complaints.  This was displayed as a dashboard and then tied to delivery staff KPIs and incentives.  Weekly workflow meetings were implemented with management and a senior from each department so that hold-ups were clearly communicated across the firm and workflow scheduling could be kept consistent from week to week.  Client queries could be monitored and easily escalated to senior management for “triage” if issues arose so potential problems were nipped in the bud and client relationships improved.  An added bonus here was that rostering became easier and staff costs decreased – there was much less staff downtime AND overtime, because staff were no longer left sitting about then expected to “catch-up for lost time”.

3. A protocol for staff search and on-boarding was established to enable new-starts to reach their productivity capacity quickly and easily.

4. Resourcing capacity hiccups were avoided by engaging both offshoring and outsourcing options to ensure that capacity could be up-scaled almost immediately for new large contracts, along with a defined structure of oversight from the internal team.

Outcome

The firms revenue grew by 130% in the twelve months from when we started working together – it was able to grow and sustain growth throughout the change process, and then grew 180% in the six months following the transformation project.  The $20Mil target and public offering were never reached as the firm was acquired by a competitor three times its current revenue value.

Eve’s approach to our our business growth goals was second to none.  Instead of  saying “make more sales”  she focused on making every part of our business ready and able to explode – this was a godsend in resolving all the challenges we had previously had with “wheels falling off” because we grew too quickly.

Our huge growth rate was possible and sustainable because she set the foundations for scaling across the entire business, not just sales.

She is one of the most capable and dependable people I have ever worked with.

Growth Improvement - Business Advice, business coaching, CFO advice

Jesse Caneva

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This is a true client case study and only the names and images have been changed for privacy reasons.