In today’s competitive market, an SME business can fall into the trap of trying to be all things to all people. Recently, I’ve come across a plumber who’ll also clean my gutters and an accountant who would also like to be my financial planner. But there are some businesses who bravely decided to buck the trend – and reap the rewards.
Here’s the story of how a Web Designer saved his business by getting clear on what to focus on… and making some brutal decicsions.
June 2015 – Hitting Rock Bottom.
When the numbers finally came in – it was devastating. Frustrated, stressed and scared, he didn’t know whether it was even possible to come back from such a big loss. His business had been successful in the past, but profitability was always a struggle. Behind the scenes, at home, the stress and negative cashflow were affecting his marriage and there were arguments for the first time. He was often sick, always tired and never seemed to have enough energy.
It was a definitive low point.
He began his business back in 2004 as a web design company. It grew quickly and like many businesses, additional services were added in order to offer the ‘one-stop-shop’ experience and boost profitability. One of those added services was digital marketing. Marketing had always been a passion pursuit for this owner and it was a natural fit with web design.
As the years wore on, though, the frustration with the business grew. Despite its initial successes, the profits of the core undertaking were declining. And although the profits from the marketing side were increasing, the losses from the web-design business were sinking the whole ship.
A Reality Check.
“If you were starting again, would you do what you’re doing now?,” his Coach asked him.
“No.” The owner answered.
After a long, hard look at the numbers alongside his Clarity Coach, Faye Caughey (who is Faye Caughey?
), some clear facts emerged.
- The core undertaking – web design – was unsustainable.
- The digital marketing offering was already profitable, had the most potential for success and was the most professionally rewarding aspect of the business.
It was clear that in order to save the business, three tough decisions had to be made.
- The core business – web design – had to go.
- The business had to be restructured and all team members solely connected to the core business were let go.
- All clients solely connected to the core business also had to be let go.
A Clear Path to Succes
The time had come for this business owner to carve out time for working ‘on’ his business, rather than ‘in’ it.
In the beginning, it was really difficult. It was an hour a week. But, importantly, that hour was in his diary and he would lock himself in his office and not answer the phone for that dedicated hour. As success happened, the time gradually increased and today he spends about four to six hours a week planning.
For this owner, success is now a non-negotiable. Every day he wakes up with huge amounts of energy. Every client he brings on is profitable. He’s professionally satisfied because he’s doing the work he loves – and that his clients love him for. And he knows exactly what he needs to do to get him where he wants to go.
Are you feeling stuck in your business? Want to know exactly what to do to break through to the plateau? Kaibizzen Clarity Mentor, Faye Caughey, is running a half-day workshop on March 3rd, specifically for business owners who want to make 2017 their best year yet.
CLICK HERE for more details on our upcoming events.