Who runs your business?

A while ago I spoke to a chap who runs a company that provides accounting solutions. The business has been established ten years and he sees it as a service company. They have about fifty active clients whose value to them is anything from £1,000 to £60,000 a year and once they gain clients they tend to keep them.

The bigger problem is getting new business. He would like to actively target more of the larger potential business. He told me he has spent “loads” of money on sales and marketing and it’s by and large been wasted. The company was up to ten staff at one point but now employs six full-time and two contracted.

He wants to get one new client per quarter rising to one a month. Although he hates telephone prospecting, because he finds it demoralising, he has engaged a lady to do some mail shots for him to follow up.

We went through the gold mine regarding best customer attributes, Decision Critical Factors and how they can both be applied to smarter prospecting and reduce rejection – “fully with you on this” – was one comment during the conversation. And I explained that he could freely access the 4-part “Build Firm Foundations” course from the Selling For Business website as a sanity check on his brand and brand positioning before he got stuck in to any prospecting.

So where is he now, four months on? Actually he’s in round about the same place. First VAT got in the way, then one of his customers was being particularly demanding, then someone was off sick, then people were on holiday! anyone who’s run a small business can probably identify with the scenario, and he’s nowhere near achieving his goal because he hasn’t followed through on any of the things we talked about.

He’s a nice person and nobody’s fool but is he running his business or is his business running him?

Another guy whom I first talked to about his sales and marketing activities about eighteen months ago agreed that a new approach was in order. He’s since worked through the ideas we came up with together, changed his business plan and gained twenty new clients, two of which are really substantial. He doesn’t have a yacht in the Bahamas yet, but he’s well on the way to where he wants his company to be!

The second guy isn’t any cleverer than the first and didn’t work any harder than him but he was prepared to stop bashing his head against a brick wall when he saw it wasn’t getting him anywhere fast and try a different way.

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One Response to “Who runs your business?”

  1. […] Image via Wikipedia Who runs your business? while ago I spoke to a chap who runs a company that provides accounting solutions. The business has been established ten years and he sees it as a service company. They have about fifty active clients whose value to them is anything from £1,000 to £60,000 a year and once they gain clients they tend to keep them. […]

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