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A small selection of case studies from 2018
by aiden

Do you want to smile again when you think about your business in 2019? I helped over 20 businesses in 2018. The cases below are just a selection of the type of issues I have helped with. If any of the cases feel like your situation and you would like a reference, the owners will be happy to provide a confidential one.

I’m not using my overdraft so much

We defined the marketing message and with a clearer message secured some amazing commissions. By logging time and making time management a focus, the number of fee earning hours increased and the number of non-fee earning hours decreased. Logging hours had the additional benefit of being able to calculate the actual earnings per hour and by monitoring that, the hourly rate began to improve, as the pricing got better. When my client said, “I’m not using my overdraft much now”, I knew we were on the right track. Next year we will be looking to take on staff and outsource admin.

Head down to head up

At the beginning of the year, when I was appointed by this client, it felt like world war three. A team of 3 people were missing appointments, the cash was not stable, and the owner was unable to take regular pay or see a reasonable return on the effort they were making. I helped to organise a central booking system, means of collecting cash more quickly and reviewed their prices and profit levels. Within two months an orderly calm became the order of the day and the cash position improved. When my client said, “cash in the bank has improved since I have been working with you”, I knew I was on the right track. My client was able to take on a new member of staff and buy a van, confident the cash would not run out.

A succession plan to give more free time

This client has a well-run business which the owners are scaling up and reorganising, so they can take less of an active role in it. Over a period of 6 months I helped to establish profit centres within it, with budget holders. We began holding formal board meetings which I initially chaired, but when my client smiled and said, “With the accounts set out like this, it’s easy to ask questions”, I knew I was on the right track. Next year we will be looking to set some stretched targets, based upon the information we now have which will enable the business to grow, with the owner having confidence they know what is going on from the figures, without having to spend all their time working in the business.

Defining the marketing message

We began the year with this client focusing their marketing on specific types of clients. It stopped wasting time marketing with a scattergun approach. Clients were secured and by introducing some simple management accounts the profit on the projects secured has increased. It made me smile when my client said, “I’d never have priced at that level before, but it must be right, it’s been accepted”. Next year this client will take on a member of staff to help with the increased workload.

Changing technology makes a big difference

This client has a business which had been trading for 8 years. Although, like most sectors their trading was cyclical, the lows were getting lower and they were lasting longer. I carried out a review of the business. The owner identified that the technology being used was going to become redundant in less than 10 years. He smiled and said, “I’m in a dying industry, that’s the problem!”. Having identified the reason for the steady decline, we set about developing a strategy to refocus the business and take existing customers on a journey of technological change.

It happens, not getting paid

I have been working with this client for a couple of years. Monthly meetings move the business forward, but in this year there has been a couple of bad payers. I have helped put the background information in place before the recovery of the funds was escalated to legal professionals. This has saved my client money, and in both cases, there has been a successful outcome

Please contact me if you would like a reference from any of the business owners about the work I have done with them or if you have a business issue you would like a fresh pair of eyes to look at. PeterSearle@businessdoctors.co.uk

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