A Tale of Two Successful Firms
Like anything else in life, building a successful business starts with doing the basics well. Look at great sporting teams or businesses, and you’ll find their success owes a great deal to paying attention to the basics, before moving onto anything more advanced.
Two firms, who are both part of our first year intake for the Uncover Your Business Potential programme, have made tremendous progress over the last 12 months by focusing on successful execution of the basics and have each begun generating more than 20% growth. This week, I take a look how they’ve achieved it.
Derek and Tracey Evans are a husband and wife team at Juno Wealth Management. Their turnover in the last three quarters is up more than 20%. They’ve also been shortlisted for multiple small business awards in their local area (and won one of them!), as well as receiving some great industry recognition.
I also need to add that over the last 12 months, they were managing the process of leaving their network and going directly authorised. Anyone who’s been through that will know that takes quite a bit of work and hassle, so this make their achievements all the more amazing.
Here is my take on what’s helped them achieve such amazing results:
1. On our very first phone call (before they enrolled in the UYBP course), I suggested a small tweak to their management structure, which they adopted. Derek’s role shifted to focusing on managing the business (which his lengthy engineering background at BT suited perfectly), while Tracey focused on her strengths as the uber qualified and skilled pensions expert, financial planner and George Kinder-trained life planner.This blending of the visionary (Tracey) and integrator (Derek) skill sets is what makes all great businesses fly.
Tracey and Derek: “We’ve got true control of our business from the helicopter view down to the fine details. By deploying easy to use tools and templates we now have a clear strategy and plan to develop our business one, three and ten years out.”
2. They’ve refined their proposition and pricing. What they were doing previously wasn’t incorrect, but getting it absolutely nailed has allowed them to better understand their true value and to speak more directly to the top five issues and concerns for their target markets. This is improving their margins.
3. They have implemented a professional business management process that allows them to identify and resolve issues on a weekly basis. Businesses that resolve issues move forward.
Tracey and Derek: “We’ve got the confidence to make tough decisions and know they are being made for the right reasons.”
Angus Kirk and Shadi Darvish are another husband and wife team running a fantastic business. Turnover at Bridge Investments is up 20% for the same period 12 months ago, and during that period Shadi has taken some time out to have another child.
Here is my take on what’s helped them make such great progress:
1. After completing a client segmentation and analysis exercise they have dramatically reduced their client numbers this year by about 1,350. In doing so, they’ve been able to focus on the high value work and simplify their business.
Angus and Shadi: “As we worked through the process we realised we had far too many clients and had to let a great number of them go. We are now focused on a specific number of households, we know exactly who they are and what service we provide them. An important knock-on effect of this is that it helped us identify exactly who WE are, and what’s important to US.”
2. They’ve also embraced the business plan and weekly business business management process, which has enabled them to tackle some of these big decisions.
Angus and Shadi: “These tools are our ship’s wheel. We have our issues list, know our rocks, and have a clear vision on what our long (and short) term goals are. It keeps us on course.”
3. In our last day of year 1 in UYBP, we looked specifically at the ongoing servicing and review process. Angus grabbed this one by the horns, and has simplified the Bridge review process. They’ve been using one page reporting of value to clients, who are absolutely loving it and it has made a huge change in their business.
What I love about the success of both of these firms is that they’ve debunked the myth that you can’t grow while you’re sorting stuff out. In fact the opposite is true. If you’re working on resolving the right issues, you can achieve some really impressive results.