All my experiences in business have been very varied and I have had masses of exposure to so many different business models and industries coupled with the first taste of entrepreneurism, that now was the time, to put some of my practice into a structured support network for small businesses.
My first consulting client was a printing and promotions company and although the Managing Director running it had himself come from a corporate background, he used to be in charge of operations and knew very little about sales and marketing - an ideal first client!
The company had been in existence for 4 years at this point but was still not making a half way decent income for the owner. He was making just enough to cover his overheads with a little left over for building and equipment maintenance. Luckily this guy had a number of shares in his previous company and drew sizable dividends to contribute to the household income.
I was surprised that this was an ‘established’ business with clients and everything, employing 4 people but no business development plans or activities of any sort. Still yet, somehow the business managed to pick up the odd client but even then the opportunities within were never maximized.
Initially the MD wanted my help to establish a telesales department seeing that that was something I had successfully implemented in the past on an international basis.
So of course I went through a serious phase of analysis to really get a handle on where the immediate opportunities lay without any additional overheads to the company. We devised a strategic three months plan focussing entirely on the creation of cash flow through low hanging fruit.
As I said, looking back, this was the most exciting first client I could have ever wished for.
We created internal business policies for the employees and customers, made sure sales were maxed with existing clients whilst implementing a strict payment policy. By the end of the three month, not only was my client feeling really enthusiastic about his business again but he was also able to draw a decent income for the first time in 4 years!
I had found my absolute passion in life - building businesses internal and external market opportunities with minimum investment and maximum returns!