How to increase turnover by 50% in a challenging market
Commercial Waste Connections provides waste and recycling services to businesses as well as skips to homeowners. It was set up 3 years ago by Richard Wilson and the operation was originally managed from a room in his house.
Working on his own Richard had no one else to talk to in the business. He was responsible for generating new business, delivering the services and managing the back-office. A business coach was something he had used before but he hadn’t felt it was of benefit.
Richard had met and spoken to Garry through their network. It was during the Lockdown in 2020 when Garry decided to run a series of free Business Growth Sessions, designed to support and help local companies by providing focus through a difficult period. It was an opportunity for Richard to attend and experience a different business coach.
“I was aware that I needed to grow but wanted to do it without bringing someone else into the business. Having attended Garry’s sessions, I decided to continue using him as my coach and he has now become my virtual business partner.”
In the last 12 months, turnover in the business has increased by 50% year on year. Two office moves later, and he now has two new members of staff – an office assistant and a salesperson. This was all achieved during a period when many businesses were struggling.
Why Have a Business Coach?
Many business owners have the ambition to grow their business. Understanding how you go about this can be a big obstacle to overcome. Richard knew he needed to hold himself accountable to achieve what he wanted but the challenge was there was only him in the business. Lack of confidence is another factor. Richard felt that without a business partner or other members of staff, there was nobody else who he could use as a sounding board.
Richard said “I wanted to be in business after the Lockdown but wasn’t sure how to go about it. There was no one else who understood the stage I was at and where I needed to focus. It was just me.”
Taking on a business coach was a big step for Richard. His previous experience had given him the view that they weren’t right for him. But meeting Garry, experiencing his presentation style and attending his taster sessions had changed his mind.
A Structured and Proven Process
The quarterly planning sessions with Garry provided a clear focus. These were delivered through a series of questions that Richard needed to answer. They took him into areas he hadn’t considered and delivered results he wouldn’t have thought possible.
These sessions enabled him to build a series of processes and systems into the business that were visually captured on a planning sheet in the office to illustrate the activities. Richard was able to monitor his sales leads and follow-up where necessary. He also started to trial marketing activity such as Facebook and local magazine advertising. The systems and processes in the ActionCOACH toolkit, used across the UK for more than 20 years, gave Richard real structure and focus.
Reflecting on the coaching sessions, Richard said “At our fortnightly planning sessions, it felt like I was going to see the Headmaster. I can’t tell you what exactly Garry does but there is a clear structure. He asks all the right questions so you’re thinking about what you need to do without even realising it.”
The simple yet obvious tasks were embedded in his business. Activities such as monitoring the value of each transaction and getting underneath the financial details. This also led to the first price increase in 3 years. A stressful time but completed smoothly and without losing any customers.
The Benefits of Coaching
As a result of the coaching, Richard now feels more focussed and less stressed about running his business. There is a layer of support provided by Garry that instils the confidence to move forward. The questioning approach delivered through the coaching has helped plant the seeds for growth, offered fresh perspectives and generated new ideas.
The two new members of staff now provide all the administrative support and extra sales capacity. This has helped Richard organise his time better and manage tasks more efficiently. The coaching gave Richard the confidence to recruit, the structure for their induction and training and new leadership skills to manage the team.
In summary, Richard explained his success: “I was working full-time in the business but I now feel like a business owner running a growing company. It all started in my front bedroom with me trying to build something and I now feel like I’ve grown up.”
The ambition is now to have 2 or 3 salespeople and he has already been approached by sales individuals who see a growing business. A more structured and planned approach to his marketing activity is also next on the agenda.