Turnover Grew From £1.6m To £4m A 260% Increase
Turnover grew from £1.6m to £4m, a 260% increase, while profits increased by 360%.
Zenzero provide IT solutions and support to businesses across West Midlands and the South East. The company was started by Anne and Andy Tasker in 2005. They pride themselves on delivering a friendly and personalised service. Initially they saw steady growth with turnover doubling every year until 2008. As Anne said “Growth then stopped, the business plateaued for a couple of years, and we didn’t understand why”
This lack of growth drove Anne to seek some advice in 2010. While looking for help on leadership and management training she was referred to ActionCOACH. They were running a sales training course, called SalesENRICHED, and Anne signed up to attend. As she remarked “I hadn’t heard of coaching but recognised that I had hit the limit of what I could achieve without some outside help.”
Anne and a colleague attended the two day sales training course. As she said “It was a fantastic learning curve. There were some great ideas to use straight away. But most importantly, I came away with a clear idea on what areas I needed to
improve to take the business to the next level.”
After the course Anne began one to one business coaching, meeting every month, supported by regular phone calls. There were a number of areas that her coach and Anne worked on with one of the major ones being the tracking of all the key metrics in the business. This followed the ActionCOACH ‘5 ways’ model which monitors key variables such as leads and conversions through to margin and hence profit. This model has helped to focus on key areas for improvement. As Anne remarked “The 5 ways helps in all areas and most importantly my coach makes sure I focus on them and holds me accountable.”
There are a number of systems that ActionCOACH has helped Anne put in place including a dashboard showing the key metrics on the business which Anne can refer to daily. Additionally they have a structured approach to marketing and gaining new leads utilising the ActionCOACH 10×10 marketing model.
Another area that coaching has helped Anne with is time management and delegation. This was a skill Anne had struggled with in the past but her coach showed her ways to plan and prioritise more effectively. As Anne stated “ActionCOACH gave me the ability to delegate effectively. This freed up my time to focus on the things that had the most benefit to the business.”
The combination of better understanding of the key metrics and control of her time has had a tremendous impact on Anne’s confidence. She feels more in control and knows what she needs to do to drive the business forwards. “My Coach has really helped me build my confidence as a business person.”
The business before working with ActionCOACH was a little unfocused, as Anne put it “We just let things happen.” Now Anne can decide on the objective she wants to achieve and using models such as the ‘5 ways’’ can work backwards to understand all the steps that need to be taken to achieve the goal. Anne has found this very structured approach incredibly useful. As she remarked “I can now spend time working on the business and not just in it. Which is always time well spent.”
An example of how tracking the metrics and using the ActionCOACH systems have been used is in relation to sales. In the past, Zenzero had a bad experience with an under performing sales manager. Which Anne now believes was mainly due to a lack of direction and focus. However, they have now been able to train one of their existing team into the sales role. This has only been possible by utilising the ‘5 ways’ metrics to understand exactly what needs to done achieve the sales. It has also been used to set the commission values for the sales person and the 10×10 marketing plan is in place to generate leads. As Anne said “The 5 ways and other systems have enabled us to set the targets and work out exactly how to get there. So we have direction and a solid action plan.”
The results speak for themselves, Anne has seen a 30% increase in sales and record months in 2011. As Anne enthusiastically stated “Most of this renewed growth is directly related to ActionCOACH’s help. It’s been incredible how much difference a 1 ½ hour meeting with my coach can make.”
Anne feels that having a business coach on board as an objective advisor has been invaluable. “As the business owner who else could I have such an open and honest conversion with? My coach provides a fresh perspective, he asks searching questions and comes up with great ideas.”
In conclusion Anne said that her ActionCOACH has impacted on all areas of the business. He has clearly driven renewed growth and enabled Anne to lead with more confidence and energy. Plus Anne recognises she is part of a beneficial ActionCOACH community. She attends ProfitCLUB and GrowthCLUB and meets other business owners to share knowledge. This has also lead to her picking up a major new client. As she said “My coach has paid for himself many times over. We still have a way to go but we are growing, I feel in control, and the future is bright.”