By using a proven set of principles, laws and software tools of business value within an STS system, Growth Concepts has served a broad spectrum of businesses since 1989. We have worked with non-profits, educational institutions and large Corporations but primarily focus on businesses valued under $5,000,000 where the Owner(s) are working in their business “not on it”. Read more about our services.
The new ways we have implemented have given results over and over to consistently keep clients happy. The most successful clients are those who aggressively implement proprietary best practice methods aided by expert guidance (earnings move) rather than suffering the results of trial and error methods on their own.
Partial List of Clients
Pierre Country Bakery
Gregory’s Wheat Shop
Salt Lake Community College
No More Mortgage
Bob Harvey Roofing
Salt Lake Community College
Salt Lake Lions
Below are some but not all Client Successes Stories:
The first situation is an internet business doing around $230,000 a month with over 5,000 visitors a month.
After the Initial consultation with owner discussing his situation and goals we returned with a report that created a whole new approach to maximizing his business’ value by utilizing a synergistic strategy for all three of his businesses together. He had been so focused on maintaining sales with the first business, the other two had been run as side businesses only. He had overlooked the value they could add by being operated as a whole As a side note, the owner had stated several times in the initial meetings that he did not plan to sell his businesses. However after implementing our value improvement processes, the business was sold in June of 2012.
Communication or Business Value Strategy
As we continued our report we showed him the difference between a communication strategy and an earnings move. The basic formula for an earnings move is to increase prices 3%, increase margin 3% and decrease advertising 3% and EBITADA increases 15%. After the initial report the Owner immediately said,”I am going to increase prices tomorrow-they are so low”. We held him back and mentioned there were a few other things to do before implementing an earnings move. He held-off, realizing that one small change could make a big difference in his three businesses.
Three Options – Which One?
After an in-depth study of the value pillars and drivers of the business, we presented three options for an earnings move. We had carefully studied and questioned for two weeks potential customers, customers, vendors, key employees and competition. Then after crunching the numbers, doing what-if scenarios and discussing options with a team we presented three options in a Growth Positioning Report. This comprehensive report was the beginning of a value plan for the business.
Value Plan, Not a Typical Marketing Plan
This value move entailed moving the company closer to an “ideal business” model while focusing on immediate sales for the wholesale business. Further research into potential customer’s needs and messaging began preliminary scripting for a new wholesale call center that was at the core of the earnings move. After several weeks new wholesale accounts with orders started coming in.
A Team Player that Showed Business Value in Down Market
After several tries, a new Sales Manager, took the lead and increased sales over 22% in his first month. Sure, he did his own thing (most do) but proven guidelines for scripting, e-mails, newsletters and events were ready for this go-getter. He was up and running on his first day because of the preliminary hands-on work with the earnings move. While showing the wholesale’s market was still viable in a down market for a concerned Buyer.
A Second Success Story
When a $14,000,000 merger turned sour, the IPO was spit-back by the investing company. However, the Owners thought their business value was still at 14 million . At this point our careful analysis uncovered the fact that their capability for installation of products by service people , when compared with projected sales numbers , was flawed. With new insight and two dynamic Owners below is what happened to bring the business more in-line with an earlier valuation:
Preliminary analysis with team discussions showed this business had sixty five hard-working employees broken down into departments of engineering/manufacturing, sales/customer service, support/installation and programming. Very tight structure for this small of an organization. There was little team spirit since they had been recently rejected and were all worried about their jobs.
The company had an entire line of ad insertion hardware/software products.We also found-out from the numbers that sales and installation teams were unrealistic about projected sales to time for installs. And they had not taken an accurate look at what really determines installation time and costs. This is a good example of how the gap between marketing and engineering could hurt a company. See below.
This company already had the people, operations, product line, inventory and cash flow but they were fragmented internally about direction of a new product launch. The various departments were each very strong in their beliefs about which way to go with no data to back their view. So the differing opinions were causing confusion and disconnect. Like any company the resulting lack of direction had upper-management concerned.
Unspoken Contention found by Third Party Survey
Confidence in the sales and marketing team was slipping. The sales team led by the V. P. of Marketing did not have the basics. A company vision statement was missing. A weak value proposition for the new product was contributing to the problem. On the other hand engineering was developing by the seat of their pants with no customer surveys or sales input. A bad mix. This brought an underlying air of contention between engineering and marketing but, did not surface until mentioned in a survey that only a third party could give.
Marketing Plan to a Value Plan
Starting with the basics of maximizing value ,Growth Concepts began talking with the consumers and employees. These type of surveys are not new but it was again, only with a third party that it became possible to get to the truth. Reporting of the findings was to both engineers and marketing teams. This helped bringing the two teams together moving closer to an ideal business model. While blending new power words with white paper material began the crucial writing process.
Soon sales and engineering members began working together. Employees even came up with a new credo which helped establish purpose and meaning for everyone. Meetings about pricing, installation service, media mix etc… were attended by members of both teams. Both teams became involved with new product naming, web content, press releases, trade show collateral, direct mailers, customer service and even the sales pitch. This in turn led to corporate re-branding. All became involved in the new product launch knowing they were bringing value to the company.
A new overall value approach added to making an environment where every team could openly discuss and be involved with innovative communication concepts and value moves. Further making it possible for the launch of a new product with an earnings move in mind to reach $250,000 in sales revenue in three months. Then reaching sales of over $1,000,000 with the launch in a year while bringing back confidence and business value to around $11,000,000.
Testimonial from Company President
I just wanted to send you a note to let you know that the Oricon XXI product that you helped us position in the market is doing very well. We are starting to get orders and have found your guidance right on…
Thank you again for your help. Rest assured that we will call on your knowledge and experience. as we go forward in the future..
Moving from a Marketing Plan to a Value Plan
Kevin wanted to expand his printing business. He knew the industry well and had a growing concern. He already hired a few salespeople and felt he had provided the opportunity and training but they always left. He didn’t want a business consultant because he knew more about his business than others. Yet, he felt there was something missing to enable him to reach the next plateau but he was not sure exactly what it was.
Kevin knew there were many possibilities in building a business and had this on his mind. That is when he was introduced to Growth Concepts. They explained that “what was missing” was not just increasing sales but maximizing business value. After a situational analysis and recommendations they proceeded forward for an in-depth analysis.
Further questions and software analysis focused attention on two specific areas that would make an immediate difference in short-term sales goals and long-term business value using an earnings move. This was not just cost cutting. The Advising team was creating a value move that impacted the P & L statement above and below the margin while having an exponential effect on EBITADA. This made sense to Kevin but he wondered if new activities could be implemented?
Growth Concepts came from a holistic approach reviewing all areas of the business. After specifically mapping messaging and researching potential customer’s needs they began creating new short-term messaging while using Analyzer I. It took time to blend new messaging with old, to upgrade collateral and image, while training sales and counter help. Along with this, employee interviews were held for moving closer to an ideal business model.
New Organizational and Sales Culture
Kevin felt he was ready to form a stable traditional sales culture. This would include new hires with revamped scripting and collateral. For the long-term he knew a potential buyer of the business would want a steady cash flow with a stable sales force since and if the current Owner is getting a majority of the sales-and leaves, the business will go with him. So in a week using culture matching questions he brought in a good salesperson-someone that already knew Kevin. However he had also worked for years in the printing business. Kevin soon found out the new hire thought he knew better than his boss, and therefore stayed in his same old rut. The new salesperson kept trying the old way and left after a few months. What a blow to the value initiative. These things can happen.
After hiring two new salespeople with a new hiring process, training and mind-set Kevin found focusing on an earnings move not just sales worked. Immediately the company’s closing ratio went up over 15% while the average sale increased to $302.00 from $225.00. Further, methods for lead generation and lead advancement were fine-tuned so the average closing ratio exceeded 25%. They stayed on course for a year. It wasn’t long before a four color print shop that was doing business with him bought him out.
Working with CEO David Whipple moved our planning and research to a new level. The reports to the client were stronger and more useful because of the innovative metrics developed ( 3% rule and CenterfigurE) by Growth Concepts. There will be a new generation of marketing and marketing communications graduate students from Northwestern University that have found Growth Concepts a strong metric partner.
The value of the Growth Concepts (Analyzer I) software was to allow the project to define and “stay on strategy” with the messaging of the company. David’s training time and dedication to the full use of the software also made a great difference.
Mr. …………….., Ph.D.