RESPOND TO A CHANGING, COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT
The pace of change is faster than ever. If you’re not staying ahead of the game, you’re rapidly getting left behind. Business owners need to be able to see the opportunities and challenges in their environment and build their businesses to be resilient and agile – to adapt quickly and effectively as needed. These are some of the changes that business owners we’ve worked with have implemented, to ensure they remain relevant and competitive.
Jerome’s growing annual turnover was generated by a single product. Past attempts at finding an alternative had cost him dearly and he had sleepless nights worrying about the sustainability of his business.
Working with Aurik, Jerome redesigned his entire business to focus on customers and not a product which then gave light to a new set of services and ancillary products that spoke directly to their needs.
Today revenue is made up of a number of products as well as annuity revenues from the same customer.
Where Price is Everything
Discounting had always worked for Vish to kick-start sales and generate cash flow. But while sales were high, profits were very low.
Vish worked with Aurik to discover who his customers were and what they wanted. By putting systems in place to enhance the customer experience he didn’t have to offer the lowest price. Margins improved by over 5% as he became a value player in his market.
When a Product is no Longer Great or Enough
Albert built his business off the back of his principles in Germany. Through them he had access to the best products. They were technically advanced and reliable. And then his business growth stalled. Chinese products were becoming as good and were half the price.
Working with Aurik, we changed his positioning from a product-driven business to a customer-driven business by understanding what problems they wanted solved. His marketing and sales teams were redesigned to talk about the problems his business solved instead of product features. Albert’s business doubled its growth whilst working with Aurik as his customers responded to his new value proposition.
FINDING AND WINNING NEW CUSTOMERS
Customers are the most important people in our businesses. But how do we find and retain customers to ensure growth and sustainability of our business? We have worked with numerous businesses to do exactly this:
In Martin’s 14-year career he’d built solid relationships and networks that encouraged him to go on his own and start a business. These relationships formed his first clients and the business grew impressively for the next 7 years. He then hit a ceiling. He needed new markets and new customers, but he had no relationships in these markets.
Working with Aurik, Martin was able to build out marketing and sales systems that stretched into new markets. In addition, he found the right people to deploy the systems that today have seen his business enjoy a revenue spread across 3 new segments with a further 2 under development. The growth in sales, reduction in revenue risk and systematised approach helped Martin build a selling system instead of his original relationship system.
This business had one great corporate client that took care of 68% of turnover. Jeffrey knew he shouldn’t be so reliant on this customer but no matter what he did he couldn’t extract himself from the demands of the customer.
Working with Aurik, Jeffrey completed an extensive market evaluation, customer development and promotional plan to reach and secure new customers. Today that corporate client makes up less than 10% of revenue.
GROWING WITHOUT CHAOS
Growth, without supporting systems to facilitate that growth, often leads to an increase in chaos. Many business owners come to us, completely exhausted from trying to deal with that chaos every day. We have been able to help hundreds of businesses by implementing structure and order:
Each month was tight. Lumpy revenue meant that Jacob could only just make the monthly payments needed to keep the business afloat. It was exhausting and he felt trapped in a vicious cycle.
Working with Aurik, a customer-focussed strategy supported by strong systems was identified and implemented. This meant that the constant up-and-downs associated with projects were avoided and replaced with more consistent revenues. Finally, Jacob was able to move to the next level.
TRYING TO BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYBODY
For 16 years, Aubrey sold anything to anyone in at least four regional territories. But profits remained low and frustration grew at the huge effort for little reward.
Working with Aurik, he clearly defined his customer segments, identified the top 3, and with a deeper understanding of who they were and what they needed was able to create a clear promotional strategy. In simplifying his business, profitability grew, and new sales growth no longer led to chaos.
BUILDING THE RIGHT TEAM
Staff and people are among the most common headaches for business owners. We work with business owners to build their businesses in a way that revenue is generated as a result of systems rather than individuals and where the right people with clear roles and responsibilities are employed. Some of the people challenges we’ve dealt with include:
If you want something done properly…
Henry is an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist. His clients love him for that. What Henry promises, Henry delivers. He approached Aurik out of sheer exhaustion. He had fantastic products and very loyal clients, yet the business had hit a ceiling. From inventing a new technology, Henry now faced competitors who had copied his offerings and could supply clients cheaper or faster. His attempts to build sales and operational teams had failed. Expensive hires seldom delivered to Henry’s specification.
Working with Aurik, Henry converted his approach to selling and service into 28 business systems. For the first time, Henry then employed system operators not job seekers. Recruitment was made easier and very effective. Today, with growing revenues, Henry is largely freed from sales and service activities and focuses on product innovation.
Holding onto good staff
Despite Joseph’s huge investment in people, he was battling to retain good staff. Constant growth always left him in a position of employing people to assist with his most immediate burdens. Staff complained that they had no support and limited training.
Working with Aurik, he was able to change how he employed people. Instead of simply employing sales people and telling them to get on with the job, he systemised the sales experience in a teachable, measurable way so that he could employ people to operate the system of selling and reward them accordingly. High staff turnover is a thing of the past.
No longer fair
Two individuals started a business together which took off and saw sales quickly reach some $3m a year. One partner felt the 50:50 equity split was no longer fair – he did most of the work – but attempts to discuss this with his partner failed. The partnership soured.
Mini monthly board meetings and a clear business growth plan that was developed and implemented through Aurik’s facilitation saw sales reach $5m and restored the relationship.
MORE TIME LEADING, LESS TIME DOING
As a business owner, you should know more about your business, your industry and your opportunities than anyone else – but how can you see these opportunities – and grab them – if you are constantly stuck in operations? We have helped business owners to rise above the daily grind in many different circumstances, like these:
LEADING BUSINESS GROWTH
Having built a great, small business, Lance set his sights on franchising as the path to his next level growth. Surely he could just multiply the success of the first business? But multiple frustrations taught him that franchising was not that easy.
Working with Aurik, he successfully ‘coded’ the activities in his small business into business systems. Thereafter, the ability to replicate that small business through a franchised model has seen Lance create 38 franchised units under a single brand.
Toni hit the jackpot. She identified a massive gap in the market and battled to keep up with the demand. Business exploded but Toni spent her days putting out fires.
Together with Aurik, Toni developed systems to underpin the operations that her company would need as it grew. The systems were easy to learn, scalable and future-focused. Now Toni spends most days with her customers, identifying new challenges, and devising solutions.
SECURE BUSINESS GROWTH FUNDING
Growth requires resources, and ambitious growth may call for external investment. To secure growth funding, you’ll need to convince the right investors of a return. It’s a tough job, and the banking system is stacked against private business owners. Working with Aurik, a number of businesses have successfully managed to secure the funding that has accelerated their business growth.
Several funders loved what Norman did and praised his passion but none committed funding to expand his growing business. He had self-funded his growth so far and because of that, he had no collateral. In addition, Norman’s growth required working capital, money to be spent on software, marketing and people.
Working with Aurik, he was able to demonstrate that he had built a System of Delivery that meant his business delivered consistently on his quarterly forecasts. He could also show that he was spending more than 60% of his time focused on growth because his operations ran literally without him. This was evidenced on his business dashboard that Aurik had built for him and resulted in him successfully raising equity funding to accelerate his growth further.
Anthony wanted funding to move from services to manufacturing. The investment would set up his facility and he could start making the products his clients needed and were importing from China. He had a successful services company and funders weren’t convinced he could make the transition.
Working with Aurik, he stabilised his services business to operate consistently, drawing only a small portion of his time. He then invested time in meeting almost 38 private funders and settled on one who had both money and experience manufacturing.
MAKING THE VISION A REALITY
Ben poured all of his profits back into his business, to realise his ‘Big Idea’ but the idea was bigger than his pockets, and he was reluctant to seek funding, as he viewed it as debt.
Working with Aurik he became convinced that growth funding would unlock the big idea, and accelerate his business growth in a way he simply never could alone. A clear plan of action was devised to attract the right funders to partner with Ben, and take his business to the next level.
MAXIMISE THE VALUE OF YOUR BUSINESS
Working with business owners, we show them the difference between viewing your business as a revenue generator, month to month, and an Asset of Value™, which serves to secure their, and their family’s future. These are some of the problems we’ve worked with to increase value in a business:
VOLATILE MARKET CONDITIONS
Ash’s business thrived on a strong currency. The ongoing uncertainty generated by socio-political and economic business environment was hindering Ash’s ability to plan effectively. In addition, his leadership team lacked the temperament to adapt.
Working with Aurik, new objectives were set that focused on definitive customer needs. The production and manufacturing capability was bolstered by strong systems which gave Ash and his leadership team more time to face challenges together and react more quickly.
The business became robust but agile – faster decision making and quicker processes meant that changes could be dealt with easily whilst always remaining relevant to their customer in a changing market environment.
FINDING THE RIGHT BUYER AT THE RIGHT PRICE
After nearly 20 years in the business, the owner wanted to sell. He knew he had a good business but there were limited offers and those that he received were far lower than he wanted.
He recognised his business had not been built to sell. Working with Aurik, he implemented systems of delivery across all areas of the business and ensured that he positioned his customer offering to differentiate it from his competitors. By doing this he made sure that his business was driven by commercial systems and not by him.
In only a couple of years, he had his pick of buyers at a price that secured his future.
SUCCESSION FOR SUSTAINED GROWTH
We work with business owners to build their businesses into an Asset of Value™. One of the key features of an Asset of Value™ is that of a day, should the entrepreneur choose to, it can be sold for a premium price. We’ve worked with business owners who found themselves facing the following challenges:
TIME IS RUNNING OUT
This business owner started his business in his late 50s with a view to selling it for a decent price when he could no longer work. With his energy waning, the valuation of the business was disappointing, but he refused to close down.
Regular meetings with Aurik provided him with the insight and momentum he required to identify a clear vision and implement a strategy to achieve it. Focusing on systems and structure within the business, he was able to extract himself from the day to day activities and drive the business instead of it driving him. The extra time he had revived his energy. He chose not to sell immediately after the 2 years of working with Aurik but instead opted to sell over time to his management team and at a price that would reward his historic risk through business growth going forward.
Two siblings working in the family business were constantly bickering and driving their father crazy. He found he couldn’t extract himself from the business for fear it would implode.
Aurik’s mediation, centred on agreed business goals, allowed them to create clear roles and responsibilities for themselves. The siblings worked better together; the company functioned well, and the father was able to act as chairman – no longer needing to be involved in the day to day activities.
AGREEING ON BUSINESS DIRECTION
A father and son were locked in a stalemate around the future of the business. Nearing retirement, Dad did not want to make radical changes to the business he had spent 26 years building. His son, however, saw the need for change.
Through Aurik, they were able to implement a plan of action where a structured handover of skills aligned both of their business goals, roles and responsibilities and took the business to the next level.