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Hosted by Haroon Rashid, the Business Fixer Podcast is for any business owner who wants to know how to get from A to B in the simplest possible way. This business podcast is full of business tips including leadership, sales, marketing, finance, culture and much more. Does something need fixing in your business? Don’t know where to begin with your startup, grow or turn around your business? Whether you’re a startup, established business or a multimillion-pound business, the Business Fixer podcast will help you understand where you are, clearly define where you want to be and guide you on the road to get there.
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[SHOW NOTES] How I Turned Around A Department That Was Losing £20K A Month!
Read this post where I go into detail on the Business Triangle.
Listen to the podcast episode on the Business Triangle.
[BOOK RECOMMENDATION] Free To Focus
[TRANSCRIPTION] How I Turned Around A Department That Was Losing £20K A Month!
Business Fixer Podcast – 009
Hey, sports fans, and welcome to the Business Fixer Podcast where we believe that clarity is king and simplicity is queen. I am your host Haroon Rashid. Today. episode nine – How I turned around a department that was losing £20,000 a month. That’s right. Kids. It’s storytime with Haroon. So grab your hot cocoa and let’s gather around the fire.
The Business Fixer Podcast is sponsored by Dad Mode. That is hilarious dad gifts or gifts for him. Funny dad T-shirts hilarious dad mugs – all branded up with some great dad jokes. Look, guys, he’s got enough deodorant. Give him something different. Give him a gift that’s going to make him smile. So that’s dadmode.co.uk And it’s UK only by the way. I have had some, uh, inquiries, uh, outside of the UK. Unfortunately, we are just a UK only, but that is dadmode.co.uk
So today I wanted to tell you guys the story of how I turned around a department that was losing £20,000 a month. That’s a significant amount of money. If you think about it, you know, it’s around a quarter of a million pounds a year loss, which by any standard is not a good place to be.
I of course have changed the names and the industry, just to make sure that we uphold confidentiality because you know, that’s how we roll on this podcast. We’re good guys. Uh, so. A few years back, I was called into a professional services company. I met with the CEO and he said that, uh, we have a department, the rest of the business is strong.
We have this one department that’s just not working. We’ve done everything we can. Uh, we’ve thought of everything we can think to do. We think that we need marketing for it. So we want you to comment and we need to get this thing up and running quickly, get it fixed quickly because time is money and we’ve lost a hell of a lot of money already.
So as you can imagine, I went through my normal process. Uh, I went and just started. Listening talking to people, listening to what’s going on. So I talked to, you know, kind of like the ground level staff and I talked to the various stakeholders, the heads of department and some of the other staff and try and find out what was going on.
And all I was doing at this stage was I was just trying to figure out what are the key storylines that are coming through. And guess what everybody had an opinion about what was going on. Everybody, uh, had opinions as to, well, our Google reviews are really bad. So when our customers come, they look at the reviews and it kills our conversion and that’s, you know, it was quite a, quite a viable opinion.
Other people said, well, our marketing. They didn’t tell me why it was shit. They just said it was shit. And that’s a very subjective thing. Other people said that, oh, the staff is shit. And it was a lot of shit’s being thrown around him. So all I had to do really was to kind of say, okay, noted, I’m going to just kind of do some experiments now and see what’s going on.
And we started throwing some marketing assets and did some Facebook ads and it was the same results again and again and again. So. When we were doing the marketing, I was looking at things with a very narrow focus. I was only concerned about the marketing efforts. After a few months, things still weren’t working.
It wasn’t getting any better. So I had to change my approach. I had now had to widen the focus and I had to look at everything from an end to end process. So by that, I mean, I started to scrutinize every single person and every single touch point along that process from when something goes out from us in terms of marketing to when an inquiry comes in, who’s dealing with the inquiry.
How quickly was it dealt with, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Who’s talking to the customers. How are we following up? How we get in the caching and so on? It was only, unfortunately, after I looked at this, that we found out that the department who was actually in trouble, that staff weren’t doing anything with the league.
Wow. You could imagine we were trying to run around and save that department, but they had already kind of checked out emotionally. They’d already kind of lined up other jobs and other businesses of their own. And they said, yeah, you know what? We’re not, we’re not doing anything with the leads. So. We ended up having to get rid of about four, maybe five people from that department.
Completely got it. And then start again. So we hired rather than having five people, we had one and a half peoples that was one full-time member, one part-time person. We then completely redid the marketing with clear, simple messages. And we got some really good graphics together and we just kept it simple and using that kind of big three, um, priorities structure that’s used in Michael Hyatt, I looked at everything and said, okay, we could do 20 things, but we can’t do 20 things.
So which few things can we do really well and, and which, which of those things are going to have the highest impact on the business. So we use the, uh, the, uh, resource in finance to try and do some financial modelling. We said, okay, well, this looks good. This looks good. This looks good. And we did particular products or services that we had, which financially made sense.
And we just focused on three campaigns. Well, I was pleased to say that after about four, four or five months, the ship started to. And we ended up making a profit after about month nine. That is really the key top line of how I turned around the department. But within that as well, you know, you’ve got to consider other things such as leadership, who was the one person who was owning the whole process.
There wasn’t anybody. And we had to redo the whole end to end process to make sure that there was a responsible person. Someone who is owning that process end to end. We had to make sure that we redid the marketing and the languages, the language, and the key messages and all that good stuff. And that was completely revamped.
We had to bring in new people on, we had to get their buy-in. We had to, uh, you know, I had to lead and I had to get those people onboard. And guess what? It wasn’t easy. There was a lot of arguments. Yeah. I think one of the directors even likened it to Beirut at one point, which wasn’t a great thing, but you know what conflict happens, but it’s not about being liked.
It’s about being respected and getting the job done. Then it was about, you know, the, uh, the financials about the whole thing. How was it, how was it viable? So doing financial scenarios with, you know, a really great guy, uh, who’s now a really good friend of mine, uh, but. You know, making sure that the whole financial picture is viable, um, and making sure that the whole department is able to sustain itself and looking at, and not being afraid to, to have a look at other scenarios.
So we went from a department of five people down to one and a half and it worked, it didn’t need to. You know, make millions and millions and millions of pounds. It just needed to wash its face in the beginning and then it became profitable. And after that you can grow and you can scale, which is fine, but the principles were the same.
You have to have that end to end process in place. You have to have good people, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, by the way, everything I’m saying. Does it sound a little bit like the business triangle, by the way, if you go to businessfixer.co.uk you will be able to see that in the show notes.
For those of you who haven’t heard the podcast before. If you go on to businessfixer.co.uk you’ll see a green triangle and I’ve got on each point, finance, operations, sales, and marketing, and in the middle is culture. Every single business and even department comes down to those three or four things, you have to have those things working, right?
Yeah. So let’s do a quick recap finance. We did a financial picture, a viability operations, the end to end process. We went through the whole thing and make sure it was sound. We redid the marketing and the sales process. And once we got those three things, right. The department was turned around and they have it for today’s episode.
I hope you found it enjoyable. I hope you found it useful. Please do go and check us out. Now we are now on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Amazon. Uh, you could even talk to your Alexa and hear this podcast, which I think is really cool. Uh, my wife doesn’t think it’s that cool, but I just kind of geek out and do that all the time.
Uh, but anyway, so. You want to go and check us out on businessfixer.co.uk Uh, that’d be great. Please do like and subscribe and, uh, you know, go and support us that way and leave us a review and do send in some questions. If you’d like to email@example.com where I’d like to be doing a new segment where we can take some of your questions, but until then, take care sports fans.