labour costs - business success
Making money from employing people: Labour Services businesses
September 10, 2020
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Case study – Stunning turnaround within 12 months

case study gvm - elearning



CLIENT:

Global Vision Media


SECTOR:

eLearning


EXPERTISE DEMONSTRATED:

Big Picture Strategy, People Managing, Difficult External Relationships


KEY NUMBERS:

$1.7 mill

Sales from new strategy

75 %

Sales increase

$1.4 mill

Business saved

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The business had been in decline for a number of years, and the owner couldn’t see a viable pathway to a successful future. There was a lack of an effective sales function, major issues with a key supplier, and bushfires burning with some major clients.

The supplier and clients bushfires were resolved, and profitable long term relationships reestablished. A seemingly dead new product and customer strategy was selected, and we built a successful sales function backed by quality collateral.

The net result has been strong and very profitable sales growth, with the business recording exceptional profits in a number of years.


The Customer

Established in 1995, this firm had been technology leaders in their sector, including pioneering Learning Management Systems (LMS) in Australia over a decade ago. Their roots were originally in media technology and video production.  Run by varying combinations of owners over their journey, the current owner had moved from employee, to part owner to full owner in 2013.  He took over a business that faced a number of structural challenges in their product life cycle, as well as declining in sales generally. 

Date started working with me – 16/08/16, continuing.


The Challenge: 

  • Master a technically complex product suite, requiring the rapid acquisition of sufficient product and sector knowledge to advise and operate effectively. That was achieved within months.
  • Choose a short-term product/service strategy that had a successful point of difference in an overcrowded and fragmented market. 
  • Create a sales strategy to match the product/service strategy, and hire an affordable yet appropriate salesperson to execute it.
  • Defuse the attempt by a key supplier to buy out the core business at bargain basement prices
  • Retain two large accounts that had gone off the rails
  • Identify a new long term product suite that would survive and thrive in a market that was commoditising and aggregating.

The Solution

The Business Success Programme provided a firm foundation for analysing the existing business and choosing the right strategies to return the business to a path of profits and growth. The following areas were chosen as key to the long-term success of the business:

  • Focus on one particular sector where we had genuine competitive advantages for short term growth
  • Develop a sales process specifically for the complex 3 year buying cycle, taking a Thought Leader position
  • Trial another LMS that was more cutting edge
  • Develop a basic LMS we owned into a genuine mid-market competitor
  • Create a process with collateral for dealing with the difficult to satisfy customers that are common
  • Add further sales resource as we hit trigger turnover levels.
  • Harness and enhance a good innate staff culture to become one of the foundations of the business as it grows

The strategy of focusing on the one sector for short term growth and adding sales resource and process has proved highly successful.  The person we hired, started at 2 days a week, and is now 4 days.  We are now delivering almost 25 % of sales, and a higher proportion of gross profit from this sector.  It is still early days, and we are on track for substantially higher sales in this area over the next 2 years.

Finding a quality LMS to resell has proven difficult and we rapidly moved to the strategy above, where we are developing our own mid-market system.  This is getting a very promising early response, and we are hiring a BDM who will be tasked with sales for this as well as custom-built eLearning courses.

A great deal of time went into helping the owner get key relationships right in a number of areas, this is now paying off in business development and customer retention.  



Key results in numbers

500%

increase in nett profits

30%

of business now coming from chosen short term strategy

70 %

sales increase overall after 2 years


The Benefits

The owner is very happy with the results:

• Profits have moved from the previous loss to very strong levels. The owner has had the confidence to purchase a new CBD office in recent months. We are on track to grow the profits significantly over the next 2 years.

• Cashflow has become a non-issue.

• We now have a competitive quality offer in all key areas, and sales have grown by 50% in the last year.

• We are ready to start looking a developing a cutting-edge eLearning product that will return the company to its natural position of Product Leadership.


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