I opened the case notes sent over to me – a manufacturing business in Hertfordshire, ten staff, turnover of £275,000, with good growth potential, looking to increase sales.
The next morning I arrived at a very ordinary industrial estate on a farm, and waited in a reception area. I was called through to the board room. The client wanted to grow his business to a £1million turnover in 2 years, and was looking at employing a further 15 staff, all full time.
After a full diagnostic and strategy was worked out, we engaged with a very trusted marketing guru and got to work on the business. The main problem was the client had products, it was just where to sell them. They’d had some success online but really needed a distribution network – not just countrywide but worldwide.
I contacted an old colleague at UKTI, and arranged a Skype meeting with a distributor in China. After several frantic Skype calls and hundreds of emails, the distributor put in his first order for 10,000 units, swiftly followed by an Australian company (who had heard about the products from the Chinese counterpart) with an order for 20,000 units.
Quickly, the problem wasn’t sales, but staff and manufacturing space. I arranged a meeting with a local commercial agent who found the company more suitable premises that could easily accommodate the lorries that would be needed for shipping. Then we engaged with a HR expert to attend to the staff contracts and training.
The figures being emailed through to me after 18 months were amazing – £2.2 million turnover with a staff total coming in at 27, all on full time contracts.
Debriefing, the client said “I couldn’t have done it without you guys, thank you”, swiftly followed by “What’s the next programme and where do I sign up?”