SBG Case Studies
Startup - a client with goals but little to no experience in running a business, however, competent at providing quality residential services.
Sector - Home repair, tree services, power washing & junk removal
Initial Meeting - 2006
Region – Southeast US
Our typical clients have an existing business that is struggling in an area or three but they have clients, resources and some business direction. However, not all of our clients share this distinction. Some startups enjoy an educational background or a family or investors with resources. Some of our clients come to us to define what they can do and require a path to be built to their success.
With a seemingly difficult hill to climb in life as far as upbringing, education and business acumen, this client came to me for results with a limited budget. So “The Process” began: skills needed to be identified, business acumen assessed, finances, issues with poor self-esteem addressed and the 8 Elements of a business plan to be defined.
SBG focused on the goals of client first. What do you want to achieve? What have you spent your time doing? Or as Mark Cuban says”Where do you spend your effort? Don’t tell me your passion, passion changes!” This is an important separator in defining a person’s identity especially in how it relates to impacting the world around you. SBG enjoys a client base fully engulfed in their respective industries passionate about how their services or products make a better experience in life for their clients….just like Strategic Business Guide. Isn’t it interesting that you attract what you are? No surprise.
After a few meetings it was easy to determine the direction this client should go in. Whatever confidence was lacking was overpowered by zeal to engage life and help people. We were astonished by the bold look on life and business the client was willing to take.
- Use only business earned cash to develop the business strategically. A self-funded purpose built business grown the old fashioned way, slowly and deliberately.
- We started with the 8 Elements of a successful business plan. With each defined we could move forward confidently that we have identified a real business opportunity and filled a need in the local community.
- Company Description
- Target Market
- Marketing & Sales Plan
- Management Structure
- Future Development
- Only do what the business plan says you do, initially. Specifics were determined to keep the business from becoming everything to everybody. Not everyone is your client today. This methodology is difficult to maintain as cash was required for day to day needs; stopping rash impulse decisions became a discipline. Rash decisions or impulse decisions are one of the major problems growing a business; they can zap the energy out of your business because they usually take you away from your business model.
- Creation of a business, determining whether incorporation, LLC or a variety of other models works best for your business goals and personal interests/security/liability.
- Insurances, bonding and required licensing combined financial requirements and understanding local tax requirements.
- Learn the language of your clients. Understand what they are saying….the message behind the words. Comprehend the client’s needs and address them, as those needs pertain to your service or product. An important part of our process with our clients is training them to listen in way that they hear the “NEED” the client has not just what is being communicated. This takes time but changes the client/customer relationship forever.
- Create messaging that communicates exactly what the “NEED” is and that does not over commit to services outside of the business purpose. Communication covers hearing, visual and sensual. The sales process was defined to a script that our client learned to say to each prospective client. The clothing and attire of the workforce is essential in developing customer comfort. With crime and theft becoming a real problem for us today, recognition of who is on your property with logos and color branding makes a huge difference in a secure feeling. (Note: secure feeling)
- Go to you’re the areas the business plan defined where best for your business. Meet the people, attend neighborhood meetings and get involved. We call it localized networking. Time management becomes critical at this point and meeting the right people is a conscious focus. Don’t waste effort.
- A constant practice we use with every client is ROI, Return on Investment. When every business decision is valued by ROI the client becomes more aware of purchases and debt. DO I drive long distances for a project? Where do I spend marketing dollars I can determine the value of? How valuable are the dollars I spend to my business? Leasing, vehicles, tools, education, marketing, office space…..
- Work smart and diligently. Getting a project done is not the same as getting it completed correctly.
Today this client has a thriving business that enjoys client referrals and testimonials of the great service they provide. The owner, who is now like family to SBG, continues educating themselves in their business and acquires certifications and training on a continual basis. Life is good.