Menlo is a 25 year old company whose COO, Nora, contacted me because Menslo didn’t have a clear path forward, and she felt that one was overdue. (Mike had told her that a plan was not necessary.) Nora and I worked “on the sneak” to create a plan. The firm had a niche but no ideal client within that niche. Many of the ways they had been marketing wasn’t easily attracting the best clients to them. Nora worked on a SWOT. Then we worked to better identify the firm’s most ideal clients.
Mike did get involved, at first, kicking and then kicking more. He still thought planning was a waste of time and money. As Nora mentioned, “we can’t get the money back so we might as well finish it”. Together we all talked about every aspect of the business that they wanted to look at. I felt that they were undercharging, and in a horrible economy, they raised their rates. I reviewed their P/L and “found” them $75K a year. Then we worked together on the plan.
When all was said and done, I was pleasantly surprised… and pleased when Mike sent me the letter below. A year after Mike and Nora created their ideal client profile, adjusted their pricing, and designed business/marketing plan, they used all their new tools to increase their revenue by more than 250K.
I started Menlo Scientific over 25 years ago. We are a small company with big clients. When my business partner (and fiancee) signed up for your Empire Builder program (now called Business Plan in a Weekend) I felt that we already were growing our firm in the right direction. Frankly, much of what you teach I thought I already knew.
On the other hand, after 25 years of not getting around to doing enough of it (business strategic development planning), the likelihood of moving forward on a well thought out business development program was nil.
But having a formal program and a mentor has resulted in increased profits in these tough times. Another factor is the cognitive dissonance of having made the financial and time commitment, which is a strong incentive to putting together a business plan and business development program into a higher priority.
But aside from forcing the participants to focus on growing their business, your program provides a logical and compelling template that is balanced, insightful, effective, and supportive.
In this tough economic terrain, we increased our rates, client satisfaction is higher, with higher client retention rate. In the last half year our business situational awareness is clearer. To be blunt, your help in teaching us when to throw the fish back and walk away from inappropriate candidate clients has saved us far more than what your course cost.
We are looking forward to continuing to work with you to internalize what you teach.
Mike Klasco and Nora Wong