We have taken this milestone as an opportunity to kick off our website blog and post to LinkedIn as well. To avoid boring everyone to tears I have split up the first “birthday message” into 2 parts - What have we done? (The more self-indulgent part of it!) and What have we learnt?
This one is:
What have we done?
Unsurprisingly we have continued to do a lot of work in and around building materials, working in both commercial and residential markets, with materials suppliers, retailers and contractors. As a step out from there we have also spent a long time working in private health insurance, and allied with that some optical clinics as well. More recently we have started spending some time closer to the start-up world working with a communications business who is focussed on comms experimentation and helping start-ups to attract attention and grow. Next, we are about to launch into running seminars alongside some other great small business people, aiming to help small businesses grow into bigger businesses at a pace that makes sense for them…you will see more about that in the next week or so!
The projects have been many and varied within Strategy, Marketing and Sales, including a number of diversions into helping with IT / Digital projects in order to achieve some of the sales and marketing goals we have developed with clients. Our projects have varied greatly: complete business reviews (going deep into where the value is within a business and making sure it is maximised sustainably for the owners); to segment and new product development work with really targeted, defined goals; to retail store updates; category planning for retail stores; sales force effectiveness reviews; business and branding strategies; marketing comms plans, assistance with advertising and PR Campaigns; website reviews and re-designs; helping to recruit sales and marketing teams; merchandising work in-store for suppliers to Bunnings (from normal shelf replenishment to major revamps of layouts etc). The clients have been “one-man bands” up to multinationals, all with their own unique challenges to overcome.
Along the way we also bought Auscan Imports. Funnily enough we practice what we preach. We have always had our own strategy for long term profitable growth, and it included at some point having our own distribution business to run alongside the consulting & merchandising one. It also means we actually do a lot of the things that we suggest to clients in the real world, based on real experience - rather than just being theoretical consultants with lots of great ideas, but absolutely no idea of how to implement them in a small business, with all of the constraints that implies.
To all of the great clients we have dealt with so far, we thank you for helping us achieve the milestone of 5 years and still going strong, and for making sure that we never stop learning!