Systems and Profitability Work Helped
This CEO say NO to a Merger

background

The husband-wife production company based out of Ohio had been in business for 16 years. Lauren became the CEO of the business eight years ago to focus more on business development, which allowed her husband Andrew to focus on the creative side of the business.

As the business grew, they became overwhelmed. Not only were they overworked, but the inconsistent cash flow made them uncomfortable.

results

Improved profitability to create a clear road to 7-figures

New core offers

Created systems to offload her work

Optimized project management tools for conversions

Feeling more confident about running the business

Perceived Problem

She believed she needed systems to support the company's growth because it was becoming too much for her to handle. She said most days she felt like "ripping her hair out."

Problem/s Discovered After Business Audit

When we ran the company through the audit, the first thing I saw was that there was a problem with the numbers. As much as I wanted to help them address their desires for systems (because let's face it, systems building is fun for me), we first needed to address the inconsistent revenue.

Inconsistent revenue and unpredictable expenses were making her unsure of her cash flow, which was the real stress producer. When you don't know if you have enough cash in the business to pay your team next month, everything feels overwhelming. It's easy to say I just need better systems to help me manage everything, but first, we have to get a handle on the profitability of the business to create peace of mind with the numbers.

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Main Areas of Focus - The How

profitability

We did a profitability exercise first to analyze the current offers. She was shocked to learn that much of their work was not making them money and the business was relying on the few offers that were profitable.

We broke down the 10 current offers to find:

  • which ones were profitable,

  • which offers needed to be removed,

  • removed all bespoke offers,

  • created a new offer suite focusing on only three core offers, and

  • we shared the new menu with the team to sell these and only these.

Project management

Once we got the numbers under control, we optimized systems including their project management tool.

Instead of switching platforms, we found a way to optimize Podio (her PM tool) to continue using it for production management. We found a way to build a sales pipeline within the same software. This saved us the stress and fees of adding new software.

With the support systems in place, we got clear about her role as CEO and what needed to be removed from her list of responsibilities. Now with a clear financial plan, she felt confident hiring a regular assistant so that she could spend more time on the business and less time on set.

Having part-time admin support and on set support, allows her to no longer feel like she's being pulled in a million directions and has returned her to the driver's seat of the company.

We got clear around all the tasks that were overwhelming her and created a slow but steady hiring plan. We added a bookkeeper to remove invoicing and AR, we then hired a part-time on set assistant, and created systems to slowly offload work from Lauren.

Knowing the business was now operating profitably and having a financial run-rate, gave Lauren the freedom to begin to hire for the roles that were really stressing her, and start feeling supported by her team.

sales positioning + Filling in the gaps

To test whether the new offers worked, we went to past clients, current clients, and past leads and upsold them into the new offers. It was important to fill in some of the financial gaps we were seeing for the rest of the year.

A lot of their clients were getting services at an old rate. We did some band positioning work to get clear on the company's new value proposition, how to speak to it, the ROI they provide for clients, and how to upsell people into these new packages.

When we went back and sold the new offers to recent customers, current customers, and leads in the pipeline, it leveled out the monthly projections and cash flow sheet we built.

Did someone say merger?

While we were working together, they received an offer from a client who wanted to merge companies with them.

After digging into the details of the deal, it became clear that there was no true benefit to the merger because Lauren was now running a highly profitable company with a more supportive team. Initially, the merger seemed enticing because she couldn't handle the responsibilities of a CEO.

When we addressed the mindset around this, she realized she liked being the CEO and declined the merger.

Results

After working with me for four months, this team is now focused on profitable growth and building out the proper team to scale. They are currently set to reach 7-figures sooner than they expected and most importantly, they are confidently leading their business and have no interest in a merger anytime soon.

They now have cashflow projections, systems, support, time management and a growing empowered team.

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