Case Histories

1.  One of my favorite case histories is the story of a very small retail company whose owner was the fifth generation to own the business.  In almost 100 years the business had gone through ups and downs, and changed its product lines a bit, but it was essentially the same.  Unfortunately, when I walked in the door it was preparing to close forever.

The owner trusted me with an initial payment that he had plenty of other uses for.  Sales were not sufficient to pay overhead, much less the owner, and his personal finances were in shambles. 

The first step was to establish his internet presence, which we quickly did with Youtube, blogs, seo on his website, and press releases.  Next we had a heart-to-heart talk about improving the closing percentage and the total sale per invoice with those few clients coming through the door.  With almost no inventory left, we devised strategies to convince customers to come back the next day for pickup, so the owner could go get the product from a local wholesaler. 

Within weeks, sales were up enough to build a small amount of cash, and we went to work on the street view.  The location was not visible from the primary street, so we changed signs and created signs on the primary street to increase walk in traffic.

As sales and profits improved, we carefully crafted strategies to grow the business wisely.  After four years the company sales are over three times what they were in 2008.  We held a big 100th anniversary celebration in 2009.  The owner is now taking home a substantial income and has savings in the bank.  If you would like to talk to the owner about our effort on his behalf, send me an email and ask for the contact information for LB.

2.  A musical instrument teacher approached me in 2008 and was interested in giving private lessons.  She only wanted to have about 16 students, so we didn't want to spend a huge amount of money to reach that level.  We created a blog instead of a website, then generated a massive online presence through directories, local search engines, and online Yellow Pages.  We also did YouTube videos and promoted those heavily, believing that the videos would show a gentle loving teacher who would appeal to the moms who would be making the decision in most cases.

Within a couple of months, the teacher was at the top of the critical keywords and getting calls from as far as 20 miles away.  Within months she had filled all the spots and within a year was able to raise her rates to $50 an hour due to over demand for the limited spots.  To talk to this client about our capabilities, ask for contact information on CN

3.  A mortgage industry professional had a decent following, but was concerned about the real estate bust and the effect it might have on his sales.  We immediately created a robust website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube presence.  We also provided direction for him to amass a large email list, and we started sending out emails to his list with an over 30% open rate. 

We eventually created over 50 YouTube videos, several of which have landed in the general search on page one for excellent Keywords.  His Google Places presence is also very high for an independent contractor who must fight for those keyword slots against major financial institutions. 

Through the use of these and other tools, this client has been so busy during the last four years that he has recommended us to many other companies.  Meanwhile others in his business have had to seek employment elsewhere as the mortgage industry has contracted by a huge amount.  If you would like to hear more from this individual about how we have helped him, send an email request for the contact information on BR

4.  JS heard about an opportunity to purchase a high end personal services business in a vacation destination for barely over the cost of facilities and inventory.  She called and asked about the opportunity.  She decided to buy it anyway (just kidding), and hired us to help her launch the business.  After a grand party to celebrate the new ownership, the business saw a nice increase in traffic. 

However, the profits were not there.  Efforts to increase the traffic even more were held back by the lack of marketing money available, and the small local population base.  Eventually we convinced JS that she needed to lower costs by changing her compensation plan for the staff.  We were called in to explain the change, and the entire staff stayed on.  The profits went from -0- to well above that. 

JS decided to sell the business, but with the old profit and loss, there was no market.  We helped to restructure the p & l, provide a pro forma based on the new compensation plan, draw up a recommended marketing effort, and otherwise market the business to a buyer.  A buyer was found who was $25,000 under the lowest amount we believed was reasonable.  With continued input, we were able to get the purchase offer to within $5000, and the business is in escrow.  For more information or to talk to JS, who has now hired us for another business, send an email.

5.  This attorney was heavily involved in internet activity, including spending large amounts for pay per click, and employing someone full time for internet management.  With all of that, he was still not able to become visible online in a large enough territory to keep fully busy. 

Within 70 days we were able to hit his goal, and he now has to turn clients over to other attorneys due to the overflow of calls he is receiving.  To speak with JM, send me an email

6.  This food retailer had opened his business almost 30 years earlier.  He now had a second location, and like many such businesses, employed his entire family.  When the recession hit, he went from having all the luxuries of life, to quickly being behind in his bills, both corporate and personal.  In 2009, another client recommended I go see CF.  He was contemplating closing his second location, and wasn't sure he could even stay in business. 

In this case, we immediately asked if he would be willing to share his profit and loss statement.  He pulled it up, and we went over it line-by-line.  Sales were down, but profits were down more.  After asking a few questions, the decision was made to raise his prices by about 10%.  He was concerned that he would lose some large clients.  I assured him that he wouldn't, but that in any case, the alternative was worse.

Not one client said anything about the price increase and we increased them again the next year.  We redid this website, added social media, amassed a huge email list, and helped to produce a hugely successful 30th birthday celebration with over 700 attending.  Both locations are still open, sales are back to almost their historic highs, and income is acceptable if not quite what we would all like yet. 
If you would like to discuss our services with CF, please email and ask for contact information. 

7.  An manufacturer/importer called in March of 2011, and wondered if I could help with a product launch.  The product would be demonstrably better than the competition, but the competitive products were similar and firmly entrenched.  We agreed to help. 

We provided the client with a recommended budget that included trade shows, internet, email blasts, print advertising to the dealer base and the consumers, contests, and promotions aimed at consumers, dealers, and distributor sales.  While working on this primary product launch, we were also evaluating the other product lines and providing direction on extensions, promotions, and integration with the new line.  We were also called on to evaluate new products and packaging 

At the end of the first full year sales are double and profits have soared.  New products are ready for launch and we are creating a strategy designed to increase sales by another 50% or more.  If you would like to talk to SG, send me an email for his contact information.

8.  MS has a school and a ton of competition in his city.  He was spending a substantial amount on Google AdWords to maintain a first page presence under the keywords that mattered to him.  We immediately began a campaign of citations and backlinks to his website, along with a substantial change to the key wording of his home page.  As a result, on most days he is #1 or #2 for the two keywords he cares about most and #1 everyday for a large list of less important and long tail keywords.  MS will be happy to tell you more.  Send me an email requesting his contact info.

9.  Builders and construction companies have been easier for us to help than you might think in this difficult time for the building trades.  MS called two years ago and his phone just wasn't ringing.  His home, which was also his business location, was outside of a major metro area and he had no visibility in that major city.  His website was dated. 

We rebuilt the website and set him up on every local search engine possible.  We added all social media, did YouTube videos, and have recently created a Pinterest presence.  MS has been busy almost constantly since, and called a few days ago to ask help in expanding into a new category.  If you would like to speak with MS, please send an email.

10.  If you would like more references, we can supply as many as you like.  But maybe my own business would be as good a reference as any.  In 2007 I was forced to sell a manufacturing business that my partner and i had grown from the ground up to over $5,000,000 in annual sales.  Without going into a lot of detail in this place, the company was just unable to overcome several setbacks starting with the dot com bust and 911.  However, in those 26 years we had developed several very successful lines of products with sales to small retailers and major mass retailers alike. We also had a major presence in the advertising specialties business.

After the sale, I was left with virtually no cash, credit or other resources.  After making the decision to enter the consulting business, I hit the road and started marketing myself to retailers in the bicycle business.  From there I used the same approaches that I recommend to my clients and have built the business with double digit increases each year.  The company now employs one full time person and several part time individuals.  If you would like to speak with RK about the services that helped the company to grow like that in a recession and with no cash, send me an email or call 310-910-1848

No comments: