How we doubled revenue in a year

Three business leaders reveal how they supercharged their sales

Three business leaders reveal how they supercharged their sales

Three business leaders reveal how they supercharged their sales

Richard Hughes
Group managing director, First Artist Corporation

Events and entertainment management group First Artist Corporation has used acquisitions to boost turnover 411 per cent to £48.6 million over the past year.

We have made eight acquisitions in the past few years and have a much broader base to our offering as a result. That has strengthened the business and means that if there is a downturn in one area, the group as a whole isn’t totally reliant on it. The concept for
First Artist is to build a portfolio of businesses that offer opportunities for cross referral of income between them.

With this approach it’s important to be able to steer the business as a whole from a strategic standpoint and that means trying to avoid micromanaging the individual arms and letting the management teams get on with running their part of the business.

Be aware that after making an acquisition, cross-selling doesn’t come into play overnight, but if you’ve brought together complementary businesses, they should integrate eventually and that will benefit the bottom line.

Martin Bowman
Sales and marketing manager, Gael Quality

Gael Quality, one of Scotland’s fastest-growing software businesses, has increased sales of its core application 91 per cent in one year by pursuing volume rather than simply chasing the big deals.

One of the things we’ve tried to do is develop a sales model that is a hybrid of traditional and web 2.0 approaches. While the usual strategy for the software industry is to concentrate on landing high-value, low-volume deals, we have decided to focus on small deals in the SME market. This is a fast-growing area for the software solutions we provide, creating a lot of sales opportunities.

To complement this, we attempted to reduce the cost per sale and the time it takes to make them by using a technology that allows us to hold video conferences in our own offices, which clients can access online. That means that rather than sending high-paid executives out on the road to try and land big deals, we can hold meetings in-house at a lower cost and higher frequency. Our sales staff have gone from spending an average of ten days on the road per month to just three days, which saves a huge amount of time and money for the business.

Jonathan Jenkins
Executive director, Myhome International

Franchising has worked well for residential homecare business Myhome International, with a 90 per cent increase in turnover and a 99 per cent hike in profits over the past year.

Myhome has a network of around 750 franchisees covering a range of brands from automotive to residential cleaning services.

A couple of acquisitions contributed to the numbers this year but the growth in turnover is really down to the efforts of the franchisees. For that kind of growth to occur, having a good recruitment policy and training programme in place is vital.

We look for franchisees that have passion and the maturity to run their own business, but believe they could benefit from the support network offered. You need the right sort of person to make a franchise work, so we’re careful about whom we recruit. We don’t want out-and-out entrepreneurs who often want to run a business in their own way but we do need someone with the passion to drive the business forward.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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