The six steps Eric and Lisa Shorr used to triple their bottom-line profit in one year.
Eric and Lisa Shorr were stuck.
Although their IT business, Secure Future Tech Solutions, had grown to nearly $2 million per year in revenue, they hit an income ceiling.
New businesses were crushing it and passing them by. Longtime clients started leaving them. “Being ‘good enough’ was no longer enough,” Lisa Shorr said.
Lisa, who works on the marketing and branding side, made changes which included:
- Changing their identity: They changed their name from PC Troubleshooters to Secure Future Tech Solutions. Rebranding included a new name, tagline, logo, and website. “PC Troubleshooters said old-school, mom-and-pop shop,” said Lisa.
- Polishing their team: Lisa and Eric focused on grooming, speaking skills, and new uniforms. They enhanced phone skills with new scripts and training, focusing on tone, volume, inflection, and so on. They also looked at nonverbal behavior such as rolling your eyes and slouching and grammar in emails and invoicing. The goal was to look at how these things impacted perceptions and affected trust.
While these changes halted the exodus of clients, they were still bumping up just shy of the $2 million income ceiling. Finally, after five years of being stuck there, the Shorrs were presented with an opportunity that became the pivot point for them. “Eric and I received an exclusive invitation from Microsoft SMB Champions to take part in a new pilot program put on by both Microsoft and the IT industry’s most in-demand marketing consultant Robin Robins,” she said.
In the first three months of participating in the program, Eric and Lisa generated over $37,000 in new revenue and received an honorable mention in Microsoft’s marketing contest. Within the first year, their services grew 24.1%. They increased overall company revenues by $413,308.71, not only growing top-line growth but tripling their bottom-line growth over the previous year. Even better, they accomplished this with essentially the existing staff, adding just one inside salesperson/appointment setter to follow up on their campaigns.
Here’s six steps they took to transform their business. How many are you using?
Step One: Shift To A Marketing Mindset
While Lisa came from a marketing and branding background, Eric was immersed in the computer and technology side. “Like many other tech-focused business owners, Eric didn’t invest in, nor understand, the importance of consistent marketing to grow our business,” Lisa said. “I wanted to invest in more marketing, but Eric saw it as an expense, not an investment.”
Immersing themselves in this new opportunity with Microsoft and Robin Robins created a mindset shift. Eric went from not having the time and resources for marketing to wanting to grow the business and get unstuck using marketing. “I saw my long-awaited MINDSET shift from thinking this “marketing stuff” was an expense to understanding marketing is an investment in the company,” Lisa said.
Step Two: Focus On Your Target Market
Eric and Lisa updated the SEO on their website, changing meta tags, search terms and the homepage content. These efforts resulted in closing two projects totaling $12,787.78.
Trade shows became very lucrative for the Shorrs due to focusing on their target audiences (the legal industry and property managers). For example, their sales engineer closed $58,398.67 in project work with $598 in new Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) from just a single show.
Step Three: Track, Measure And Analyze ALL Your Efforts
Knowledge about what is working, what isn’t and where you can improve creates big revelations as proved by the Shorr’s experience. “This [tracking] was a painful lesson for us,” Lisa confessed. “If it was not in QuickBooks or Autotask, we didn’t track it.” After creating spreadsheets for leads and tracking where they came from, they started tracking other areas of their business too. “We started with engineer utilization,” Lisa said. “Our reports reflected abysmal utilization percentages; almost everyone was below 45%! How much money were we losing?”
By tracking their numbers, setting a team goal of 75% every week, and reviewing results every Friday during the staff meeting, they were able to consistently average 75%. “Our billable hourly service revenues went up 24.1% that first year, reflecting a total of $159,667,” Lisa said. “It is so true: ‘People respect what you inspect.”
They also began doing Quarterly Business Reviews, launching the QBR campaign in Robin Robin’s Infusionsoft CRM program. “This was our first formal process for scheduling these,” Lisa said. “The automation helped a ton.”
They also tracked marketing campaigns throughout the year. Seeing the success early on, they ramped up their marketing efforts, executing 130 marketing campaigns which increased their overall revenues by $413,308.71.
Step Four: Add Proven Direct Mail Campaigns To Convert Leads
Eric and Lisa consistently sent direct mail campaigns following templates provided by Robin Robins. They did different variations of the campaign to target different segments of their audience and sent these to their farm and unconverted leads lists. For example, they sent the same campaign to attorneys, property managers, and CPAs, tweaking the language respectively to speak directly to their three target audiences.
Step Five: Create Weekly and Monthly Drip Campaigns
To remain “top of mind”, the Shorrs consistently send drip campaigns to both their current clients and to their prospects. Their drip campaigns include Done-For-You postcards sent monthly to prospects and unconverted leads, monthly newsletters to clients, and weekly TechTip e-mails sent to their house list. “Our newsletters are a big hit and contribute significantly to our QBR results,” Lisa said.
Step Six: Generate Multiple Opportunities Through Variety
The Shorrs didn’t just rely on one type of media for their marketing efforts. In addition to direct mail, events, and applying direct response and SEO to their website, they also participate in joint venture partnerships that focus on their top target market. Plus, they advertise in media which is read by their top target market.
Looking back on their growth, Eric and Lisa are excited about their future. “Five years without growth takes a severe toll on any business, but now our future is bright,” Lisa said. “Over the next year, we are well on target to hit the $3 Million revenue mark, and with the skills we’ve learned and the new mindset we have about our business and marketing, I’m certain we’ll top the $7 Million mark within five years and be well on our way to a self-sustaining business that can run without us!”
To learn about the program Eric and Lisa Shorr used to bust through their income ceiling and triple their bottom line, visit www.robinsproducersclub.com