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For over 15 years, a US based custom interior architecture and manufacturing business had designed and hand crafted beautiful custom wall displays and other artistic pieces that recognized the major accomplishments of nonprofits and the financial contributions of their donors.
From the outside in, the business was a huge success.
They had thousands of happy customers, a solid reputation, an incredibly hardworking, competent, and committed staff, and a beautiful, brand new facility.
In reality though, the company was unhealthy and unsustainable.
- Revenue and cash flow had been flat or declining for every year for the past 5 years. Unsure what to do, the owner defaulted to what she’d always done; put in more hours, sell more work, and hope the issue would correct itself.
- Confusion and misalignment were rampant across the leadership team. There wasn’t a shared vision for where the business was going or strategy and plan for what to do and how they would get there. As a result, new projects and initiatives would start and stop like flavors of the month. Few were ever completed and those that did, seldom delivered results that moved the business forward in a measurable way.
- Key Employees felt confused, frustrated, and undervalued. Many would put in extra hours to help drive key projects forward only to have their work tossed by leadership as direction and business needs seemed to change on a whim.
The owner needed to find a way to grow revenues and generate more cash flow, in a way that was consistent, predictable, scalable and required less of her direct involvement in the day to day operation.
Here’s how to we helped the owner get back on the path to growth:
Step 1: Audit the Current Reality
Our first step was to bring facts and insight to the surface about the known and unknown challenges and gaps, their root causes, and the impact. Our approach was interactive and inclusive:
- We interviewed the owner, leadership team, and key employees from across the business. We asked questions about the business and operating model, products and services, customers, the market, competitors, and more.
- We also analyzed and benchmarked the financials, conducted customer interviews, and completed a market and competitive assessment.
The result of this audit gave the owner and leadership team perspective on where the business was, what the highest priority business challenges and needs were. Additionally, they now had everything about the business organized and accessible in a single place.
Step 2: Craft the Growth Blueprint
Next, we worked with the owner and leadership team to select the first 3 priorities to focus on over the next quarter. Then, taking into consideration the company’s strengths, weaknesses, and constraints, we crafted strategies and plans that gave the owner and team clarity on what should be done, how, when, and by whom, to deliver the desired business result.
When we encountered work that was required that the company did not have the people, skills, or capabilities to execute, we helped the owner identify vetted people, partners, and capabilities from within the Bold Bridge network to assist.
Step 3: Building the Bridge
Our last step was simply to follow the Growth Blueprint and implement the solutions needed in the coming quarter. We managed and advised at every step making sure that the right outcomes were delivered, in the right sequence, risks and issues were identified and mitigated, and the owner and leadership team had visibility every step of the way.
As a result of our work:
- Revenue and cash flow are on a path to growth (pandemic slowed this some).
- Stress and overwhelm levels of the owner and leadership team plummeted. Confidence and clarity on what must be done first, next, and how, increased dramatically.
- Employees gained a voice and visibility into exactly the value of their contribution toward the overall success of the company