From Winging It to Clarity and Direction

OTILAS

Ben Choy really knew his stuff when it came to IT solutions, his field of expertise. But like many small
business owners, his skills in running an enterprise were lacking. The business was surviving, but operating day-by-day, without any clear direction or well-structured systems in place. Ben and his business partner realised that without some expert help, their business may not survive, so they decided to get some guidance through business coaching.

Listen to the case study interview:

THE CHALLENGES

The main challenges to overcome included a lack of direction, poor systems, and a feeling of being overworked and overwhelmed.

BACKGROUND

Otilas is an IT solutions provider servicing small-tomedium enterprises (SMEs), corporations and government departments. Run by a husband and wife team, Otilas is a one-stop shop where all a client’s IT needs are taken care of in one place. A couple of years ago, the business was not going too brilliantly. While the owners had drawn up an original plan of sorts, it was never finished, and the business lacked direction. And while clients were getting the services they needed, the administration and cash-flow sides of the business were taking a back seat, even getting out of control.

1. Poor Direction and Planning

The owners realised that while they were getting the jobs done, they were really just winging it day-by-day, without a clear direction or vision in place, and without seeing the bigger picture. They didn’t really know what they wanted to achieve, or how to get there.

Solution: Through coaching programs such MaxMyProfit’s Business Excelerator’s, the owners have established and put in place a long-term plan – something which Ben says will need to evolve as the business grows and
changes. Having a clearer direction has also meant they have been able to change their market targeting and add greater value in their client services.

2. Poor Systems and Cash Flow

Ben says that while there were systems in place, they were mostly in their heads, and were not documented. The lack of proper processes also meant that cash flow was poor. In some cases, clients were not even being billed, which led to a loss of revenue.

Solution:Coaching enabled the owners to develop and document better systems and processes, and to take a more structured approach with clients. This has ensured that clients now not only get the services they needed, they are also being invoiced on time. Ben also indicates that the tools, resources and templates provided by MaxMyProfit have been particularly good for the business.

3. Negative Mindset and Feelings of Overwhelm

Working up to 100 hours a week was leading to Ben feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by the business, and generally feeling down about it. He also felt he was at times “too emotional” when dealing with clients.

Solution: Through the coaching and the development of better systems and procedures, Ben has been able to substantially reduce his working hours, and he now reports that he feels a lot more positive and happy about the business.
He also says that while overcoming emotional reactions can still be a challenge at times, a more positive mindset and better systems have made it easier.

OUTCOMES

Ben considers that without Business Coaching, the positive benefits that have been achieved would not have happened, and even that the business may have failed to survive. Some of the outcomes of the coaching include:

  • Working hours have been reduced to between 40 and 60 hours – which is almost half of what they were before.
  • Business revenue has grown by 10-15%.
  • The business has been able to secure more project work.
  • With a clearer vision in place, Ben and his partner are now much better at spotting new opportunities, and have become much clearer on what needs to be done in the business

On a personal level, Ben says his one-on-one coach has been a sounding board for him when he feels stuck, and that it’s good to have that third person on board to provide help when needed. He also reports enjoying networking through the Quarterly Excelerator Conferences, which allows him to mingle with other business owners, and to discuss business related issues with them. When asked what he would say to other business owners considering MaxMyProfit’s Programs, Ben says: “Do it. It can be one of the greatest things you could do for your business, because not every one person has all the answers. It’s very hard running a business as it is, and you really need to get support and advice from others.”