Peter Hayward’s company was a mere two months from bankruptcy when he made the crucial decision to attend a Digital Lighthouse seminar – now, thanks to what he learned there, he expects to turnover £1 million in sales this year.
Peter’s company Glass Polish Ltd. (which he co-owns with majority shareholder Shane O’Brart) had been averaging a turnover of between £300,000 and £400,000 annually and had clients like Marks & Spencer, Harrods, Tesco, and Next but in June last year, it was struggling to keep afloat due mostly to an over-complex business structure and late customer payments. The company operates an international franchise operation and also has a national network of service providers who do glass repairs on construction sites and in High Street retail shops.
“We were probably two months away from bankruptcy in June last year,” recalls Peter.
“Our businesses were in a real mess – we had five different limited companies and three bank accounts yet our cash flow was non-existent.
“At that stage, we were £25,000 overdrawn in the bank, we hadn’t paid the wages for some of the staff and we were owed £30,000 from customers, of which probably about £10,000 was not collectable.
“Today, we are owed £110,000 and we only owe out £30,000. Of that £110,000, it is all collectable. So that is where we have tripled the turnover, since that first weekend with Digital Lighthouse.”
Inspired by what he learnt at the weekend introductory seminar, Peter immediately signed up to the Platinum Programme. “Previously, I’d done courses and read books about marketing – the thing that most appealed to me about being part of the Platinum Programme was that I knew I would be held accountable each month by Jonathan and the rest of the group. Someone was going to make sure I did what I said I was going to do.”
At that first meeting, Digital Lighthouse’s Founder Jonathan Jay had suggested Peter amalgamate the three businesses.
“We had staff that shouldn’t have been there, we had businesses that had no money and I knew that those businesses had to close down; I knew that those people had to leave the business but I didn’t do anything about it. Jonathan and others saying ‘Well you’ve got to do this and this’ then made me realise it was time to take action.
“I started straight away on the Monday after the first meeting and it took two months to make those basic changes because obviously I had to discuss it all with my business partner and other members of staff.
“There were some hard decisions to be made. We ended up making three members of staff redundant and closing an office in London and moving it all to one location.
“By the first of August last year, we had cut down from five limited companies to one limited company, gone from three VAT numbers to one VAT number and three bank accounts to one bank account.
“Since August, we’ve done lots of little things – we’ve upgraded our website, made more effort to stay in contact with our existing customers and we’ve started to build our database. “In the past, we’ve worked for really big companies like Harrods, Next, Marks & Spencer’s, Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s and all the major construction companies but once we invoiced them, we virtually forgot about them. “We have now put a system in place to collect those names and stay in contact our customers. We are going to start doing a direct mail mailing and then any enquiries that we get will go on the database. “It has been a little bit difficult to be more proactive but it is bringing extra business so that is where my confidence now comes from.
“I’ve learn from Jonathan that it’s important to stay in constant touch with people. We tried mailings in the past but when they didn’t work, we abandoned them. We now know that to get results it needs to be done month in, month out. Jonathan has said one mailing will never work so you should keep doing it.
“I’ve also started planning – I always thought I had a business plan and cash flow but it was in my head. Getting it down on paper and actually spending some time doing that has just been a revelation because we now have a two year plan and we are hitting our targets every month.
“In fact, we have beaten those targets three months in a row.
“Our expansion so far has only been within the UK and we are going to more than double our turnover this year and do it again the following year. So this year we will turn over £1 million and the next financial year, we will do nearly £2 million. We know that’s possible because we haven’t even touched the surface yet. That’s where it starts to get exciting.
“In year two, we are going to be looking at licensing worldwide – we have franchises in 15 countries right now but only some are making money. We want to go back and study how we found the ones that make us money and see how their business models work and then find more like them.
“I’ve so much more confident now because we are hitting our targets and it’s all come from doing lots of little things.
“That is the main thing I have got from Digital Lighthouse: the importance of all the little things that you can do to expand your business.
“I had always been told that it was the little things that count but I’d never believed it. But because it’s worked for me, for Jonathan, and for all the other business owners at the Platinum meetings, I now know that it really is the little things that count.
“There isn’t that one magic way of advertising, there isn’t that one magic customer, it is the little things. We have done little things to the website and it has increased responses.
“I am so confident as I go into this year that it is going to get even better and it is going to get easier.”
For further information about Glass Polish Ltd., please visit www.glasspolish.
I’ve Spent Thousands On Other Programmes But Only Digital Lighthouse Inspired Me To Take Action