David and Marie Cross have turned their business, First Impression Training, around and been able to enjoy some family quality time, all in less than three years.
“We’ve committed laser-light focus, energy and hard graft to bring our vision and goals to life,” Marie says. “Having reflected on just how much we’ve achieved already we are starting to feel not only immensely proud (albeit knackered!) of the work we’re putting in to ensure we achieve our goals but more importantly, we’re starting to feel like we’re really running a “proper pukka business” for the first time since our launch.”
David and Marie launched First Impression Training fourteen years ago, on the back of Marie’s successful freelance career working for other training companies. The couple have since been learning, implementing, and growing F.I.T. into a solid, successful business.
“We spent nine hours locked in a room at the Hilton Hotel in Maidstone to scope and plan what we wanted in both their professional and personal lives. This was our “Eureka!” meeting. We built a vision board to hold ourselves accountable, and set to work growing F.I.T. We weren’t modest with our plans. Our business goal was £500k of business in the first year or our new operations.”
David and Marie have been busy using referrals, Google, and their current customers to bring in new business.
“We forged a strategic partnership with a large public training provider to pitch for potential clients in our niche, and the first opportunity to come through was massive for us!” Marie tells us. “We’ve also had a lovely new business enquiry via a Google search that would be huge for F.I.T.”
The team have also been busy implementing some killer marketing strategies to get them closer to their vision board goals. Marie tells us, “We’ve updated the website again to offer more free lead bait, resources and videos, as well as making sure it was optimised for mobiles. We’ve also set up a few PPC campaigns, and we’ve seen the fruits of David’s SEO labour coming through.”
But it doesn’t end there for David and Marie. The dynamic duo has also been working hard on two marketing campaigns that are both yielding great results. The first, a video brochure campaign for their Dreamlist; the second, a four-stage campaign to pre-qualified leads, including a tear-sheet, sales letter and audio-card.
The F.I.T. team has also grown, with David and Marie taking on a full-time employee as well as two new F.I.T. associates to help drive their marketing efforts. Their hard work has been rewarded with numerous awards.
As far as personal goals, the couple wanted to free up their time at weekends, so they recruited a housekeeper and gardener, and celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with a big family party abroad; their business achievements enabled them to do this, as well as invest in their own personal skills, such as Marie’s Mindfulness and Reiki Masters training.