Late one night when I came to the Entrepreneur Circle, I thought I was doing okay with marketing actually, but I was a one-man band really here. And the then regional manager can be a bit of a kick up the ass and said, “Look at your website, look at this, look at that.” And it was a real, real shock. To start with I didn’t like it and then I realised what a fantastic thing it was to have had it. And so it really started from there. I suppose there was a time of overwhelm where I thought, “Oh my God, there’s just so many things I could do, need to do, where do I start?” But slowly and slowly, I’ve just managed to do one bit at a time. I’ve learned such a lot and it’s helped my business. I mean, we’re now turning over a lot more than we were then. I know where I am, I know what I need to be doing. I don’t always do it, but I’ve got people behind me at the EC that I can always go and ask. So it’s been absolutely a game changer for us.
At the end of June our accounts, and we’d gone up by 20 percent on the previous year, which was amazing. Our profit had gone up. It’s just been fantastic. And also we’ve opened up lots of different… What we’ve managed to do is to be much more focused on what we need to be doing rather than lots of other things. And I think I went off on these different journeys in my head and when it actually came down to it and I got challenged by it, realised those things aren’t important, we should be focusing on X, Y, Z. And by doing that, that’s actually helped us increase our turnover and our profit.
I think I knew deep down that I needed to do something to look at the business, decide what we needed to do for the future, but I didn’t really know what, because we’ve been ticking along quite nicely. I mean we’ve been in business for a number of years, but I just knew I suppose, that I needed someone from outside to look at the business and say, “right, this is what you need to do.” So that’s what I was looking for.
First is the support from all of you guys at the EC. But knowing that I can call up or I can email. And then if there’s something usually you’ll come back that day or someone will know, or you’ll put me in touch with someone. And sometimes you give me too many things. You throw all sorts of things at me, that I could do, which is brilliant and I’m up for the challenge and obviously the second thing is getting to know everyone because just having that network of people that are in the same situation is so different to a normal networking thing where you’ve got to do referrals and leads. And I hate all that. This is about all of us in the same boat with lots of business issues and where I’m able to just discuss it with each other. There’s no competition. And it really is… There’s just so much collaboration. So I’ve met loads and loads of new friends in the EC.
Mandy Stephens – PhoneCoach limited