Our client had recently added a second brand to their long established first brand, in an effort to expand their service offering. However, the distinction between the two brands were not clearly identified or communicated - leaving employees as well as prospective & current customers confused about both brands.
After a one-day session with the leadership team and additional conversations with key stakeholders within each brand, Tonic identified what was critical to each brand and what would make each brand unique in the marketplace. We crafted brand positioning statements including the Who, the How, the Why and What is Unique about each brand and rolled them out internally through messaging workshops. The brand positioning statements became the North Star to help each employee truly understand the brands and enable them to talk to customers and prospects. We also worked to adjust the marketing materials and activities to illuminate the key distinctions between the two brands.
With declining sales and non-existent marketing efforts, our client called us to help get the company into a position of growth. The sales team had become reliant on marketing & inbound leads, however given limited budget the marketing efforts had stopped. As a result, RFPs dried up, inbound leads decreased and the sales team wasn’t armed with the right skills to find new business.
Tonic created a strategic sales strategy that identified target client types and outreach discipline, as well as an organic growth initiative. The goal was to arm the team with a compelling message and the right tools needed to grow existing business and seek new business. Similarly, Tonic created a full marketing strategy & communication plan to reinvigorate the brand presence in the marketplace. We prioritized those marketing efforts that maximized budget, and created the best opportunities. With a small team and minimum budget, the mantra was “Focus” to ensure the employees stayed on track and on strategy.
A fabrication company, specializing in trade show booths and permanent installations, had not been able to make a profit since a change in leadership occurred three years earlier. Everyone was frustrated, as the business was very busy, people were working long hours including weekends, and yet there had been no raises or bonuses available due to a lack of profit. Leaders thought they knew what was wrong but they all blamed someone or something else. All employees were demotivated and frustrated, and injuries started to occur more regularly due to the long hours.
Tonic did an audit of the organization by conducting a series of interviews with all leaders and key employees. Tonic then analyzed the input and identified key challenges. After senior management feedback and alignment, Tonic facilitated a workshop with all leaders in the organization to openly discuss the challenges and brainstorm corrective actions. Tonic then worked with each leader individually, to give support and insure that the suggested changes were being implemented. Adjustments were made as needed to help ensure change occurred. The actions resulted in the company achieving an 8% profit in year one, and a 14% profit in year two.
A solo entrepreneur was running a quick growing agency and did not have the time, energy, or acumen to keep track of the business. She knew she was doing well, she knew she was paying her bills, but she didn’t know if she could invest, hire, or even how much money she was making. Additionally, she was running so fast that project budgets were filled with mistakes and reconciliations were drawn out and poorly managed.
Initially, we were hired to organize the agency’s finances. We developed a P&L based upon sold work and captured all of the expenses that were part of the operations of the business. We then looked at prospective sales and developed an operating budget for the current year, as well as a pro forma budget for the following year. We also reviewed the budgeting methodology being utilized by the agency and revised/updated as needed for accuracy. We then transitioned to a retained business manager for agency with responsibilities including: annual operating budget development, monthly P&L management, business management mentoring and guidance, project budget and pricing reviews, as well as defense of budgets with client buyers.
Our client had a sales team who didn’t consider themselves “sales people”. Organic growth happened almost on accident and without strategic intent, creating challenges for revenue projections and internal scrambling and chaos when they were awarded a new project. All Account Directors were extremely busy, wearing multiple hats and managing projects but needed to take a step back and think about growth and the importance of sales. They needed an organized process and strategy to ensure the company’s ongoing success.
Tonic conducted a series of interviews with each Account Director and the leadership team in order to really understand the team, their processes, and similarities and differences. We found that each AD defined their role differently, understood the company’s capabilities differently and therefore approached their accounts differently from one another - probably leaving revenue on the table. We then conducted a one-day, in-person, organic growth workshop to give the ADs an opportunity to come together, hear and learn from one another and roll-out the organic growth initiative. We spent a large portion of the workshop discussing the role of the AD, their individual challenges and opportunities and thinking through growth potential for each account. We provided the team with cheat sheets, in-depth growth plans and simplified plans for smaller accounts or those under time constraints to help organize the initiative & keep them all accountable.
One of our clients was running their business without any strategic insight into their finances. They knew in general if they were making money on a month to month basis due to the positive or negative cash flow. Early the following year, they knew exactly how much (or little) money they made the previous year and that’s how they decided on bonuses. However, due to the one-off project nature of our industry, they couldn’t predict if, or how much, they were going to make this year and certainly could not strategically plan for next year. They simply ran their business on their “gut” instinct, and made business decisions on staff or other investments based upon what was the largest fire on their desk.
Tonic implemented a proven methodology to predicting financial outcomes based upon past performance. This is a method used by publicly traded companies who have to be able to predict performance quarterly and annually with great accuracy - even with with a project-based industry like ours. We first analyzed the past financial performance of our client and organized those numbers into a structure that ensured an “apples to apples” comparison with current year performance. We then did the same with the agency’s historical and current sales projections. Finally, we flowed all of that data into a tool that creates the ability to have past performance predict future performance. From these insights, we were able to develop an operating budget for the current year, as well as a projected budget for the next year. This allowed our client to to manage their business strategically, invest in growth with knowledge and insight, and achieve greater success.