When the CEO of a family business came to one of our certified consultants in 2012 for help, he was frustrated to the point of selling his company. With about $18 million in revenues, the company was running near breakeven with a 7% revenue growth rate. The managers were working, but they were simply going through the motions, only doing what the boss required. The CEO was frustrated because his team was not making progress. Within a year or two, the company awoke and began performing. Seven years later, it hardly resembled it’s 2012 state.
The three top leaders had joined the firm in 1985, and the culture was that no-one got fired, ever. In his frustration, the CEO would urge one manager to move forward for a little while, but as soon as he turned away, things stopped. Then he’d find another manager to push on some other priority. Other times, he would just jump in just do it himself.
It was a no fun, stagnant, no growth situation. Yet the business had great people, loyal customers and excellent service.
Our certified consultant was retained to help guide them grow the company. The CEO was convinced their strategy was fine, but wanted to focus on operational efficiency. Our consultant, sensing a need for role clarity, accountability and operational planning prescribed the One Page Business Plan.
Seven One Page Plans were created… one for the company and six other plans, one for each of the managers. Our consultant coached all seven leaders on how to set up the plans, and began monthly plan reviews. During those reviews, team members would come together and discuss if they had hit their targets and helped each other problem solve and improve performance. They embraced the process and became excited about what they could accomplish.
The consultant coached the CEO to sit back and listen and let the managers do their jobs. And they did… he began to see vastly improved communication between the managers. Results began to improve. A culture of improvement began to emerge in the team across all the departments and for all the leaders. The CEO was able to watch his team work to achieve their One Page Plan objectives. Everybody was more engaged and having more fun.
At the end of the first year, profits jumped from 0.8% to 3.5%… which was huge. Both the team and the CEO felt great about what they had accomplished. At the end of that first year, we asked the managers what they thought of the process. One person said, “Last year, it felt like we were in the trunk of the car, along for the ride. But now it feels like we’re all sitting in the car and can see what’s going on and be involved in it”. This was the kind of transformative change that empowered the management team… that’s what drove them to get to that 3.5% profit.
The next year, sales still hadn’t grown as much as they’d wanted. But now they could afford to hire their first outside VP of sales, who had run a division probably five or six times their size. (The company had never had a professional sales manager.) By the end of that second year, revenues grew 18% and profits grew to 4.3%. The managers were having a great time, working hard, and their efforts were now focused on the right things. The CEO and his team actually achieved the growth themselves… but it was the One Page Plans that helped them understand the game and how to win it.
At the end of that year, we guided them in adding some new strategies to their One Page Plans since they were now operating at a much higher level. With the increased growth and profits, they were able to hire a VP of Operations. By that time, they had twelve mangers with One Page Plans, producing real, measurable, and extraordinary results for the company.
By 2019, the company was doing $52 million in revenue and grew 20.6% that year. They still use the One Page Business Plan methodology and web portal, and now have increased to 17 plans. On summary, over those seven years, the company went from $18 million to $52 million in revenues, and profit went from 0.8% to 5.94% with everyone on the leadership team fully engaged and excited to keep their business healthy, growing, and increasingly profitable.
The CEO is no longer frustrated… he and his team accomplish their goals each year and set new ones to pursue.
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