After an encouraging first year, a marketing services agency suffered a budget cutback and lost a major client. Second-year billings fell to 20% of the first year’s. Seeing the survival of her agency under threat, the managing partner, Pratima, came to me for mentoring.
Diagnosing the problems
First, I helped Pratima ascertain what was and wasn’t working in her business. We analysed monthly billings per client, sources of new business, strategies for winning new clients and growing existing ones, and reasons why pitches failed.
We also identified key employees’ strengths and areas for improvement.
Mentoring empowered Pratima to explore her personal motivations and how they were affecting her business. She realised that the agency hadn’t been stretching itself to go beyond the minimum. With my support, Pratima felt encouraged to expand her financial and business goals.
A change of focus
Our mentoring sessions soon revealed that Pratima had a tendency to look for things that might go wrong. Simply looking for what might go right, instead, changed the results she was getting. She learned that being her clients’ ally was key to winning and growing her business.
Pratima also realised the importance of delegating and trusting others, and began to see her business flourish without her direct input. She championed that process by taking a coaching approach to leadership.
A new vision
It became clear that Pratima’s company wasn’t making full use of the available business development strategies. With my input, Pratima was able to define key USPs, help her staff create internal PR programmes within the company’s clients, and set up referral partners.
The result was a new, powerful vision that included the evolution of Pratima’s organisation into a full-service integrated communications agency.
Along the way, Pratima addressed her own need for recognition at work and found more effective ways of meeting this need.
Gains for the company and its leader
Within four months, turnover had increased by 40% on the previous four-month period. For the next full year, it increased by 125%. Pratima also reported that the mentoring had helped her to feel calmer and more in control.