Moving Up A Gear
Some people think that running a successful business is a kind of race to the finish line – you know when you’ve got there because you can breast the tape, sit down and put your feet up. Of course, the reality is very different. For a start, success doesn’t look the same to everyone. For some it’s making enough to cover modest outgoings while having plenty of time for hobbies or holidays; for others it’s presiding over a multi-million-pound empire. Lots of us fall somewhere between the two.
Often, we come to a point where we need to make a decision about scaling our business back or pushing into fresh – and potentially scary – territory. This is where Sally Reeve found herself a few years ago.
Sally is a consultant with Cambridge Weight Plan. She has a background in nutritional therapy and has been building a team and selling weight-loss products for the last 13 years. She currently manages a team of 20 other consultants in the Kent/Surrey/Sussex region and can rightly claim to have made a success out of her hard work by any measure.
What To Do Next?
However, Sally recently got to the point where she was facing a tricky decision relating to her earnings. In some ways it was a nice problem to have – Sally was close to hitting the Vat threshold. It hadn’t been an issue previously as products were Vat exempt, but services weren’t and the conundrum was whether to limit the business to keep it Vat-free or to grow the business enough to make Vat registration worthwhile.
‘I really didn’t want to scale the business back,’ says Sally. ‘It had been a significant achievement to get my business to this point and I was reluctant to limit my opportunities because I was worried about how I would pull myself up to the next level.’
‘I was already a client and friend of Sarah’s and she recommended I join her Accountability Club, (which has a very supportive Facebook group) as a way to bump start my new growth mindset. In December 2014 I was one of the handful of women who embarked on Sarah’s month-long VIP programme, which really jet-started me on the path towards my new goals.’
What Is Success?
In many ways, Sally was in an enviable position: her business was so successful that she was encountering challenges relating to the level of her income, rather than worrying about how she would make ends meet. But in many ways she was facing the same problems as many startups – how to sell to a new customer base when you don’t feel like sales is one of your personal strengths.
‘The big thing for me was feeling that I wasn’t a natural sales person and that the whole notion of selling was slightly disreputable,’ says Sally.
How Sarah Helped
‘The lesson I learned from Sarah – and the one that has stayed with me ever since – is that there’s nothing wrong with selling things to people. It’s actually OK for me to help people to lose weight and to make a living from it. Selling doesn’t have to be an innate skill; it’s something you can learn to do, just like anything else.’
‘I learned a lot about overcoming the fear of rejection and about finding a way to get in front of your potential client and then standing out for all the right reasons. I now do three things every day to build my sales pipeline, whereas I used to have a very ad hoc approach to it all.’
Sally has already seen the fruits of her efforts with a 20% increase on her previous year’s income. Her focus this year is on recruitment so she can train others up and spread the load.
‘Sarah has a laser-like focus and a very honest approach, which I really value,’ concludes Sally. ‘She won’t let you get away with making excuses, which, on the one hand sometimes puts you in an uncomfortable position, but, on the other, forces you to step up and own your actions.’
I wholeheartedly recommend any woman who feels stuck with her business to get in touch with Sarah.