A clean sweep to sustainable, profitable growth

A clean sweep to sustainable, profitable growth

The Lakethorne Group, based in West London, had started business 20 years earlier as a Safeclean franchise focusing on domestic carpet cleaning. It had gone on to develop a commercial cleaning arm, which had fast become the dominant part of the business. By the end of 2005, when TCii became involved, the business had grown to £1.4 million in sales and was making modest profits.

Our challenge

Lakethorne’s target was to grow the business in a sustainable and profitable way during the next five years and reach an annual turnover of £5 million by the end of 2010.

What we did

The first step was to set up a regular one-day monthly review meeting with the MD. This was later extended to include his key direct reports. The meeting dates were planned for 6 to 12 months ahead, and each meeting focused on working “on” the business rather than “in” the business.

During these meetings around 25% of the time was spent on reviewing past performance and achievements. The remaining 75% was devoted to agreeing corrective action needed to resolve any business problems and grow profitably.

The next step was to identify the cost and profit drivers of the business. Costs that were not adding value to the business were stopped. During this process it became clear that, while the business had grown, it still had a large number of small, low-profit customers. Targets to secure new and bigger customers were therefore set, and appropriate strategies implemented.

  • Performance of individual sales personnel was reviewed monthly and changes were made to strengthen the team.
  • The company’s first-ever website was developed and launched, raising the profile of the company among its target audience.
  • Work on internal systems was undertaken to ensure that systems and processes were relevant, efficient and effective.
  • ISO 9001/28000 quality credentials were pursued.

The outcome

Sales volume grew each year, and the company won its first £1 million-plus contract in 2009. The business achieved its 2010 turnover target, profitably.

Lakethorne MD Richard Bent commented:

“The transition from a small company to one employing several hundred people has not been without its challenges … TCii’s help in establishing a proper business plan and effective systems and procedures … has helped us build the business … but most of all, for me, it’s good to have someone I can bounce ideas off and who can help me see the wood for the trees … with their continued help I am confident the future is bright.”

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