HELLO 2021 & GOODBYE 2020!
By Andy Boothroyd, the founder of AWB Consulting Group which acts as your sales and new business growth partner. Andy provides a range of services, including lead generation, key account targeting and social selling, to help businesses find and win profitable new clients.
As the year starts to turn – how are you feeling about 2021?
As a naturally optimistic person, I remain positive that things will get better next year, particularly given the recent breakthroughs with vaccine trials. That said, it’s clear there will be many casualties and the levels of confidence from a lot of business owners are still very fragile.
I think businesses will need to be leaner and more agile and I can see a growing trend towards outsourcing some functions, or using freelancers, rather than having more staff on the payroll.
Personally, I can’t wait start seeing our towns and cities busy again and the return of things like live events and travelling.
What are your business goals for the coming year?
Firstly, I want to continue growing my client base, so I can help more businesses increase their sales. I want to make more investments in the business and grow a partnership network, to ensure I'm able to provide an even broader package of services for clients.
And finally, I want to get more involved with the local business community, so I’m working with my local Chamber of Commerce to explore potential opportunities and initiatives.
Will you be introducing any new products or services?
Almost certainly yes. I can’t reveal too much yet, but I’m currently working with one of my partners to scope out a new service offering that will broaden capabilities across more marketing services. I also want to ensure our services can be accessible to as many businesses as possible, so to that end, I’ll be creating tailored ‘Good, Better, Best’ service packages that clients can choose based on their specific requirements and budget.
Will you be looking to employ any new staff during the new year?
We probably won’t be employing any more people directly, but we’ll be looking to build on our network of freelancers and partners, that can be called upon for specific campaigns and projects.
Will you be looking for any new local suppliers in 2021?
I’m always on the look out for interesting suppliers and partners, particularly in the digital space, so things like social media marketing, SEO and marketing automation could be areas I’ll be looking at.
Are you looking to invest in yourself as a business owner or company director in 2021 in any way?
Absolutely! I’ve always felt its vital to invest in yourself as a manager, leader or business owner in order to stay sharp and relevant. I devour business books and usually have two or three on the go at any one time. Anthony Iannarino is my favourite sales author, but I’m currently reading ‘Virtual Selling’ by Jeb Blount, which is essential reading for anyone working in sales right now.
I also subscribe to ‘MasterClass’, which is fantastic for online classes. I highly recommend Daniel Pink’s course on Sales and Persuasion and also Chris Voss on Negotiation.
I invested in a personal trainer earlier in the year when the gyms were closed the first time round, which has been a great investment. Working from home means I’m moving around much less, so it’s important to try and maintain a good fitness routine to set myself up ready for each day.
Looking back across 2020 – name three highlights for you and your business?
The first highlight has to be actually setting the business up back in June. I was at a crossroads in my career and the first lockdown gave me some time to think and sketch out a plan that then gave me the impetus to follow my instincts and take the leap of faith.
The second was landing my first client at the same time, who I continue working with now. They needed help finding new clients to grow their business and we’ve built up a fantastic working relationship, becoming a true extension of their business.
And the third has been reconnecting with past contacts and connections. One of the few positives from lockdown, was many of us began reaching out to people we hadn’t seen for years to check in with them and see how they were doing. I’ve had several calls and Zooms with former colleagues, customers and suppliers, some of which have turned out to be really helpful for the business.
Looking back across 2020 – were there any lowlights?
I think the biggest challenge for me has been adapting to not being based in an office any more. Working from home full time was a novelty at first, but I really miss the energy and the buzz you get from a busy office; the collaboration and spontaneous interaction that you simply cant replicate over Zoom.
To try and overcome this, I have made more of an effort to have as many external meetings as possible, whether that’s in coffee shops, hotel lobbies or at clients' offices (where open).
I have also joined several local networking groups, which has been a good way to meet and interact with new people, as well as promoting the business.
Who, in your business community – have been the shining stars of 2020?
The first one is Niraj Kapur, who is a sales trainer and author. Someone recently referred to him as ‘the gentleman of sales’ and they’re absolutely right. I got to know him this year after I bought one of his books and I’ve been inspired by how he has overcome personal challenges in his life and shown great resilience throughout this year. A really genuine and decent stand-out guy.
The second is John Hoyle and the team at Sook, a start up that I’ve had the pleasure of working with this year. Sook is a unique pop-up retail concept that allows occupiers to rent space by the hour. Despite the herculean challenges brough on by the pandemic, which has probably affected the retail industry the hardest out of all sectors with months of closures, Sook have battled on; increasing their team, raising more investment, winning numerous awards and opening four new stores! A fantastic example of determination and resilience.
Any special offers for 2021 you’d like to mention?
This month, I'm offering a FREE new business health check for small businesses who are looking to grow their sales.
We will assess how they currently go about searching for new business and make recommendations based on the latest best practice methods and techniques.
At the end of the consultation, they will receive a free summary report with clear guidance and steps they should follow to help increase their sales opportunities, reach new customers and grow their pipeline. Contact me at email@example.com to find out more.
I’d just like to wish all the hard working business owners out there all the best for 2021.
2020 has been a horrific year for many businesses – large and small, and its my hope that those still standing will come out of this fitter and more resilient to the many challenges ahead of us.
For more information visit https://awbconsulting.co.uk/