Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
It could have been curtains for Stacey Isaac’s digital consultancy New Republique back in 2015, when the business lost its biggest client, was forced to close down its offshore team and parted company with its accountant.
Winning back lost ground took a few hard years – and sacrifices. Today, New Republique boasts offices in Sydney and Melbourne and a stellar client list, featuring the likes of Qantas, General Pants, Chemist Warehouse and HSBC.
How did you set about managing your sudden downturn?
My business partner and I created an action plan which aimed to solve the critical issues at hand – reducing operational costs and consolidating debts – and working out what we needed to do to achieve sustainable success. We sought professional advice and agreed on a clear role for each of us. I took ownership of the business and finance side of things and my partner focused on delivering great work for our clients.
What were some of the actions you took on the financial front and how did they help?
We looked at where our core revenue was coming from and which services were expensive to run for little reward, then we cut our offering back to three core services. We also diversified our client base. One of our biggest mistakes was having one major client that accounted for 60% of our revenue. When we lost them, it was devastating.
We moved from a project revenue to a retainer model because having stable income gave us the ability to look ahead and plan. We also did an audit across the whole business to see where we could cut costs. Everything added up and it was amazing how much spending wasn’t necessary.
What advice do you have for other business owners who’ve been dealt a body blow by COVID-19?
Don’t be scared to change. Cut anything that’s not working and focus on what makes you money. And, if times have changed, you need to adapt to the world around you. It’s all about supply and demand. Look for that niche or unique selling point and play to your strengths.
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