Running a business can be hard going. Not only do you have to look after the day-to-day tasks and activities such as managing stock, organising staff and providing good customer service, you also need to be constantly monitoring the operations behind the scenes too, such as tracking sales, placing orders, cooperating with partners and communicating with suppliers.
This is when a business development consultant really comes in handy. Specifically in the business of helping businesses, a consultancy company’s prime goal is to help other companies kick goals.
They offer an array of custom services, assisting in the areas of the business that directly relate to the owner (Financial Consulting, Plans & Strategies and Financial Modelling) and refining and optimising the areas that directly affect the customer (such as Website Design & Development and Digital Marketing).
Here at TR Consulting in Melbourne, our director Tim Roberts is your go-to man for all things business advisory, and he heads up a diverse and dedicated team of consultants who cover everything from website building and brand awareness, to advertising, analytics, social media and more.
So, keep reading to find out more about Tim’s background, his insights, his business and what he can do for your business…
1. What’s your background and what made you want to start up your own business?
I was lucky enough to start my career at Ernst & Young (the multinational accounting firm). EY is a great place to start your career, as they invest heavily in your learning and development. However, after gaining my qualification (Chartered Accountant) I decided I wanted to try a more hands on role. I joined a smaller company as their CFO / Operational Manager.
Through this experience I became aware of the clear gap in the market where small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups with a turnover of $1m - $10m in particular, did not have access to the required professional advice and services.
2. What does TR Consulting do and who is part of the team?
At the beginning (in 2013) I provided management consulting and advisory services to startups and small business owners. This then stretched to CFO on demand services, planning, strategy, and related services.
The demand and need for moving client businesses online could not have been stronger. As such, we built up a small yet solid team of digital marketing professionals. On face value this may seem like a strange direction, however digital marketing is ultimately about collecting quality data, analysing that data and making informed decisions based on that data.
Our business development consulting team now includes Chartered Accountants, Financial Advisors, Content Writers, Web Developers, Graphic Designers and Digital Marketing experts.
3. What types of companies & industries do you usually work with?
We are certainly industry agnostic; we work with startups right through to companies with turnover in excess of $100m.
Industries we are currently working with include:
- Building and Construction
- Ecommerce (Retailers)
- Hospitality providers (Cafes and Restaurants)
- Skincare and Wellness providers
- Professional Service providers
- Architects and Designers
4. Why is it important to invest in a strong, online presence?
Online sales as a percentage of total sales have more than doubled in the last 10 years, and this type of exponential growth is guaranteed to continue. Australia is playing catch up to more established online markets such as the USA, and we are effectively 3 – 5 years behind. However, our infrastructure (shipping) and consumer appetite is quickly catching up.
We only need to look at our biggest, traditional retailers such as Myer. Nearly 25% of all of their sales are now online, and as such, they are closing down bricks and mortar stores and investing in large distribution centres.
SME retailers are often slow adopters and risk being the next blockbuster on the street. However, online is actually the great leveller. The playing field in the digital space is much more even if the plan and strategy is right.
5. What are some common mistakes that SMEs make when it comes to finances & marketing?
The most common mistake is simply not having a plan and not taking the time to review performance. If you don’t work out the key assumptions that underpin your business, you will struggle to make the right decisions.
The second most common mistake is not setting an exit plan. Business owners feel you only need an exit plan if you want to sell. However, in my view, all companies should have a clear exit plan. This will mean they are run by processes, systems and not reliant on key people.
6. How would working with a professional business development consultant help a company grow and prosper?
At the very least, a business development consultant can offer an objective and independent assessment of your business’ performance. Furthermore, as we work with a large number of startups and SMEs every year, we see first hand what works and what does not. Therefore, we can help you avoid the common mistakes and latch on to proven strategies to grow your business.
7. What makes TR Consulting different or better than other consulting companies?
We understand the challenges and sacrifices made by business owners and therefore we treat your business as we would our own. We have never required contracts as we believe if we do a good job you will be long term clients and our services will grow with the growth in your business.
Ultimately, our product and service is our people, so therefore, our people are our greatest assets.
8. What have been some of your proudest business achievements to date?
Helping SMEs find their feet and flourish. Having stressed out and struggling business owners coming to us for assistance, setting a plan and helping them execute this plan, and coming out the other end with a business that is working for the owner.
TR Consulting offers a range of consulting, content and marketing services. Get in contact with us today to find out how we could help your business grow online!