One month in tech is like a year

Marc Lambert pioneer using a Maltix built PWA

Marc Lambert online shoe and sportswear retailer Newswire July 06 2021

I inherited a business through my mother in law, a retail shop with 22 staff and a consistent $900,000 turnover

The business had lost profitability year on year for 7 years straight.

I could see the symptoms but didn’t understand the cause.

I very nearly spurned the opportunity all together, the hours were crazy and the back office systems chaotic.

The business was just about breaking even on a very modest Directors salary.

I had actually inherited a gobble monster inside a vicious spiral of upward costs.

By chance I came across some videos on you tube under “Break even analysis “

A light bulb went off in my head, my garden was full of weeds and the pruning was going to be brutal, I needed help and fast.

My first port of call was The Maryland Chamber of Commerce in Annapolis.

I met a highly regarded Consultant in the harbor, where we sat and talked for 2 hours.

The culmination of thought had one simple answer, we had to digitise as much as possible, as soon as possible.

We had to reduce the moving parts of the business, generate more business and lower variable costs.

That was phase one and we completed that in 6 months.

What happened in reality was floor to ceiling change, so much in fact, the main shop front asset was sold and fixed costs almost completely removed.

One month in tech is like a year.

It felt like I was destroying 27 years of business knowledge.

In fact the telephone system which cost $16,000 in 2011 was the first casualty.

APP based telephony was key when Covid broke, we needed our home workers to act on order deliveries and I had to manage that through a CRM and billing platform connected to their own smartphones.

The e-commerce part of the site we kept, we removed the website and replaced it with an APP.

These decisions fundamentally changed us from being a bricks and mortar retailer to a full online retailer selling and distributing to our target sportswear audience.

My staff were amazing and turned garages and workshops into storage and distribution.

We now operate with 7 staff, all on higher salaries. Our turnover is rapidly climbing and we hope to overtake the 2019 turnover within 2 years.

We now ship coast to coast and our reputation is growing on social media.

My advice to anybody contemplating the digitizing of their business:

You have to trust your clients, it’s what they want, it’s where they do business, it’s on their Smart phone.

Marc Lambert online shoe and sportswear retailer Newswire July 06 2021

One Reply to “One month in tech is like a year”

  1. Much to learn here.

    Smartphone based APPS are taking over, no more in-house telephone system, no more website.

    To quote Marc Lambert “These decisions fundamentally changed us from being a bricks and mortar retailer to a full online retailer selling and distributing to our target sportswear audience.”

    And this is what the clients want, especially the Millennials, to do business on their Smartphones.

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