One Year In and I Already Have 16 Clients!

Auditel Partner, Julie Adams, outlines her progress and discusses highlights, just over a year after joining the Auditel Business Community as a ‘Full Partner’

Julie speaks to Auditel Head of Partner Recruitment Nick Tubb in late January 2024, having joined Auditel in late Autumn 2022.  Having made a good start to her business as featured in December 2022, Julie has continued to successfully build her business and is now early in her second year.

In looking to get an understanding of the current position of her business, Julie exclaims “It’s very, very busy!  I have 16 clients at the moment and another three or four looking close to going ahead too.  Already, we are forecasting to be breaking the £100,000 a year mark for year two but given that we’ve only just started year two I would hope that we are well beyond that by the end of the year, and with long-term client contracts I can see roughly where we will be a few years down the line too.  We are well ahead of our business plan so can’t complain at all!

What Does Julie’s Client Base Look Like?

In developing an Auditel business, the diverse array of marketing activities can lead to client opportunities presenting themselves in a wide range of sectors and sizes.  Julie explains the make-up of her currently clients “It’s wide-ranging.  Some of the early clients were quite small as we were learning on the job too, but I now have a client with over 1000 staff with £400-£500m turnover and the smallest client is just £3m turnover.”

“I started targeting manufacturing clients but now I have clients in IT, Legal, Marketing, Hotels too.” Julie continues “Doors open when you have conversations and I love hearing about the different challenges businesses are facing and really getting involved to help support these organisations moving forward. We have a few clients for whom we are doing some day-rate advice but normally we pick up multi-year retainers for a long-term journey to Net Zero, and these are very nice as we feel part of their organisation and helping them in shaping their future positively.”

A Big Learning Curve and Transitioning Business Roles

Advising on where a new Auditel Partner would start in terms of target clients, Julie emphasises the Auditel marketing plan and guidance, suggesting “When starting it definitely helps to start at the smaller end and build up because the smaller ones tend to be quicker to engage, deal with and learn from, and that stands you in good stead when scaling up.

She adds “In part thanks to the support and hand-holding from Head Office, I’m now much more confident in assessing the amount of work involved when signing new clients and also therefore in pricing accordingly for the anticipated work involved too.”

A Changing Day-To-Day Balance

With an established business, the marketing approach Julie takes  has started to change.  She explains “At the stage of business I have now, I am getting more referrals from my clients, but I also have established introducers of business and trade associations that create new ongoing opportunities.  As a result, my focus on direct marketing is now starting to reduce as I don’t really need to undertake the heavier marketing like you would do at the outset of your Auditel Business.

With a growing client base, it’s interesting to understand what the ‘day to day’ of Julie’s operation looks like, relative to when she was starting out.  She says “Now my days are very varied with progress meetings, workshops, new client meetings and such-like compared to the holistic focus on client acquisition at the outset.  Probably now its 80% client and project management and 20% client acquisition, so very different to what it was at the beginning.

She continues “I’m getting more involved in deeper areas of carbon and procurement work, and that enables me to add more value to clients in the long-term.  This is where I can evolve into ‘Joint Ventures’ with the wider Auditel network which for us now is essential as even though I have my Partner involved in the business focusing on projects work whilst I am focusing on more of the ‘front end’ client engagement and management. 

However, such is the volume of work we are getting that we need to utilise the network to take on some of the project work for us, especially in some of the wider procurement areas – helping businesses to save money as well as carbon. We are now taking on another member of staff also in particular to help look at supporting the internal management of carbon project work.”

Continuous Learning

It’s very hard to keep on top of what is a very fast-moving subject in Carbon and Julie advises “I think I do more CPD (Continual Professional Development) now than what I have done any time in my career.  The initial training was great, but I know so much more now as there is so much to learn.  It would be so difficult to do this as a stand-alone consultant or employee but because I am part of a big network it really supports with using ‘Teams’ and having chat groups as we have a large collaborative team who are coming together to share everything we are learning.”

She adds “With growing legislation and pressures from government and customers there will be more opportunities to grow the business for myself and for others in the Auditel Business Community. We are moving into reduction planning, new technology and procurement with clients so as a network we need extensive resources to deliver everything we offer to clients.

Utilising the Auditel Network through Joint-Venturing

Whilst I leverage the Auditel network for project specialists and experts, or general resource when we have too much on to handle ourselves, on the other side, I get approached by newer Partners to help them with new client meetings and early days support “Julie explains.  “I have developed a structured mentoring programme so I can help them to build their own business by supporting on client acquisition and setting out the project process.  This also helps me to get to know the network as I can see who has what experience and skills that I may utilise in time within my own business but it also gives these ‘newbies’ a helping hand in getting their own businesses and early clients up and running too.”

Keeping Long-Term Goals in Mind

Julie outlines how, despite the excellent progress and increasing success, that it’s important to remember why she joined Auditel, and what her business would enable her to achieve in life in general.  She says “In respect of long-term ambition, I’m still keen to keep growing but to be at the point where we are working more ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ it.  By using our staff and JV Partners to ensure we can continue to reap the benefits of the clients we are managing we can work towards having a better work/life balance which was the goal we had when starting the business.”

Auditel is expanding fast, and to meet client demand needs to keep growing it’s Partner/Member Firms within the Auditel Business Community with it’s wide-ranging talent pool of people with experience of all kinds of backgrounds and business sectors. To learn more about the exciting opportunities in Carbon and Procurement Solutions through the Auditel Business Community opportunities, enquire today.

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