How Bruce McCully recovered from losing half his annual revenue to building a $7.6 million company… and how you can too.
One phone call.
Ten years ago, that’s all it took for Bruce McCully to lose HALF of his annual revenue. Besides losing his biggest client, McCully discovered he would also never recover the more than $500,000 they owed him.
“I thought things were going well,” McCully said. “Our biggest client by far was Borders Books. In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t the smartest plan to lock up nearly half our annual revenue with a dying business model.”
The Founder of Dynamic Edge, Inc., McCully had opened his doors nearly 10 years earlier, fixing computers for Ann Arbor, Michigan businesses. When Borders Books closed their doors for good, it was a wake-up call for McCully. “We knew we had to change our business model. And FAST!” McCully said.
Dynamic Edge’s entire business model was “break-fix” and hourly work. “None of our revenue was predictable,” McCully said. “Plus, I had no way of consistently generating new business.” Not only that, an entire calendar quarter went by where he was paying techs without enough work to even recoup what he was paying them. “I was worried about every aspect of the business I could no longer afford,” McCully said. “My passion for computers was drowning. Stress consumed me. I was stressed about keeping the lights on. Stressed about paying my team. Stressed about having something—ANYTHING—left over to pay myself. I was so worried about keeping my business afloat that I was losing focus on the reason I started Dynamic Edge in the first place.”
Looking for a solution to generating consistent business and more predictable income to help grow his business beyond the limits of break-fix, McCully received a mailer from Technology Marketing Toolkit which insisted he was doing his sales and marketing all wrong.
“I related to the pains in the postcard and thought maybe this Robin Robins lady knew me better than I knew myself,” McCully said. “After all, sales were very hard to close. I knew I had a great team, and I thought we had a strong message, but for some reason, we couldn’t get through to people.”
Every year since using Technology Marketing Toolkit and following Robin Robin’s guidance, McCully has increased revenue and moved up. Growing Dynamic Edge to $7.6 million, he generated an additional $1.5 million in NEW sales this past year alone. “Thanks to the guidance from Robin, her marketing and the inspiration and instruction we gained from speakers at her events, we sold the most we have EVER sold this year!” McCully said. “Beyond sales, we exceeded EVERY goal we set… we added more revenue in one year than I ever thought was possible…”
Beyond hitting his revenue and profit goals, there have been additional improvements. McCully eliminated stress. He no longer is being pulled in too many directions which has allowed him to effectively manage his team and business. Plus, he no longer relies on one-off sales as he’s built strong MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue). He feels more confident too. “At this point, we have great things in the future,” McCully said. “Whether the economy is sky-high or recovering from another recession, with consistent accountability from my Producers Club group, consistent messaging from Robin’s campaigns and motivational refreshes from our quarterly meetings, the sky’s the limit.”
McCully’s goal for this year is to make another $1.5 million increase, which would bring his revenue to $9.1 million. “Aggressive?” McCully replied, “Yes. Confident? Absolutely!”
Here are strategies McCully attributes to his success:
Keep an open mind.
Initially, McCully was skeptical that the marketing prescribed by Robin Robins in Technology Marketing Toolkit would work. “It sounded hokey,” McCully confessed. “Reading through the WANTED campaign, I frankly didn’t believe anyone would even take a glance at it.”
However, within the first month of running his first Technology Marketing Toolkit campaign, results rolled in. “One business I had been trying to get in front of for YEARS faxed us asking for a free network assessment!” McCully recalled. “After running probably every single campaign in Robin’s Technology Marketing Toolkit over the past 10 years, we are now almost famous in our area. Folks recognize us – and even APPRECIATE getting the mailers!”
He continues, “I attribute a lot of my success to keeping an open mind. Had I not given Robin’s team a chance 10 years ago and had an open mind to actually craft a marketing and sales strategy, Dynamic Edge would not be featured in this article. We would not have been a Better Your Best finalist. We would not have hit our revenue and profit goals this year.”
Track everything, study your results (both good and bad) and invest in what works.
“Starting nearly 10 years ago, we have come a long way using Robin’s (Robins) materials, strategies, and advice,” McCully said. “One of our company’s core values is learning from our mistakes, and we certainly take that seriously in sales-and-marketing land. We’re dissecting and evaluating how our investments in marketing dollars pay off and are continually trying to invest in the most effective tools.”
Quit doing everything yourself.
Prior to joining the Technology Marketing Toolkit community, McCully made the mistake many IT business owners make: Taking on the responsibility for multiple roles. He was the salesperson, the follow-up person, and the account manager.
He added a professional sales team and hired a sales manager to track all of the opportunities and keep all of his salespeople on target. He also stopped fielding all the client calls himself, opting to hire four account managers who actively check in on clients and identify and communicate opportunities to improve their computer systems.
“Among the most important lessons I learned was that I was wearing far too many hats that constantly pulled me away from effectively managing my team and my business,” McCully said.
Put an end to Sales vs. Marketing
McCully realized that the “secret sauce” to improving his overall results lied in integrating his marketing and sales.
“Sales and marketing must work hand in hand,” McCully said. “Without effective marketing, sales suffer. Without a proven sales and follow-up system, your marketing will fall short.”
McCully implemented proven marketing strategies and campaigns that he found through Technology Marketing Toolkit. These included:
Utilizing tested, proven marketing strategies, scripts, and campaigns—To avoid wasting time and money, McCully didn’t start with a blank sheet of paper. He followed the exact direct response recipe and based his marketing campaigns off the tested, proven campaigns designed specifically for IT companies that he found in Technology Marketing Toolkit.
Qualifying leads – His team used a book-mailing script and marketing campaign to qualify his leads. This reduced 3,800 cold leads down to 399 qualified targets. “We physically mailed a copy of our book to the interested prospects directly from Amazon and followed up with a phone call,” McCully said. One percent of the qualified leads converted accounting for $6,312 in new MRR (or $75,744 annually) and $32,000 in new project work.
Creating follow-up marketing campaigns—Rather than giving up on qualified prospects who expressed interest but did not convert, McCully sent follow-up marketing campaigns. For example, he offered assessments to those interested in the book-mailing campaign and generated an additional $33,473 in new MRR and $111,398 in project work.
Focusing on warranty reports, disk errors and meeting with clients each month, he did a “time to upgrade” campaign. “We piggybacked on events like Labor Day and Section 179 to keep the conversation moving,” McCully said. As a result of the campaign and follow up, they doubled hardware sales.
McCully also sends a printed newsletter each month. To connect on a deeper level, he creates different versions and messaging depending on which target audience is reading his newsletter. “We started mailing multiple newsletters specifically targeting our vertical audiences,” McCully said.
Designing marketing that stands out—McCully’s team constantly looks for creative and unique ways to connect with their clients. “Based on each client’s interests, we have created an entire system around sending out treats, toys and other oddities,” McCully said. “Clients love their gifts!”
Focusing on the easiest place to sell—Knowing that referrals are one of the easiest places to generate new clients, he created referral campaigns that delivered $22,311 in MRR. “Every IT owner asks and begs for referrals,” McCully said. “The key is to do something unique and valuable that will keep you top of mind.”
For example, to introduce his referral program, his team asks clients the simple question: “Would you give us a thumbs up or thumbs down based on our service?” Currently, Dynamic Edge is at a 95% positive response rate. To inspire his team to reach 100%, McCully is offering quarterly team bonuses. Clients also benefit from participating. “Every time a client provides a thumbs up, we deliver a chocolate bar and thank you card asking for “S’more clients like you.”
McCully also made a substantial change to his sales department. Motivated after attending international sales expert Jack Daly’s presentation at one of Robin Robin’s events, McCully gave up his role as the only salesperson. This past year, he not only added an effective professional sales team, he also added a sales system which included a sales playbook created from the techniques, stories, and scripts that work best for McCully and his sales team. “I’m proud of this team as they closed 81% of the $119,228 in MRR and 100% of the $736,976 in NRR (Non-Recurring Revenue).”
To further motivate his team to hit their goals, he created an internal recognition and rewards program. “We implemented a bonus system for our team based on client satisfaction, net profitability, and gross margin,” McCully explained. “The team earned $475 in Amazon gift cards and a hundred bucks in cash, and everyone on the team got three extra WEEKS of pay! Yes, incentives drive results! I know we would have never hit the $7.6 million mark if it were not for this program.”
To see the exact campaigns and follow the step-by-step blueprint Bruce McCully used to grow his business, visit https://www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com/.