Abbey Signs is a family-owned and operated sign-writing business that will celebrate 20 years in business this year. Started by the brothers Lerm – Mike and Trev, they initially began installing signs on behalf of other people. Fast forward 20 years, the business is run by Mike and his wife Lucy, and they now design and produce a variety of their own products. Trev is still onboard specialising in the dying art of traditional hand-painted signs, as well as sales and marketing. Out of the team of 11, 8 are family members – so very much the definition of a family-owned and operated business!
After deciding to make the move, we engaged in a Profit & Cashflow improvement meeting with Rachel and Anne. Mike and I both attended the workshop. We learnt more in 1.5 hours with them than we have in the last 12 years, it was great!
In very simple terms they were able to explain the difference between items on the Profit and Loss – Gross Profit and Net Profit etc, and our Balance Sheet, and how it can be used as a budgeting tool. I learnt heaps, and a few tips and tricks on how to increase our profitability, which go hand in hand with how to increase your cash flow. Anne gave us the confidence to change our terms of trade, engage with suppliers on terms and adjust our margins slightly. It makes a huge difference, and we are already seeing results after only 1 month! Recently we were asked to undertake our largest project to date. This was going to impact our cash flow hugely.
It is still early days, however, both Mike and I are on the same page now. He can look at the numbers and know what he is looking at, I don’t have to explain them. We will have quarterly meetings with Connected and know there is still more work to do. However, we have a lot more confidence, and it has taken the financial pressure off my shoulders. I have referred a friend who had been struggling for a few years. She gave me an expensive bottle of champagne to say thank you, she was that relieved to have found someone on her team.”