How to Stop Revenue Leaks with Clair Kim
On today’s podcast, we have Claire Kim talking about how to stop revenue leaks. She is a business architect for small businesses. She focusses on uncovering revenue leaks.
What are revenue leaks?
First things first, when talking about ‘revenue leaks’, what are we actually talking about?
What it means is an unintentional loss of revenue. We usually hear this term talked about in finance and accounting. Often we think of revenue leaks happening due to human error. However, unintended loss of revenue itself can mean anything – it can mean money that we are sitting on, expenses that are way too much, or any ticking time bombs that need addressing. This is as well as accounting discrepancies and finance.
How does Clair begin to help stop revenue leaks?
C – consumer
A – allocation
S – systems
P – projects/prioritisation
These are the four pillars you need to look at in order to figure out the business’ projected profitability. They also help to figure out if these small businesses are going to make money in the first place. Clair looks at how small businesses are losing OUT on money due to poor decisions. This is not because small businesses are bad – not at all. It is usually because small businesses are still balancing what does work and what doesn’t. Clair offers a nudge in the right direction by looking at revenue leaks.
CASP in business
So, which is the one section that businesses miss out on most?
Clair says that, from businesses that sit between 40-120k, the biggest mistake is the consumer aspect. This is specifically regarding the fact that organisations that are being targeted doesn’t meet the buyer criteria that businesses need to meet. Additionally, they are not concise and specific about how their offer or services can make a difference; they are not clear about the outcomes of buying into a service or product.
Finding that out in a company takes real thinking and real brains. If the business themselves don’t understand it, it’s amazing that Clair can walk in and suss these things out. Nonetheless, she is trained to ask the awkward questions and probe into the business in detail.
Kevin finds that what the easiest thing or a small business to do is keep doing what it’s doing; what it did yesterday, what it did last week, what it did last month. They often know what they’re doing wrong but are wrapped up in repeating it. What Kevin suggests is that small businesses often need someone from outside the company to come in, highlight what they’re doing wrong and make them take action.
Another process Clair uses is MISC…
This is a comprehensive way of looking at the company as a whole.
M – metrics
When Clair looks at metrics, she means the numbers of the company; the accounting, finance, marketing costs for leads or acquisition, etc. It is everything a small business needs to track. If you’re not tracking these things – if you’re not aware of it – then you cannot expect your business to grow.
I – infrastructure
This is something Clair has a passion for and goes ‘geeky’ on. A lot of small businesses have multiple meanings for systems – central operating systems, software, etc. There is divided thinking. Infrastructure are all the systems of the business, as a whole. In other words, infrastructure is anything related to process, software, or other systems – it is an umbrella term.
S – staff
This one is self-explanatory: anything to do with employers and employees.
C – capacity
This one is often a problem for service-based owners. A lot of small businesses look at how to get more customers. But, if you ask them how things would be if you increased customer-response by ten, it’s likely their business is going to break or be overwhelmed.
To deal with more business and customers, you first need to build up the capacity for more – this is through your software and your infrastructure, and looking at the metrics.
Here’s an analogy to help:
Essentially, you need to generate the room and capacity to grow – growth isn’t something that just ‘happens’ but is something that needs to be worked towards.
Clair’s website is amazing and is above the charts when it comes to good website aesthetic and content.
Interestingly, she has a little header which says ‘We’re a fit if you want to…’.
This lists a number of things which specify who Clair is prepared to work with. Very smart!
But this matches the Dan Kennedy approach, which Graham loves so well; repel the people you don’t want to work with, and attract people who you do want to serve.
How does that work, personally, for Clair?
With writing a list like this, Clair wants to create a reactionary of ‘I need her’ or ‘she’s not for me.’ This means targeting is specific and efficient. Also, she then appeals to people who resonate with all her own values.
When it comes to conscious capitalism and other things like continuous improvement (see Clair’s manifesto here), Clair makes sure that as a brand what she does ties back into all of them.
Another few questions Clair considers are these:
- What can your brand get away with doing?
- What can it get away with not doing?
These are things to consider in light of your own personal values, which links to our previous podcast, with Jacqui Mann as guest.
Ultimately, by expressing who you will deal with and who you won’t, you express who you are and prospective customers buy into that.
“Be clear on who you want to serve. But then, go to where your customers are and solve their problems.”
How to stop revenue leaks – business and industries
Clair’s business usually helps those companies earning 75k or above, with some exceptions. Because of how broad her scope is, she can work with a diverse range of industries, from management to finance (as examples). In her manifesto she specifies frameworks that resonate with her process of working and the overall experience she offers. So, industries that she hasn’t particularly worked with are industries such as agriculture and adult entertainment, aeroplane and flight companies.
Clair previously mentioned the refresh method as part of her framework of working. Below she explains it in more detail:
From this comes her third framework, ESG. This stands for Environmental Stakeholding Government. This is more for major corporations but it can also be used for small businesses; after all, most companies are seeking to grow bigger so why not think like one, act like one and build your business like one.
Clair has so much knowledge and expertise in unpicking business and, through that, stopping revenue leaks. Still in her 20s, how on earth did she get here so quickly? How did she get her break into business?
To start off, Clair never thought she’d be an entrepreneur!
But, from a child she was exposed to her Dad’s music business and how, when you do the right things, a small business can accelerate into a much bigger company.
With the music industry in particular, Clair saw there was a lot of moving pieces to get things done. However, this business (her Dad’s business) does not exist anymore; the reason being he was working all the time to earn any sort of money and so money started becoming an issue.
She went to University and took on business management as a degree. The plan after that – originally – was going into music and see if it takes off (after having a passion for music). Nevertheless, when she found this wasn’t going to happen, she started her own business – a design agency.
Somehow, she ended up burning herself out and made the same mistake as her Dad, whilst earning less. Eventually, it was through a part-time role in a corporate experience she gained a more in-depth and practical understanding of how to run a business and started her current business. What an amazing story.
Also, there’s one big take-away here. You have to find a way to get out of the trading time for money – it’s a very limiting model and relies on you being present all of the time. The number one revenue leak here is that you don’t have enough time to service the customers you’ve got.
How to contact Clair
If you’re interested in what Clair has to say, you can follow to her site using the links above. You can also look out for a new assessment which will help you see what decisions are creating bottlenecks in your business. That’s coming out soon so watch out for the live link: clairlydesigned.com/bottleneck.
The next 100 days podcast is sponsored by Linked Professionally and is brought to you by Kevin Appleby and Graham Arrowsmith