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CASE STUDY: Les Lightfoot, Lightfoot Enterprises

by Linda Coors on June 17, 2014 · 0 comments

CASE STUDY: Les Lightfoot, Lightfoot EnterprisesLes Lightfoot has been a huge champion for the A Better Way 2 Learn Financials program since he completed it in 2013, so it’s only natural that we write our first case study about the strides his company, Lightfoot Enterprises, has made since he started the program.

You know a bit of his story, but we dug a little deeper to find out more about how A Better Way 2 Learn helped Lightfoot Enterprises — and how they’re doing now.

The Problem

As with many other companies, there was no cataclysmic event that led to Lightfoot Enterprises’ decline in profits. (Sometimes those issues are simpler to tackle.)

Rather, Les Lightfoot and his team simply noticed a gradual downward trend in profits, one that didn’t change much no matter what they did.

Finding A Way Out (And Up)

About a year before Les decided to sign up for A Better Way 2 Learn, he hired Sandler Training to transform the company’s sales process.

Sandler’s training changed the way Lightfoot Enterprises sold its services — the company had been selling on price, and after the training, they started selling based on their clients’ needs.

It was a small change, but it fundamentally shifted their sales process and helped the upward swing back to profitability.

Then, as part of Lightfoot Enterprises’ holistic plan to improve the business, the company signed up for A Better Way 2 Learn.

One Big Change: Measure Everything

“I don’t care what you do — if you’re making hamburgers, building skyscrapers — there’s ways in which everything consistently works,” Les said. “Being able to put those tasks in order and be able to have costs associated with those tasks that are replicable is huge.”

As part of the program, Les and his team assigned a unit of measurement to everything the company offers — products, services, procedures — and once that was done, everything could be automated and tracked.

“Before, it was ‘What did we miss?’” Les said. “Now, we don’t miss much of anything, because we’ve spent time building all these templates.”

Those tracking templates also make handing off tasks like estimating jobs to someone else much simpler — instead of teaching the science of estimating, they only have to learn how to use the tool.

The Participants

CASE STUDY: Les Lightfoot, Lightfoot EnterprisesIn addition to Les himself, Lightfoot Enterprises’ office manager, an account manager and Les’s son participated in the program. (His son recently graduated with an accounting degree.)

But what that small team learned each week got passed on to every employee, which was crucial to the company-wide adoption of the concepts.

I used to have a hard time getting employees to buy in,” Les said. “But giving them a stake makes them feel important. The more important they feel, the more ownership they take — and the more money you can pay them. It’s a big circle.

Les says A Better Way 2 Learn helped align the business in a way that everyone knows what’s expected of them. “I used to want to tell my employees what needed to be done; now I ask them what they’re doing. They take more ownership of what they’re doing.”

The Takeaway

Les said there were so many takeaways that he wasn’t sure where to start — but the crux of them all was bringing everyone at the company to the same mental place.

A Better Way 2 Learn helped all the decision makers at Lightfoot Enterprises understand the impact of the company’s actions: not just watching what’s being spent but also understanding how to spend money the right way.

Tracking each task so diligently makes it easy to spot when something’s “out of whack,” he said.

By The Numbers

In 2011, Lightfoot Enterprises had a 3 percent net profit loss. In 2012, the net profit loss was even greater, at 5 percent.

But by 2013, after completing the A Better Way 2 Learn program, Lightfoot Enterprises saw a 19.2 percent net profit — the numbers don’t lie!

Les’s Final Word

“So many people will go to a seminar, have a good time, drink a couple of margaritas and go back to the office. They have all these books, paperwork, notes — and suddenly, 15 years later, it’s still on a shelf collecting dust because they have no idea how to apply it all.”

“With this program, you follow it week by week, one week at a time — you work on the business while you’re working in the business.

“There is no quick fix. If you want to get serious and put things in place for financials, A Better Way 2 Learn is the program to follow.

“It’s something that takes time and attention. But once you get things in alignment, then you keep it aligned. I used to want to reinvent the wheel…now the last thing I want to do is reinvent everything.

“It’s crucial to the life of your business to understand financials.”

Transform Your Green Industry Business’s Financials

Ready to commit to your company’s financials and boost your bottom line? Get started with a free trial of A Better Way 2 Learn Financials.

Get your team to buy in and see the difference this educational program can make in your business.

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