AdGiftsOnline Limited is a promotional merchandise company based in Staffordshire that delivers high quality promotional products and bespoke merchandise solutions to customers across the UK and overseas. Having run a number of successful smaller businesses, Managing Director Tony Altham started AdGiftsOnline with his wife Stephenie.
When Tony started AdGiftsOnline, he had very little experience of sales, marketing, HR or finance. “I needed to learn those things and learn how to manage people, learn about the issues of cash flow, the usual things that you need to know when you start a business”. When the recession started in 2007, AdGiftsOnline lost several key clients that accounted for a large percentage of their revenue. “Our conversion rate dropped from 40% to less than 10% and our gross profit margins plummeted. We struggled badly and I didn’t have anyone else that I could talk to about the business”.
Tony was introduced to Vistage by Richard Ward who became his Vistage Chair. “I kept putting it off thinking I haven’t got time, it’s not for me and then eventually I just went. I felt all of a sudden I’d found an environment where I could talk openly about my business in confidence with a peer group who could advise me”. Tony utilised his Vistage group meetings to get a wealth of advice from the other members representing a wide variety of sectors that provided him the tools to manage the business with a much clearer focus. “Your Chair really pushes you and holds you to account which is invaluable. I get a regular injection of motivation into my business and I can bounce off other members in the group”.
“We’ve seen some really big wins in terms of the clients we work for and Vistage has been instrumental in the way we’ve won those clients”. From the actions implemented as a result of his work with Vistage, Tony and his staff have made significant progress with AdGiftsOnline:
- •In 2014 the business achieved 60% growth with plans to triple revenue in the next 5 years.
- •The staff team has grown from 3 to 10 members in 2015 with more jobs to follow in the year ahead.
- •Tony is able to focus far more strategically on growing and developing AdGiftsOnline.