Did you know that some companies that were featured in the Forbes Top 50 in 2017 have disappeared? Adapting to the constantly evolving business landscape has always been make-or-break for companies, especially SMEs.

With our new Business Transformation Series, we want to showcase SMEs who have made the bold move to transform their business for the future.

For our first installation, let’s look at an SME that overcame a Sales & Marketing challenge and fought back against falling customer numbers.


Brandon was the second generation leader of a physiotherapy clinic. Prior to this role, he served as the operations manager under the founder, Cecilia. Cecilia had built up a steady business with a good flow of referrals from doctors who had a relationship with her.

Cecilia was looking to retire and decided to hand over the entire business to Brandon to run.

The Challenge

Cecilia wanted to step away quickly from the business and her handover to Brandon was a rushed affair. At first, the business carried on as usual. Within a few months, the number of referrals started to drop sharply.

Brandon tried to renew the relationships that Cecilia had with the doctors, but it did not help.

The Issue

Due to the hasty handover, Brandon did not realise that a majority of referrals for the business was a result of Cecilia’s personal relationships with the doctors.

The doctors did not see any reason to continue referring patients to the business now that Cecilia has left.

As the operations manager, Brandon was not well-versed with the different sales channels. He depended mostly on doctor referrals to generate new leads for the therapy clinic.

The Transformation

Upon reflecting on his past experience as a therapist at another workplace, Brandon recalled that patients approached therapists directly. This means that there is a lower dependency on doctor referrals. He decided to find a way to reach out to his customers directly.

Brandon used the internet to raise the profile of his business and communicate with his potential customers. He started to record and post client testimonials. He also strategically used online ads and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to boost traffic to his site. While slow, these efforts paid off and the customer numbers started to increase.

Brandon was also aware of his competitors online and offline – he needed to stand out. As part of the transformation, he decided to bring in a fitness trainer as a business partner, so that he could enhance the value proposition to his customers.

Having both a therapist and trainer under the same roof could create a seamless experience for the customers.

The Ongoing Journey

Brandon noticed that few customers were aware of or used both physiotherapy and fitness training services. This left Brandon at a loss for ideas as his efforts had not made much impact on the overall customer numbers.

At this point, we reviewed Brandon’s business model and identified a key issue – the value proposition of the company was not communicated to potential customers.

Brandon had sound ideas but his ideas needed refining in order for them to succeed. As a small business, Brandon also did not have the resource to implement some of his ideas.

We worked with Brandon to revamp his corporate message and acted as sounding board for his ideas. With the new message in mind, Brandon has since come up with new ideas on how to broadcast it to potential customers. Currently, we are working with Brandon to increase the overall visibility of his business by raising his profile on multiple digital channels.

Suffering from falling customer numbers? Need to find new customer segments? Come talk us about our digital transformation packages and let us at Vanilla Resource help propel your business like Brandon’s.