3 min read

The Basic Mistake That Cost Me £1 Million

The Basic Mistake That Cost Me £1 Million

A few years ago I made a simple mistake, innocuous really, but one that would set off a chain reaction that would personally cost me over £1 million, reshape my future and drive me to succeed and be happy.

Here’s what happened.

Sales Were Up by Over 20%

We were growing, sales up every year by over 20%, we’d just moved to new premises, expanded our factory, recruiting, adding more products to our portfolio.

We’d built our business in the internet age, founded in 2003, we had put our website at the heart of our marketing strategy. We could attribute sales back to our online presence from those first weeks when we could buy Google ads for just 4p per click. What an ROI, a few pounds in, thousands back out. It was like a cash machine.

The new website was a big step forward. It looked beautiful, packed with technical info, great images and was designed to make selection and specification simple.

The designers had taken our brief and delivered a best in class website. Or so we thought.


Then Everything Fell Apart

The website went live, we were thrilled, until the news reached me.

Traffic dropped by over 70%, sales enquiries fell by over 50% that week. It felt like our brand had fallen off the face of the earth.

It had.

A simple check hadn’t been made by the web designers before they went live. URLs had all been changed and no redirects were setup to keep traffic coming in.

All of our top positions on Google disappeared as search after search delivered 404 errors. As soon as our site was crawled by Google spiders, our website literally disappeared online.

Once the shock wore off, the panic set in. What was going to happen? How can we fix this? Who’s to blame?


Assessing The Damage

Ultimately it was my fault, I’d hired the team, briefed them, oversaw the project. I didn’t ask the right questions or understand the technical elements of the project well enough. I trusted the team too much and I got that wrong.

And yes, my decisions on choosing the team had been price driven. It’s always the same, you get what you pay for.

Taking stock, we built a team to recover the situation.

Gradually our rankings improved, different SEO agencies came and went, traffic improved and the business started to recover.

It took over 2 years to recover our positions online across the whole business. The mistake set us back 4 years on our 5 year plan and cost over £1m in net profit from the drop in sales and lost future revenue. For a small business, that’s huge.


Lemons to Lemonade 

However, having to level up my knowledge on all things online; SEO, content marketing, lead generation tactics and website design, to help me understand what had happened and how to fix it, enabled me to create a better performing business.

Today, that business is thriving, driven by the methodologies I had studied, adapted and honed to suit the construction industry, improving their effectiveness of helping specifiers, clients and contractors to find, research and choose our brand.

This £1m mistake also inspired my decision to launch Insynth. I knew this formula would work for any technical building product brand.

3 years in, it’s amazing to see our approach to Construction Inbound Marketing helping ambitious brands to increase traffic, improve conversion and grow sales.

Our methodology has developed to form the Predictable Growth Programme, a low cost formula to to deliver predictable flows of traffic, leads, specifications and customers in unpredictable times; in a sustainable, ever-green way that improves ROI year after year.


Finding my purpose

This huge, £1m mistake hurt me financially, affected my mental health, put pressure on many relationships, personal and professional.

But with hindsight, it helped to shape my future, one where I’m helping other business owners and MDs to navigate a pathway to digital transformation safer and more successfully.

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About Insynth

At Insynth we deliver a predictable flow of leads, customers, and specifications for building product brands through our inbound marketing approach, proven to reach a technically demanding audience.

We use the latest marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to equip building product companies to grow sustainability in this era of digital transformation.

As the only HubSpot certified agency to major in construction marketing. We have a proven formula of bringing a variety of functionalities together including CRM Implementation, Web Design, Sales Automation, SEO, and Email Marketing to achieve your ultimate aim: Growing your business and gaining new specifiers and customers.

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