Case Study

ConnectChina

12th June 2017

The Company


ConnectChina was established in 2004 by Joanna Lavan to provide a range of practical business support services to help companies and organizations including local authorities to develop business links with China.


They have offices in Shanghai and Huddersfield with bilingual staff able to help their clients export to or source from China, establish offices and factories or find investment partners. 


ConnectChina’s clients range from micro companies to multinationals across various industry sectors and the public sector.  


Issues


Joanna contacted Connect Yorkshire to arrange a springboard meeting to discuss two key business issues.


Human resources – Joanna was so busy managing the day-to-day business she was finding it difficult to spend time on the strategic issues and was considering options from employing interns to seeking investment to fund growth.


Low profits – the business was not creating enough profit to enable to business to grow sufficiently


Springboard advice given


The springboard was attended by Connect Yorkshire entrepreneur-in-residence Neil Ewin in March 2016. Two key issues were discussed in detail: –


Charging structure


The daily rates charged were found to be well below market value, however there was a reticence to simply increase prices for regular customers and perhaps turn away some potential customers. It was therefore suggested that rates are increased marginally and quotations redesigned to show in more detail of how costs were built up and better exhibit the value being delivered.


Marketing


ConnectChina are well established in their field and have a fantastic record of success in helping both UK and Chinese businesses and government departments. This success was not reflected in the web site or other marketing materials and so it was suggested that the web site be updated to show that ConnectChina has successfully traded since 2004 and are probably the largest private consultancy of their type in the north of England. A number of case studies are to be added to the web site demonstrating that history and success.


Progress since the Springboard


The immediate effect of the springboard was to increase Joanna’s confidence. A small increase has been made to daily rates and quotations have been redesigned to provide a greater level of detail. Joanna is also more assured in defending her prices when challenged for significant discounts.


The website is undergoing updates to make the suggested changes.


The excellent news is that both business and profit levels have increased with revenues expected to at least double over the next six months, perhaps more.


“My session with Neil was perfectly timed as I was having problems with cash flow and profits.  He gave me very positive feedback, the confidence to believe in our business model as well as invaluable business advice.  As a result, our revenue is increasing and we are making greater profits”


Joanna Lavan


ConnectChina