Ali Miles-Jenkins at The BoomBoss, UK

Ali Miles Jenkins has owned and operated a multiple of businesses in management and professional services, and now focuses on helping women become “their own CEOs” on. This is her story about how in 2008, Ali made her customers the priority. She reimagined her services and offered a free book to those who couldn’t afford her help. They called her back once things got back to normal.

After reading her story on an Enterprise League blog post, we contacted Ali for a followup interview.

During 2008, Ali’s management and training consultant firm lost 70% of their customer base, most of whom were in the financial services industry. Determined, Ali focused her efforts on “taking care of her clients and treated them as a priority.” As a result, she reimagined her services, and offered new and innovative solutions that involved shorter, more impactful sessions, with brown-bag style lunches. She also reduced her overall fees, making her services cheaper and more accessible. For clients that no longer had the budget, she developed a free book with tips and step-by-step guides on how they could continue to develop their people without needing her services. This proved to be a win-win strategy, as her clients still kept the book on their desks and contacted her once things started to get back on track. During this time, she also made an effort to learn more about her business, take a closer look at her costs and financials, invest in herself, and contacted industry professionals to get hands-on advice. By 2010, she expanded into smaller niches and microbusinesses, and her business came back from the recession with stronger fundamentals.

“I’ve run a training and management consultancy since 1990 and have had the honour of helping more than 60,000 people worldwide become more successful at what they do.  I’ve had huge successes but… a decade or so ago I hit a stumbling block when the recession hit in 2009 and I nearly lost my business. It taught me that clients don’t last forever and the biggest mistake I had made was relying on my contacts, word of mouth and repeat business. My biggest wake up call was to realise that if you don’t know where your next new client is coming from and you don’t have systems to achieve this, you don’t have a sustainable business.” – Ali Miles-Jenkins, BoomBoss website