Dear Glass & Glazing Friends,
I’m Leonardo and I would like to welcome you to FITg UK, a project from Multiply Systems Ltd.
FITg UK was created to bring people together from the glass and glazing industry, to help and support each other, with a focus on growth.
I understand that ‘growth’ can mean different things for different people:
- Growth can mean: a more profitable glazing business, without growing in size
- Growth can mean: a slightly larger glazing business, taking on a few more guys
- Growth can mean: a much bigger glazing business, trading locally or nationally
So if you sell Windows, Doors, Conservatories, Bifold Doors, Glass Verandas, Canopies, or other Glazing Products…
To grow your firm, so you make more money, doesn’t necessarily mean growing a ‘bigger’ business, but you do have to be focused on the right things, whatever ‘growth’ means for you.
If you are serious about growth and willing to invest your time and energy in the pursuit of growth, FITg UK was created with you in mind.
If you would like to find out more about my business journey over the last 30 years, I have included some information below.
Here’s how FITg UK was born.
In May 2017, I spent 3 days at the FiT Show, with a client… Canopy, Carport & Veranda Fabricators, The Milwood Group.
During the show, I talked to 100’s of Glass & Glazing Installers, including many of Milwood’s Trade Partners, to give them ideas for attracting more Customers through the Internet.
It was my first time at the FiT Show and I could see the Industry was thriving, which inspired me to create something more, to bring Glass & Glazing Firms together.
Within a few weeks I created the FITg UK Facebook Group to test the idea, which now has around 265 members, who are actively engaging daily, showing off their work, asking for recommendations and generally coming together to help and support each other.
The Facebook Group was Step 1 for FiTg UK, but before I talk about Step 2, here’s a little background info…
Almost 30 years ago, in 1988…
I left school at the age of 16 to become a Sign Installer in the family Signmaking business, based in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.
Within 1 week I realised I didn’t like getting my hands dirty and I didn’t like the cold either… bearing in mind this was June, I was still getting cold outside up ladders, maybe I have really thin skin or something, I don’t know what it is.
To this day, I still don’t like getting my hands dirty, you’ll catch me wearing those plastic gloves at the garage, filling up with diesel and I usually end up with shiny white hands after working in the garden, on a hot sunny day, with gloves on.
I am not afraid of hard manual labour, as long as it doesn’t last more than a day or two… I’m just more suited to working with a pen and a pad or with fingers on a keyboard.
Installing stuff, especially outside just didn’t suit me, so I had to wait patiently and stick it out for a year until my Brother (Mark) left school. He is the complete opposite of me, and loved nothing more than working out in all weathers, getting his hands dirty, which meant I could keep warm and cosy indoors.
On a side note, our other Brother (Will) is completely different too, he decided not to join the family Business… he went to University, studied Business, got his Degree, became a Chartered Accountant, started his own Practice… and now looks after our books, tax and other business related stuff that usually makes your head hurt!
Over the next 20 years in the Signs Firm…
We worked with 1000’s of Small Businesses, including Installers of Windows, Doors & Conservatories and Home Improvement Firms.
We supplied Signs, Banners, Vehicle Lettering, Advertising Material, Contractors Boards & Site Boards, Logo Design, Leaflets, Business Cards, Yellow Pages Ad Design, Website Design, Online Marketing Services & Search Engine Optimisation…
15 Years ago, and as competition was growing, our local family sign installations business couldn’t support all of our growing families, so my Brother, Mum, Dad & Uncle left me to it in the Signs business, to start their own ventures.
My Brother had already been installing Soffits and Fascias in the evenings and on weekends, and decided to set up a Canopy Installations company with my Dad.
After an altercation with our closest competitor, and because other competitors had sprung up out of nowhere, offering the same products as us, whilst undercutting us on price to get their foot-in-the-door, I made the conscious decision to do 4 things:
- Downsize & Cut Unnecessary Costs
- Get My Hands Dirty (Temporarily)
- Get Better at Marketing and Sales
- Introduce New Products & Services
This strategy worked, and after 3 years of hard graft, long hours and after spending £1000’s on marketing training, which produced dramatic results, business was busier than ever, we moved back into our prime location unit and employed a new team of Installers.
However, at that point I realised what it really meant to employ people who were not family members… being responsible for other people and managing them is not one of my strengths.
When my Brother was running the Installs side of the Signs business, and then my Brother-in-Law, and then my Father-in-Law… it was fine, but when the Installers were not part of the family, it just wasn’t working for me and made me feel uneasy.
At that time, I had also started selling Web Design and Search Engine Optimisation Services to local Trades & Home Improvement Firms and I also found myself advising them on the marketing and advertising successes I was experiencing.
Marketing was becoming an obsession… to date, I have invested well over £50,000 working with many of the world’s leading small business marketing experts, spending 1000’s and 1000’s of hours studying, testing, implementing and training.
So in 2008 a few things happened that changed the course of my life forever.
- I was teaching the staff of my Brothers Installations firm on how to use the Internet and their Website to generate more business, and as a direct result, their turnover tripled.
- I had to cut my summer holiday short, to come back to work because my longest serving employee (operations manager), hurt her back and the place could not run without at least one of us being there (We didn’t have systems and processes in place, so it fell apart if we were both away)
- I made more money in 1 Hour, building a website for a local Home Improvement Company, than I did when 2 of my Fitters signed-up a van, which took them 4 hours and required a Unit with Insurances etc.
- I had started selling Search Engine Optimisation to Installations Companies in other parts of the World, and I had previously not ventured much outside Clacton-on-Sea
- I dominated the whole page of Google, for ‘Signs Clacton’ related search terms, moving my competitors onto Page 2, as they didn’t have a clue about SEO, so I knew I was onto something with this new thing called Google
- I ran out of family members to employ and after nearly coming to blows with staff members and the Installers I had employed, I realised that employing staff was not for me.
All of these things and more drove me to hand over the Signs business to a previous employee, in 2008, for a small monthly fee, which would allow me to start a new company, focused on providing Internet Marketing Services for Home Improvement Firms, which could be operated without staff.
Don’t get me wrong, most Staff are great, and necessary…
All my clients have staff, they need staff, and typically, the more staff they have doing profitable work for them, the more money they make.
Most of my work now involves teaching Staff in glazing firms, to follow the systems I have created, for generating Customers & Sales using the Internet… when your Staff or Team follow the systems, your results will ultimately multiply.
My Brothers Installation company has gone from employing 2 people to over 25 people in a little over 15 years, which is fantastic for all those families of the people that work there, and because the business is highly successful, the Staff and Managers have better paid jobs than most of the people in their area.
All that is good for the local economy, and I am all for getting as many people into secure jobs as possible.
Maybe you have been established for a long time and have built a big business, with dozens of staff, or maybe you have reduced the size of your business over the years, down to a small focused team and you are happy with that.
Or maybe you have recently launched a business, like my Son (Jordan), he is 25 and looks forward to employing staff and growing his business in the future, so he can take more time off when he starts a family, while his staff carry on, so the sales & installations don’t take a break, when he does.
Whatever size of business you run, inevitably, we all need people, whether you employ them directly, or outsource to virtual assistants, freelancers or third party contractors.
Marching On as a One-Man Band (+Wife)
It has almost been a decade now, since I started providing Internet Marketing Services as a One-Man Band, with the help of my Wife (Traci) who is building her own business… we help each other and keep each other sane!
Due to not having the support of an in-house team, I chose to reduce my ‘Service’ clients and focus on growing the Consultancy and Training side of the business, which has included the development of my own branded Marketing Systems, called: MULTIPLY® (UK Registered Trademark).
It’s my aim, for the Multiply® Small Business Marketing & Growth Systems to become “Number 1 in The World”
It’s a big goal, but what’s the point if you’re not thinking big, hey?
If you Google… worlds number 1 marketing system – my system is at number 1, in the Free Listings on Google (with the help of Keyword Optimisation – free training now live)
Because of my 30 years working with small business owners and because of my 10-year obsession studying small business marketing… and because I have been developing my systems full time over the last decade… and because of the great results my clients have already received… I believe I am uniquely positioned to develop a small business marketing and growth system that rivals anything else on the market.
But this isn’t about Me… this is about You.
This is about creating world-class systems for you or your staff to follow, that will guarantee positive results for You & Your Business… LONG-TERM!
For the past 10 years, in the most part, I have delivered my support and training on a 1-2-1 basis, which has limited the amount of people I can help.
Recently, I started training small groups of business owners and their staff, and I have also now started speaking and presenting at Trade and Business shows, so I can help more people get started using the systems and processes involved in generating more business online, and through the use of Internet based tools.
However, I want to help a lot more people, build more successful and profitable, glass and glazing businesses.
New Systems & Training for 2018…
With all of the above in mind, Step 2 for FITg UK will include the re-launch of my systems and training.
My training will be delivered mostly online, through an easy-to-use members portal, containing step-by-step guides, templates and checklists, designed to help people get results.
We will teach business owners and their staff on how to use our MULTIPLY® Systems, so our Members can take control of their marketing and profit growth, which will ultimately drive the success of their businesses, and impact the lives of everyone involved.
Watch this space!
In the meantime, if you would like a heads-up about my training, click here to download my free guides… as soon as I have an update, I will let you know.
Thanks for reading.
FITg UK | Multiply® Systems Ltd.