Cadence by Pete Williams is a parable. Narrative storytelling either works for you or it doesn’t when it comes to absorbing frameworks and information. In theory, it helps the reader remember the new strategies because they remember the narrative that goes with it. In this case, the story is of an entrepreneur who owns a struggling cycling business and one of his clients, a successful business man, training for Ironman. In creating a parallel between the training required to complete an Ironman and the 7 levers for growth, the story highlights the best way to increase profits in a business.

The most striking element for me in the book was the goal of incremental growth, a cycling through focus points continually to achieve a big goal through small steps as the author describes below.

“And that is what the 7 Levers philosophy is also built on. Achievable incremental growth, continued 10% Wins, each and every time, that add up to incremental and sustainable bottom-line profit growth.”

Often, when we try to tackle change, we try and make giant leaps in multiple directions and are overwhelmed when we don’t achieve as much as we hope. Pete Williams approach sounds far more manageable and full of encouragement as small wins keeps the process going.

The seven levers are

  • Suspects
  • Prospects
  • Conversions
  • Items per Sale
  • Average Item Price
  • Transactions per Customer
  • Margins

The process seems simple enough but having spent time mentally putting my business through it, I found the book a little light on application. I appreciate the theory in each of the seven levers as we use these as focus areas in our marketing strategies but it felt skewed towards retailers and in each example the “solution” had a revolutionary effect which felt a bit overstated and simplified. Without time to apply the methodology consistently, I can’t review the effectiveness of this approach but the author’s track record indicts his success with it.

I found the narrative a bit slow but the information is thought-provoking and worth reading. It’s four out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale!

From the back cover:

Cadence is a parable of a business owner and triathlon coach named JJ who left his stable job as a teacher to fulfil his dream of becoming an entrepreneur.

Unfortunately, two years after opening his bike shop, JJ finds himself in a place that is all too familiar to most business owners—struggling to stay afloat. That all changes, fast, when an athlete he coaches teaches him how to turn the store’s profitability around with seven key “10% Wins.”

Cadence uniquely communicates entrepreneur and advisor Pete Williams’s “7 Levers” approach to business growth through the vehicle of a story. Instead of offering a list of do’s and don’ts for business success, Cadence imparts wisdom by inviting readers on a journey into the lives of two characters who each have something valuable to teach the other.

Through the use of down-to-earth dialogue and realistic business challenges, readers will immediately be pulled into the story of JJ and Charlie, and how they each learn to hit their stride and turn profitability around.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Morgan James Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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