ACK Solutions

From Fear, Confusion and Discouragement to Confidence, A Full Pipeline, And Business Growth

ACK Solutions is a marketing consulting company based in Bahrain. Ahmed Al Akber, the owner, grew up in Bahrain and was educated in both American Schools and British Universities. He’s worked for a number of major brands, marketing products in various Middle Eastern companies. His dual citizenship provides him a unique ability to work in both Western and Middle Eastern cultures. Ahmed tells his story here: 


I had recently gotten married and we’d had our first child. Because I had been delivering services over the span of the contract, I hadn’t been focused on marketing my business. I found myself soon to be out of work without a strategy for getting clients in the door 

I had a terrible website that spoke in pie in the sky, processoriented, utopian language. Someone would read it and not understand my business or how I could help them. I had no keep in touch strategy. I’d spend a lot of time on one marketing activity like writing an article and getting it published in a business magazine. Then, I’d sit back and wait for results. 

 I needed to do exactly what I advise my clients to do. I had to create and pursue a marketing strategy. wanted a method where I could do one effort and have it multiplied many times over in different ways. I wanted an approach to marketing that would make me “omni present”. If I were going to publish an article, I wanted it to be pushed out into neighboring countries or be regionally published. I had to have a website that would deliver the information my clients need to know. 

When I got sales calls, I spent way too much time trying to explain my services. I was confused in my head about how to describe what I was selling. I knew exactly what I was selling, but was making it too complex for my prospective clients. I knew that I knew my stuff, but was very frustrated because I was banging my head trying to close deals. Being sole provider for the family added to my worries.

I wanted to take my business to the next level. I was frustrated by trying so many things and not knowing what was sticking and what was not. I had no marketing system in place and didn’t have the infrastructure for a marketing system. 


When it came time to find a writer for my marketing materials, I found Suzi recommended on Robert’s site. She was also referred to me by a colleague, Jill Boggiss. Suzi had helped Jill write her high-end program as part of Robert Middleton’s year-long marketing coaching program.

Immediately, I felt lifted from self-doubt. Just in this introductory conversation, she was already talking about my strategy. She suggested I could start to network with my target market even before I knew what I’d say to them. I began to hope, and that led to belief in myself and in my business.

Since I’m in Bahrain and she’s in the Pacific time zone, I’d be dog tired at night. With a new baby in the house, often I’d be exhausted, sleepless, or worried about my child. Yet, without fail, Suzi would stir excitement in me. I’d feel inspired to take action. I could see a way forward. Together, we began to uncover what I needed to do, and started taking regular action—as part of a “dual strategy” while we created the site.

When I got sales calls, I spent way too much time trying to explain my services. I was confused in my head about how to describe what I was selling. I knew exactly what I was selling, but was making it too complex for my prospective clients. I knew that I knew my stuff, but was very frustrated because I was banging my head trying to close deals. Being sole provider for the family added to my worries.

She was able to turn those sleepy, seemingly confused and aimless conversations into direct, straightforward descriptions of my business. It was almost as if she could read my soul and interpret my business passion into words.

In fact, I found this the most valuable service of allShe helped me articulate what I was offering. Even better, she helped me create offerings that would be profitable. She would question and probe and be a “devil’s advocate” if I were unclear. She “saw” the structure that had eluded me.

My dual citizenship suggested to her that I have obvious expertise in two cultures—Middle Eastern and Western. When she suggested to me that I orient my business to build on that expertise, it was so obvious. I can help western companies market into the Middle East and help Middle Eastern companies market into the West. That is a tremendous thing to leverage and grow my business.

It could have taken less time, but circumstances on my part extended the process. There were a couple of times when Suzi had to coax me out of the doldrums or take a detour to get me remotivated—which she did. Her “detours” were always focused on improving my skills and giving me a shot of confidence.

The designer picked up the content and immediately started working on turning it into my present site. She is every bit as talented and knowledgeable about marketing as Suzi.

My British expression is that they actually do what the “tin” says, meaning that the label on the can says what you’re going to get and that’s what you get. For me, the biggest thing that they provide psychologically is hope. I began to believe that I could create the business of my dreams. It no longer felt like pie in the sky”. 

Results—As Of Six Months After Starting To Work With Suzi And WOW Factor Websites

Most likely I would have had to give up my dream of having and growing my own business. I would have felt forced to take another corporate job because of fear, frustration, and perceived need.

I now have my first full time associate, a very accomplished woman from Michigan named Casey Piquette. She’s completely committed to the business and has thrown her considerable energy into growing our presence. ACK Solutions is clearly on the way to my vision of being a small boutique marketing firm with 5-7 associates.

One was a project from Dubai where I sent the principle to the site and he called me a few days later, for a quick project. This is a “foot in the door” for more work later. He said he’d read through the site and felt, “That’s exactly what I want”. The other client was a company I was simply making an inquiry of. They subsequently reviewed my website and asked me to work for them.

I am in the process of fine tuning how to create my best marketing strategies. My business is professionally presented, and it’s clear what I do and how I help clients. I use the site as a marketing hub. Articles go onto my blog and are sent out to those who have signed up for my list. I was speaking to a major regional publisher about publishing an article. After I sent him to the blog to read the article, he wrote back saying he’d publish it!  

Each service is tailored to a different audience and a different level of need. They suggest a path for my work with a client. Before, they were simply a collection of possible work I could do—which was driven by what clients had previously asked me to do. They had nothing to do with the work I really wanted to offer clients or to actually do.  

Now, I can sell more effectively and efficiently. I know what to say and how to explain the details. Before I even have my first conversation with a prospect, I can send them to a specific page on the website to learn about the programs. It is now a lot easier to develop momentum for a sales cycle.  

It’s efficient at filtering out the wheat from the chaff and delivering me pre-qualified serious buyers. It’s drastically shortened the sales cycle. Rather than trying to explain my programs, I just send a prospect to the right page of the site. When I speak to them, they already understand my offerings. I don’t have to go over all the details and educate them.  

WOW Factor Website’s designer continues to help me with additional marketing tools for the site. We’ve added You Tube channel. Now I video record my talks and put them up on You Tube. I believe this will drive more requests for me to give talks on marketing and get in front of my target marketWhen I approach an organization about speaking, I can just send them to my videos. 

Sure, I still have twinges of fear—that’s part of being an entrepreneur. In just six months since starting to work with Suzi, the business is solid and going in the right direction. I’m in a much better position to sell than I ever was before. The pipeline is full of potential business to be closed. Now, it just seems like a matter of time before we see explosive growth.