Some time ago, a young aspiring business man, that was me, saw an opportunity to buy a business for not much money as part of the break-up of a larger group. The main cost of the acquisition was securing the bank’s facility, and once this had been done I moved my young family 100 miles across the country to take up this great opportunity. The more we got into it the more difficult it became as we were in the teeth of a full blown recession (1991) and things were not quite as they seemed. Sleepless nights, lots of stress and very long hours followed.
Whilst I had the support of my Sales Director, the buck really did stop with me as MD, and looking back now the best thing I could have done to have reduced the stress would have been to have taken some advice from a third party with experience of Turnaround Strategy.
Why didn’t this happen
There were a number of reasons:
- I didn’t know what I didn’t know, if that makes sense, and therefore it was impossible to define what the help looked like. The options for advice at that time would have been the bank manager (who had his own agenda) or our accountant. As good as they were, neither of these individuals were experts in turnaround.
- Even if I had known what the specialist help I needed was, I wouldn’t have known where to look. The World Wide Web had only just started out
- I had great belief in my own ability (way exceeding my actual ability and experience at the time) and as a consequence tended to battle on regardless, making my own decisions. I didn’t have a Trusted advisor.
- I was so busy, any thought of taking a couple of days out, or maybe more, to work with a consultant would have been out of the question.
- I would have expected any potential consultancy fees to be a very costly bottomless pit, and poor value for money.
Anyway the upshot was that, after lots of hard work, an enormous amount of stress, and some very good luck, we did well. We turned it around and sold it to a PLC just 24 months after having acquired it. We were very happy, but upon reflection now, I realise we could have done much better if I had taken some advice from someone with experience – that I could trust!
Making top quality help available to everyone
I feel very strongly that more businesses could be helped in these situations and as a consequence more businessmen (and women) could avoid the consequences of losing the value they have built up in their businesses. After 25 plus years of successful turnaround and value creation, I know from personal experience (as above) what a horrible feeling it is when you’re looking down the barrel of a total loss. Fortunately it hasn’t happened to me and I want to make my experience more accessible to these owner managers to stop it happening to others.
The 2 hour Turnaround
To that end we have just developed the 2 hour Turnaround, a new package designed to be accessible to all businesses, and addressing the issues that stopped me seeking advice all those years ago. Package features are as follows:
- Pre session questionnairre to identify business issues and stress points
- A highly targeted 2 hour session aimed at stabilising the existing situation and creating a sustainable business model going forward
- Situation specific takeaways designed to both preserve and create business value
- Highly efficient and cost effective use of time
- A low fixed fee fully refundable if not satisfied
The sessions will cover a wide range of issues relating to the individual business and the market within which it operates. I must stress that these sessions will NOT be prescriptive, as of course every situation is different.
The hope is that more people take advice at a time when they need it most to give themselves a better outcome and create more value…..
If you have any comments on this article or would like to discuss any aspect of it please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0845 689 8750.
John Thompson is Managing Director and founder of Trans Capital Associates
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