Kissing Frogs

What was it that made that first deal so sweet?

It was a feeling that I had done the right thing – a feeling that it was the perfect deal for everyone involved – all the rings in the chain were perfectly formed in a win – win outcome.  Everyone involved felt like they had benefitted from the agreement.

We had secured our new-found partnership with a handshake and a feeling of excitement – not because it was the first but because it was ethical and we all felt good about it.

After that perfect start I wanted the next deal to happen immediately!  I felt like there was no stopping me.  If I could strive to make every business deal as good as the first – I thought it would be easy.

Well – it isn’t always that easy – why? 

Because finding good business partners is a bit like kissing frogs – you need to kiss a few before you find your perfect partner – and that takes time and effort.

Do I trust, admire, like and respect them is a good benchmark

I work with the best guys in the turnaround space – we are constantly striving to better ourself and push the value we can offer our business partners.

So – what is different in what I do, to a professional who charges a fee ?  Well for a start; I align my interests with yours so unless I deliver on my promises I get nothing.

Last week I read an article saying interim executives can have a major impact on business performance if used in the right way.

This is according to a new report from Recruiter, which this week turned its attention to the outlook for the UK interim management sector in the post-downturn climate.

The publication concluded that interim managers remain an “immensely valuable resource” for companies looking to hire skilled employees to aid their recovery from the recession.

It noted that turnaround specialists have been in particular demand since the financial crisis, with businesses calling on such experts to help salvage key projects left in disarray by the downturn.

Discussing the essential qualities of a good interim manager, Recruiter cited an impressive track record and “being able to hit the ground running”, as they will often have to show tangible results within a short timeframe.

Last month, director of the IMA Institute David Harries said top interim executives leave a legacy of their time at an organisation by passing on their skills and knowledge to permanent employees.

That is fine for big corporates, but in the SME space I believe – if these guys are on the payroll, or charging fees they become part of the problem.  From the conversations I have with business owners  – cashflow is their daily headache – so it doesn’t make sense to add to a growing list of hungry mouths.

I know from personal experience within a family business, that when creditors and HMRC are pressing for money it feels like a reoccurring nightmare each morning – groundhog day with no way out.

On the front line of the battle field the fire fighting takes incredible energy.  It’s a daily struggle to survive and the immense pressure to find funds to pay wages and keeps the lights on is testing.

I always tried not to take my stress home but when your whole lifestyle is so close to the edge it is difficult to switch off.   I often say if I knew then what I know now.  Most, if not all the decisions we made would have been different.

Work – whether self-employed, employed or a company director is a large slice of life and if we’re not having fun, then the question must arise – why?  Balancing all this is tough at the best of time so when it goes in a downward spiral it takes its toll on our – rest and play time.

Company directors often don’t pay themselves when times are hard – they hang on to the business when, often, the best and right thing to do, is to let go and move forward.

It could be one of the toughest decisions we ever have to make in our lifetime.  But once taken – a realisation appears that the fear was greater than the reality.

Most businesses that benefit from restructuring tend to flourish because they have dropped the challenges that were holding them back – this results in jobs, contracts and sanity all being saved.

We can sit and worry about our pride and reputation but that doesn’t solve our problems.  With brave decisions, a holistic and ethical approach we can deliver a solution to benefit everyone.  Loyal creditors that stick with the businesses have an opportunity to be paid back over time – in return for their business friendship – and that feels good.

Our strategy will not always use an insolvency procedure to aid in the restructure of the business, and we are not another “CVA – one size fits all” adviser .

Used in the correct way a Company Voluntary Arrangement is a tool all businesses should have in their toolbox and be ready to use – if it is the right thing to do – but we have alternatives which are fine tuned, specifically for you and your business, in the current situation.  That is where we are different.

Over the Horizon Thinking is a simple philosophy that can help you and your business recapture its “day one” magic!

Please get in touch if you think we could help you through these tough times when banks are saying no and Governement is reacting too slow.