Many times experienced executives and advisers have been heard to cry “if only they had called us sooner before things got out of hand”. Still, like them, we get calls when a company can’t pay its staff or key suppliers this week and are asked if we can help. Often we can. Oldfields Quality Foods was on the brink of insolvency until Richard Brooks arrived. His experience, having successfully taken a company through administration, gave credibility to the turnaround plan and the company went from success to success.
What is usually needed in these situations is someone with sufficient experience to see the bigger picture, who is also prepared to dig into the detail. At a waste management and construction services company our FD looked at every direct debit and all the small creditors, dealing with them speedily and properly in order to gain the time to look at the bigger picture. The breathing space which was achieved enabled the business to negotiate sensibly with its bank, and sell a piece of land, to a purchaser whom we introduced, and restore its solvency.
And when a tour operator’s boss discovered, on Monday, that he couldn’t pay the airlines on Thursday without the bank’s support, we secured that: we started work immediately and three days later we presented what we had discovered. The bank manager commented that “you seem to know what you’re talking about and I’m re-assured to hear you say you don’t know when you don’t know”.