Why Businesses Are Too Late in Seeking Turnaround Help


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We all know that addressing problems early makes them easier to solve, and even when the treatment is unpleasant, like going to the dentist by and large we go in good time. Why is it, then, despite the harsh economic conditions and the large number of business owners clearly struggling to cope; it still seems that too many smaller businesses in the UK are reluctant to call in outside assistance even when it is clear that finding solutions to the issues impacting their business is beyond them?

Most independent businesses are in the hands of its founders, consequently these more than others find it difficult to view their business objectively. Most don’t follow best practice and won’t have regular management meetings nor generally do they have a detailed financial knowledge of the business. This lack of objectivity is the real issue. I cant count the number of times I’ve gone into a turnaround to discover that the owners have reluctantly called someone in, not because the business is in bad shape, but because they’ve exhausted their personal wealth in propping up a non performing business and now they’ve GOT to do something. Sadly, often at this point its too late.

Whilst no doubt there are clear legal tests to signify insolvency, these are seldom recognised by the management. They are invariably late talking to IP or turnaround specialists such as myself for the following reasons

1.they’re emotionally tied to the company,

2 the stigma of failure,

3 being overly optimistic (well you have to be an optimist to run your own business) and as such you tend to overestimate income and underestimate costs,

4 poor business management.

There is a debate to be had about the almost complete absence of any type of business related subjects in general education which I submit leaves our entrepreneurs and business owners unnecessarily exposed. Many run businesses without even the most basic knowledge of financials or business or people management, so the wonder is why more businesses dont fail!

I would also observe that whilst accountants should provide advanced warning to business owners many don’t because they are themselves technicians, and they concentrate on getting accounts completed on time. Experience has demonstrated that accountants are no better at running businesses than owners of other types of business. Also, because often their relationship with their client is weak to survive bad news.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Laurence Ainsworth
Laurence Ainsworth founded Exigent Consulting in 2002 and since then has performed a number of successful turnaround more recently he has worked with businesses to utilise Social Marketing to drive sales performance, customer loyalty and brand recognition. He is skilled at working with, and getting the most from, owner managers.


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