The Point Of No Return
I just wanted to share with you, a short story; a little bit of a sad one.
But there is a happy ending, about what I call, the point of no return, so a few days ago, I took a call from an associate, not a client.
I’ve known him a while being in business, a good number of years, 15 or 16 staff members, reasonable, sort of bottom line returns.
The reason why I’m talking about the point of no return is I get a call, “Mike,” he says, “We’re in a little bit of a struggle, we’ve been “struggling for six or seven months; I really could do “with your help.”
He turned to us, because, obviously, he understands what we do, he understands how we turn businesses around again, achieve high growth, so I agreed to have us set up a call with him.
Originally, we had a chat about some pressures that he’d got in his business, and why this is relevant; if you’re struggling to make decisions in your business.
You’re hoping it’s just going to turn around, and you keep doing what you keep doing, then it’s fair to say you’re going to keep getting what you keep getting.
Zig Ziglar Short Story
There’s a great quote from Zig Ziglar around that somewhere, if you wanted to check that out, so limited information on the telephone, I agreed to set up a coffee with him.
That’s not something I do on a regular basis, but to say he’s more of an associate, more than a friend, but I wanted to see if I could help; I’d got a half a day in my diary I wanted to sort of invest with him, and we turned out the finance numbers.
We turned out the story, and the reality was that he was literally four to five weeks away from what I call the point of no return.
So he’d been in the business for seven months, evenings at home were all talking about the business and why it wasn’t performing;
- Evenings at home
- Even meetings in the boardroom
- Between the owners
Were about underperforming staff or sales team; if this sounds familiar, you’ll probably get more familiarity with what I’m going to say next, is they kept having discussions about this, week after week, month after month, and the amount of time that it took up for underperforming people, bad management in some areas, it was a couple of issues that were just out of their control.
But the compounded effort all came to the situation where we felt he needed to bring external advice, somebody who’s been there, done it, walked a mile or a thousand miles in their shoes.
And luckily, as I said to you before, right when I started, this does have a happy ending, but if that guy had left it about another four or five weeks, he would have passed that point of no return.
Where the finance capabilities, and the time he had to refinance, the time he had to restructure, just would not have been there, so if you are struggling in your business, and you’re having repetitive conversations, either with your partner, your husband, your boyfriend, your girlfriend at home; you’re having repetitive conversations with your managers or your staff.
It’s just taking up a lot of time, it’s really time that you should start looking outside of your business, to bring in a specialist.
Whether that’s a consultant or a coach; that’s a separate debate, we could do a whole video on that, but for those of you guys out there who are not sure about the difference between whether you need a consultant or a coach;
- A consultant is somebody who’s going to fill skill gaps for you,
- Somebody who’s going to be able to do something that your team or you yourself can’t do.
- A coach is somebody who is going to bring the best out of you, so it develops the skills that you’ve got; personally, when I went with my businesses.
The investments that we have, whether it’s non-execs or whatever, we work on a hybrid model, so we work on a hybrid model of both consultancy and coaching, because certainly, in the boardroom, or the management team, they’re certainly going to need coaching.
There is also a lot of skill gaps because maybe they’re not big enough to have a full board of five people or six people, or whatever.
So think about it, write down in your diary, the point of no return, and try and understand what that looks like; if you are to refinance your business today.
Whether that’s get an increased facility from the bank, go and get some capital to grow; what’s that going to take you?
Well, it depends on how good your finance numbers are, how up to date they are.
What relationship you’re having with your bank, that’s again, another debate that we could have a lot there.
But would it be four weeks, would it be six weeks, would it be eight weeks?
Then if you need to recruit, what does it look like for you to recruit people?
You get that job description drafted, understand the role, advertise it, even if you find the right candidate, they might be on a month or two months notice, some may be able to start quicker.
Then that’s fair shout, so understand what the point of no return is in your business, understand how long your cash is going to last, and then, if you’re struggling, at least six, eight, 12, 16 weeks before; you need to be taking action, because going back to the statement we said earlier.
The Zig Ziglar quote, “If you keep doing what you keep doing, you’re going “to keep getting what you keep getting.”
Now if you’re happy with what you keep getting, then that’s fine, but only a fool would expect to get different results from the same ethics, so don’t leave your business problems.
Don’t leave your business solutions that you’re looking for, to the last minute, because without self proclamation, here, or anything like that, we may be good at what we do.
There’s a hundred business consulting firms and coaches, and non execs out there that are equally as good, if not better than what we do.
That’s fine, but we’re not miracle workers, guys, and that’s the point of what I’m saying; we’re not miracle workers, we can’t come into a business and wave a magic wand, get the bank on tide, speed up application processes, speed up legal processes, and just unravel it overnight, so you need time.
I call it oxygen-ing the helmet, that is time to put new systems, or new processes, or new re-filings in place, and the happy ending for this guy.
Luckily, we managed to grab all of it, the skin of the teeth stuff, we had to do a little bit of juggling, what that means.
Robbing a bit of pieces of pay pole, and holding off on supply chains, negotiate with suppliers till we got refinanced.
The end result was we got it done, and the end result now is that business has got some oxygen, it’s got time, it’s got a business plan, it’s got a strategy; working with the management team to ensure that we don’t go down through that process, again.
So I hope you find that sort of helpful, it’s an obvious notion, if you think about it, you need time to do things, banks and restructures; they don’t work at your timeline, they work at their timeline, and especially solicitors and legal people, so if you are having those repetitive conversations.
First thing to do is work out how long you’ve got left before you could potentially be in trouble, couldn’t pay the bills, trading and solving, seeing things such as, then if you have got enough time, get in touch with your business consultant, your business coach, hybrid model, like we do at Mike Midgley Executive.
If you want to set up a call with me, my name’s Mike Midgley, the principal at Mike Midgley Executive.
We operate a very unique, sort of hybrid business management and consulting coaching programme, at Mike Midgley Executive, where we work on the five fundamentals of your business, being finance, operations, and systems, people, HR, sales, marketing, and corporate governance.