Sailing into the Sunset
A successful business couple had built up and run a profitable and healthy engineering services company. After 25 years they wanted to sell but didn't know how to ensure they would get enough income to live off for the rest of their lives, if they chose. After in-depth conversations with them, and a full appraisal of their business using RealityCheck®, established that there would indeed be a shortfall. I worked with them for two years, adding value across the board, including finding a hidden asset in the business in the shape of software they'd created which was valued at over £1m alone. Having introduced the couple to various corporate finance houses, they sold their business for an eight figure sum, leaving a strong business with a motivated senior management team deftly holding the reins.
An IT services company needed support to scale up. A RealityCheck® revealed that their product and proposition had not been well-defined, making it challenging for their sales people to compete in the marketplace. I helped them clarify their existing offering, but the greatest achievement was the way they innovated and introduced new services, resulting in a substantial and sustained increase in revenues.
Aligning the board
The board of a leading food distribution company were not aligned around a new, radical strategy their CEO had set for the business. I ran a workshop to tease out and discuss differences in a constructive way, leading to broad agreement and commitment to the new strategy. The company increased its market share in exceptionally competitive trading conditions.
A leading video production company with household name clients had become “stuck in a wall”. Turnover and profits had remained the same for a number of years. I carried out a RealityCheck® and helped the CEO develop a strategy to drive the business “through the wall”. The company went on to grow substantially over many years.
A new entrant to the utilities sector offering consumers a fresh proposition needed to put in place organisational structures, a fully functioning board and robust corporate governance, in order to create a solid foundation for rapid growth. Over 18 months, a colleague and I supported the founder in creating a clear vision and strategy for the business; we also delivered a comprehensive training and coaching programme for the senior team, introduced processes and procedures, and advised on the structure of the board. The business has gone on to achieve huge success, setting new standards in customer service, winning multiple industry and consumer awards, sourcing substantial funding, disrupting the market in which it operates.
First round funding
An early-stage SaaS (Software as a Service) business was ready for first round funding. I supported the business by advising on the creation of its first Investment Memorandum, including clarifying its proposition and explaining what was required from potential investors’ points of view. This resulted in a crowdfunding round which beat its targets. The company is continuing to grow significantly, disrupting the sector in which it operates.
Eminence grise (wise man with grey hair)
The owners of an established application development business with household name clients decided to start another company, which would need all of their time. They promoted one of their senior management team to lead the company in their absence. This was the individual’s first experience in this position. I acted as a sounding board and advisor over a two year period, enabling the new leader to thrive, be enterprising and confident while the owners established their new business. The company continued to succeed under the new management, increasing sales and profits despite the owner’s absence.
Getting to the next stage
The CEO of a leading professional services company needed support to get to the next stage. I coached and advised the CEO to create a new strategy, and a revised organisation structure to support the strategy. The company went on to double its turnover and profits over the subsequent period.
Learning to scale
The husband and wife owners of a six-year old online learning and development company with household name clients had founded and grown their company successfully, and were ready to scale up. There were key decisions to make around assessing funding requirements, capability gaps, resourcing developers, and refining their proposition. Over a six month period I helped the owners write a vision and direction paper, which tackled the challenges they had identified, advising them throughout. The company went on to double its turnover and profits and continues to grow strongly.
The owners of a long-established professional services business were finding it difficult to agree a succession strategy, causing internal tensions and hampering the growth of the company. I mediated between the owners over an extended period, and helped them to arrange funding to buy out one of the partners, thus avoiding a potentially damaging split. The company has since gone on to thrive, winning multiple industry awards.
War war to jaw jaw to tears of joy
The 50/50 founding partners of a 25 year-old medical practice had, over many years drifted apart in terms of vision, strategy and day-to-day working practices. This to the extent that half of their team were loyal to one partner, the other half to the other, some barely on speaking terms. Morale was rock bottom, staff turnover was off the scale (any wonder?); the practice was stuck. One of the partners invited me in to see what I could do. After carrying out a RealityCheck®, I recommended that one partner buy the other out. Over a nine-month period, I mediated between the partners, helped them negotiate an amicable split, which included advising them both up to and including Heads of Terms ready to hand to their respective lawyers. During this time, I regularly assured the team that all would be well, which had a positive effect on staff turnover. The most satisfying - and touching - part of this project occurred after the partners had signed their agreement. I suggested they hold a whole team meeting to announce their agreement. As they were speaking, one of the partners started sobbing (previously unimaginable), then the other. They hugged, the team applauded; there were even tears in the eyes of some of the most “seen-it-all-before” team members! The practice has since gone from strength to strength.
An early-stage specialist food manufacturing company that had boot-strapped itself since startup, and was therefore highly resilient, was ready to scale. As it was the owners’ first business, they needed support to get their business to the next stage. After an initial RealityCheck®, it was clear they were ambitious, unconventional and had an exciting future. I took an unorthodox approach to scale them and over several years I helped them quadruple the size of their business in tough market conditions; this included the setting up from scratch their own factory and hiring senior management.
A 25 year old contract hire business was stuck in terms of sales and profits. The founder had “lost their mojo”, and the business was in danger of going into decline. After conducting a RealityCheck® and commissioning market and competitor research, I recommended a series of projects over an 18 month period: (a) create a new vision for the company to revitalise the founder and the team, (b) revise the organisational structure and (c) carry out a brand repositioning project. The company has since turned the corner and is growing well.