Two years ago a two-partner firm asked us to find a buyer for their practice. They had experienced more “downs” than“ups” and were simply ready to quit.
For smaller firms out there, the concept of a >$600K turnover sounds ok doesn’t it, but for a number of reasons, the firm had been in decline for years and a break-even result year on year with declining profits was pretty demoralizing.
RULE NUMBER ONE
When I had personally hit rock bottom and lost more than $1M in my own business, I created this fabulous rule that I believe we all should remember…
“Never make a decision that difficult to reverse when you’re on an absolute high or an absolute low”
Clearly in my situation back then it was not the “high” for me and I even contemplated some pretty dark and desperate options!
SELL THE PROBLEM OR SOLVE THE PROBLEM?
Having learned how to completely turn around my own loss-making business and, fortunately for Mike and Coral, they decided to “give it one more year”. In early 2012, they took some serious action. Yes, I personally assisted them to come to some tough decisions and for a short while they doubted the promises I made them about their future potential.
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
Coping with dramatic change is difficult for us all (even me). When “you don’t know what you don’t know” it’s quite scary to conceive free falling into even more uncertainty as a means to delivering better financial and work-life balance outcomes.
BUSINESS COACHES –WHO CAN YOU TRUST?
The truth about change is that its difficult to do on your own. Does the problem be who do you trust when you start taking the need for change seriously?
If there is a common complaint about business coaches it’s often their lack of structured process towards a desired end and/or their limited practical hands-on experience as a business owner.
A STRUCTURED PRE-SALE PROGRAM OR SUCCESSION PLAN IS KEY
That’s why we created a structured program that allows you to dictate your end goals, which can be an exit strategy (i.e. sell your firm after 12 months preparation) or a succession plan (continue on in the business) so that you can wind back gracefully over time and hand the reigns to a junior partner(s).
CHANGE MANAGEMENTHURTS BUT WORKS
In less than 12 months Mike and Coral had slashed their employment costs and recruited an entirely new team. It wasn’t always easy, but today profits are soaring higher than ever before and it’s scary how much work gets done each day compared to a year ago.
THE FACTS DON’T LIE
Now if their fee base was not >$600K and they weren’t on track to deliver $1M organically this year you could be forgiven for being skeptical. But these facts don’t lie. For the first time in years, the partners believe they can build an outstanding practice, yet this all started because they thought they should get some help to sell, quit and move on!