Why Your Distressed Business Could Benefit From Professional Investors and Turnaround Experts

When it comes to running a business, it doesn’t matter how efficient your company is, there will be times when you experience financial lulls, the important thing is what happens next. All businesses experience quiet periods, just like they all experience busy periods, but if your business has been struggling more and more over the time, this could potentially be a sign that it is in distress, in which case you should act sooner rather than later. Many businesses over the years have made the painful mistake of hiring the services of so-called business doctors/consultants, and they sadly have paid the price more often than not. In these situations, it is far better to go with professional investors and business turnaround experts instead, as they are on your side from the get-go. Here’s a more detailed look at the drawbacks associated with insolvency practitioners and so-called business doctors and consultants, before we wrap things up with a look at why a professional investor and turnaround expert would be your far better choice.

The drawbacks associated with business doctors and consultants.

If your company is in a financial distress and you exhausted all options, the first thought you probably have is to contact a business consultant or so called company doctor. They provide you with an advice regarding different routes you could take, or put you in touch with the best, in their eyes, accountants. They will offer “the best” financial advisers etc. However, as you are paying them, they sadly wish to hang onto you for as long as possible, as you are basically employing them. It is in their interests to help you out, but only after they made as much money out of you as possible, and once again, they cannot offer anything to add value to your falling business.

Insolvency practitioner route.

Alternatively, you may consider speaking with an Insolvency Practitioner. IP’s provide you with initially free consultation, however if you decide to start insolvency proceedings yourself you could be charged anything from £3,000 all the way up to £10,000, possibly even more than that, which is a lot of money for anybody, especially a company that is already struggling to keep its head above the water.

IP’s are obligated by law to provide you with their best advice and every possible option available. If the business has no chance of surviving they will offer to liquidate it and that is basically end of the road for you. If the business is sound but it is insolvent on a cash flow or a balance sheet basis, it may be possible to restructure the company. If that is the case they may offer either Administration Order or Company Voluntary Agreement. The biggest drawback of Administration Order is that you completely lose control of the company’s assets and its operations. Appointed administrator will be in charge and they’ll continue trading whilst trying to put company back on track. Company Voluntary Agreement – CVA is different as it’s basically a contract between your company and all of its creditors. Typically you pay reduced installments over a period of time and you are allowed to continue trading. However company’s credit score takes a real hammering and its reputation is damaged amongst contractors and creditors. This means there will be little or no chance to open credit account or to take a business loan for a period of time.

Why go with a professional investors and turnaround experts?

When in distress, insolvency is not your only option, despite what others may tell you. It is never too late to save a business and to improve it, especially when you tap into its unseen potential, which is where turnaround experts and professional investors prove to be so beneficial. Investors and turnaround experts are on your side from the start, because they are actually investing in your business, so they of course need to make you successful because the more you make, the more they make. They do not charge for their services and advice, and they employ a vast selection of business strategies, many of which are relatively unknown, but don’t be fooled, these strategies are tried and tested. Investors and turnaround experts want to see your business grow and improve, and they have the tools and capabilities to allow it to do so, making them your best choice by far.

Is your business in danger of becoming insolvent?
Are you experiencing cash flow difficulties?
Do you want to get back on the path of success but don’t know where to start?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, then you have come to the right place. Why give up on your dream or abandon your life-long passion when you can get help?
I specialise in helping businesses just like yours return to winning ways. I have several years of investment experience and with your great business ambitions, there’s no doubt that we will make an excellent team.

Online Presence And Reputation Are Key Factors Behind Successful Businesses

Online directories can be quite beneficial for startups and small business firms. Business owners just need to understand how online business directories work. Online directories are site submission services which allow businesses’ sites to be added to particular categories where the websites become easy for interested visitors to search.

Web directories and their importance

Online business directories let the target traffic to search for businesses and websites which they want to know more about or find interesting. Adding a business’s site to an online directory can increase the site’s online visibility. Moreover, online business directories can make it simple and easy to find what people are searching for.

The concept of such business directories is a simple one. These directories are quite similar to the Yellow Pages. Online business directories are just listing places for business websites. Any kind of site can be listed in online directories. Some directories are enormous and cover all topics that people can create websites for. On the other hand, there are small online directories that cover only a particular niche.

Get listed in a web directory to improve your business performance

To keep it straight, online business directories can direct people to any site which they want to find. People just need to search for particular categories or different types of categories till they find the kind of sites they are searching for. When someone browses through an online directory, they will be given lists of sites which relate to their keyword. They will also be given a list of links to the sites. These links will also have short descriptions about the websites. People can go through these descriptions and decide which one they want to choose.

Online reputation is vital any business these days

Exposure is a vital requirement of all kinds of marketing strategies. In fact, when people are more exposed to a business, they most likely will make use of the business’s services. When a business doesn’t have a proper online presence and online reputation, even its existence might not be known to people. If this happens, then business has great chances to become a failure.

Listing businesses’ sites in online business directories can help sites in gaining exposure. Tons of online visitors get to make use of such directories for finding things that interest them. These are prospect buyers who actively search for sites which are related to services or products that one’s business may be all about. Web directories can expose businesses to the target visitors. Hence, websites will get an increased amount of target online traffic. Apart from getting listed in online business directories, it is also important for businesses to have positive reviews online.

What more you need to boost your business

There are a few important reasons why businesses should take advantage of reputable online business directories for getting more prospects. On a daily basis, prospective customers keep searching for different types of business for finding solutions to their problems. This is when they may come across online business directories that may list of the types of sites they are in need of.

Make sure your business has positive reviews online

When potential customers find businesses on the internet, they go through online reviews for making sure that they get in touch with the right company or people. When businesses have good reviews on the internet can build their credibility. Such reviews can also let people know that businesses are reliable so that they can trust them. In addition to increased online exposure and positive reviews, online business directories don’t bother people’s budget.

Money matters at the end of the day

There are loads of online directories which can be used by business owners for free to list their businesses. This is one aspect that makes online directories one best marketing strategies, when it comes to running a business successfully. Any small business owner who wants to improve the online reputation and presence of his or her business may utilize the service of an online business directory.

Why You Can’t Afford to Have Poor Communication in Your Small Business

There was a young man driving his car home on the expressway one evening, when he heard a loud bang and felt his left rear tire blow out. He pulled the car over on the shoulder of the expressway. Once he got out of the car, he could see he had a flat tire. What made things even worse is that he had forgotten his cell phone at home, so he had no way to contact a towing company.

He went into the trunk of his vehicle and pulled out the spare tire and a jack. It was getting close to evening and the sun was setting. He noticed cars were whizzing by just a few feet away from the tire he was about to change. So, he decided to put on his headlights to make his vehicle as visible as possible.

As luck would have it, the tire that he was attempting to change, had not been rotated for at least a couple of years, and the lug nuts were rusted onto the wheel bolts. It took him a long time to finally change the tire, and when he got back in the car and tried to start it, you guessed it; he had a dead battery.

He got out of the car and started waving a white flag, and before he knew it, a little old lady pulled up behind his car. He went over and explained his situation and asked if she might have a pair of jumper cables. She did not, but, then the young man thought of an idea. Since he had a manual transmission, he knew if he could get his car up to 25 miles per hour, he could pop the clutch and could start the car manually. All he needed to do was to convince the woman to give him a push with her car.

He explained, since the back bumper of his car was about the same height as the old woman’s front bumper, all she had to do was push his car with hers to “get him up to 25 miles per hour” and he could start his car. She looked a little confused, so he explained it to her again. Finally, she seemed to understand, and with that the young man got back into his car and put it into neutral and waited for the old woman to give him “a push.”
He waited and he waited and he waited until finally he looked in his rear view mirror and to his surprise, the old woman was coming right at him, at “25 miles per hour!” Ouch!

This story is a good illustration of what can happen when we don’t take the time to clearly communicate our ideas to other people.

According to Chip Wilson, CEO of 360 Solutions, recent surveys, reveal that communication is still an unresolved issue for many companies. “SIS International Research discovered that 70% of small to mid-size businesses claim that ineffective communication is their primary problem. Communication issues are not just annoying; they are also costly. It is not possible to underestimate the importance of effective communication skills, especially at the managerial level.”

One way to understand how miscommunication is costing your company is to identify the last miscommunication that took place between an employee and a customer. Ask yourself how much did it cost to rectify the problem with the customer? How much did it cost you in parts, rework, employees wages and benefits to fix what could have been avoided through clear communication.
Multiply that figure times the number of customer miscommunications you have over a twelve month period of time. My guess is that you will be shocked at how much money you are flushing down the toilet through poor communication.

When someone tells me they don’t have time to make sure they are communicating clearly to all of their customers and employees, I tell them they don’t have enough time not to take the time to properly communicate with them.

Where do you and your employees communicate to your customers?
How do you communicate to them? How well do you communicate?

Here is a list for some of the ways my clients tell me they communicate with their customers:

In Writing
• Contracts
• Policies
• Invoices
• Signage on service vehicles

Over the Telephone
• Phone calls
• The message they leave on their customers voice mail
• Their company’s message on hold
• Their company’s voice mail

Company newsletters

In Person
One on one meetings
Sales presentations

How about some of the ways you communicate with your employees?

In Writing:
Performance appraisals
The stub on your employee’s pay checks
Policies and procedures manual

Over the Telephone
• Phone calls
• The message they leave on their customers voice mail
• Their company’s message on hold
• Their company’s voice mail

In-house company newsletters

In Person
Company periodic meetings
Company parties
Company retreats and strategic planning sessions (Do you even have these very important meetings?)

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, go back and grade yourself and your employees in each category on the level of communication you have with your customers and each other.

If you are not happy with what you find, rest assured that this problem will not go away by itself.

One way to prevent problems in communication is to simply ask the other person to repeat back what you have spoken, to make sure that what you said was heard in the way you intended. If we can do this on a regular basis, we will avoid the surprises that can come with miscommunication.

Other ways are to solicit feedback from your customers and your employees on a regular basis. There are a number of ways I help my clients do this. Feel free to contact me for some ideas on how I can help your small business do a better job with internal and external communications.

So, in order to make your company more profitable and successful, work on your communication processes. You will be glad you did and so will your customers and employees.

Contact us to receive a free copy of Tom’s special report titled: “The 5 Fatal Customer Service Mistakes Small Business Owners Make and How to Deal with Them.

How to Help Your Millennial Employees Do a Better Job Serving Your Boomer Customers

When people walk into your store or small business, or call it on the telephone they don’t just see or hear you, your manager, or an employee as a person that works at the business. Instead, the person they see and hear IS THE BUSINESS. In other words, the business relationship your customers build with that person, representing your business will be the key factor that drives them away, or influences them to come back again and again, and eventually become a life time client.

Within the last ten years, I have found a distinct difference in the way the younger generation interacts with their friends and family. With the onslaught of technology, their communication skills have been altered. Today, young people heavily depend on texting as a way of communicating. The time they spend communicating person to person has been significantly reduced from earlier generations.

The Detroit News cited a study, conducted by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, that showed a noticeable decline in the number of young drivers, especially those in the 16- to 19-year-old range. Another survey revealed that almost half of today’s 18-to-24-year-olds would choose internet access over owning a car.

Many people believe this shift has taken place because young people now have the ability and have formed the habit, to immediately communicate with their friends through texting, and this has reduced the need to physically be face to face.

As a result, this trend has created unique challenges for the small business owner who employs young people. Although there are many well mannered and service minded young people in the work place, it is getting harder and harder to find young employees who are skilled at communicating and interacting face to face, or over the telephone, with their customers.

When it comes down to the basics, most people want to be treated with respect. They want to feel important. Abraham Maslow taught us that. So, the question becomes, how do you get your employees to treat your customers in a way that builds lifetime clients. A good idea might be to have them stop using the Golden Rule, which states that you should “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” A better approach would be to do what Dr. Tony Alessandra suggests that you do and that is to substitute the Platinum rule for the Golden Rule. The Platinum Rule simply states, “Treat others they way they want to be treated.” While this rule works for every generation, when it comes to serving boomers, truer words were never spoken.

So, what it comes down to is this, if you have employees who have a different perception of how to treat your customers other than the way your customers want to be treated, you must do one of three things.

1. Hire young employees who already know how to interact with Boomer customers.
2. Teach your young employees how to provide the kind of service your Boomer generation customers need and want.
3. Give your Millennial employees, who are not willing or able to serve their Boomer customers, the way they want to be served, the opportunity to work somewhere else. At the risk of driving away your hard earned customers, you can’t afford to keep young employees (or any employees) who don’t understand this basic business premise.

Ultimately, the success of the interaction between employees and Boomer generation customers is the responsibility of the owner in any small business. Business owners and their managers must make this area a top priority, or risk losing the Boomer generation customers to their competitors who can.

Tom is founder and president of Tom Borg Consulting, LLC. He is a customer profitability expert. As a, consultant and professional speaker he has worked with hundreds of successful clients ranging from Fortune 100 sized organizations to companies with fewer than 50 employees.