Our friends at Revitalization Partners help companies make better business decisions. Here is a blog from their newsletter about the common reluctance of companies needing help. At Juniper Capital, we are committed to sharing business advice that helps you achieve success. We specialize in real estate investments with private money loans in Washington and the greater Pacific Northwest. Share your thoughts on this blog, so we can continue to provide you with quality information for operating your business:
Many companies believe that they don’t need professional help, even when we are referred to those companies by smart, perceptive people who have relationships with those companies and want to help. More often than not, when we look into these companies, it is fairly obvious they need help.
In one recent case, we were contacted by a professional investment group that had made an investment in a startup technology company. The tech company was pretty much out of money and the investor wanted to know if there was a way to save the company and, of course, their investment. Unfortunately, even though the company was small, their capital and debt structure was more complicated than many public corporations. They had several classes and even subclasses of equity, convertible debt and a large number of equipment leases. They also had other large, unsophisticated, lenders/investors.
But, they had some prestigious large customers and were gaining market share. They had built the company too fast, and over-expanded, but it was clear that with a bit of patience from investors, a successful restructuring could be accomplished. A strategic sale was also a possibility, given their technology and customer base.
However, the board of directors decided that they didn’t need our help. They fired the CEO, put in place an interim board member as CEO, and agreed to loan the company a small bit of money. A few months later, the company “abruptly closed.” The lender/investor that pushed the decision not to get help had foreclosed on his loan. 150 people lost their jobs and $50 million of capital was lost.
For so many of us, the idea of needing help means that we are weak, dependent, uncertain or unsure of what to do. In our own minds, seeking help means that we aren’t smart enough or good enough. We were brought up to be confident, strong and independent.
As the great coach John Wooden said: “We’re all imperfect and we all have needs. The weak usually do not ask for help, so they stay weak. If we recognize that we are imperfect, we will ask for help and we will pray for the guidance necessary to bring a positive result to whatever we are doing.”
But, how can you be certain that you are getting a quality professional help and not wasting your money on poor results? Here are some tips to start:
1.) Research the people you want to work with, discuss their background. Experience and a proven track record are the most important credentials. A candidate should be able to produce a portfolio of success stories and satisfied clients.
2.) Make certain the qualifications match the task. Different candidates may produce different results. Make sure they meet your needs
3.) Ask around. Most successful professional service providers are well known to bankers, attorneys, accountants and financial advisors. It’s not only having references, but the quality of those references that is important.
In addition to being a successful services provider, do the people you’re considering have both strategic AND management skills? In the restructuring profession, there are a lot of people who have experience “crunching numbers”. But do they have a management background to help lead the organization where it needs to go? When improving the performance of a company, time really is money. Your provider must have real “hands on” experience, interviewing and negotiating skills.
In summary, the following are direct comments from a business owner who finally asked for help. We believe, they say it all:
“I had financial issues. I created the issues. I believed I could fix the issues myself, but I couldn’t fix the issues myself. I hired financial professionals and they did their job and solved the problems.”
That’s the way things work. Professionals produce results.
Revitalization Partners is a Pacific Northwest business advisory and restructuring management firm with a track record of achieving the best possible outcomes for their clients. They specialize in improving the operational and financial results of companies and providing hands-on expertise, with a focus on small and mid-market organizations. Contact Revitalization Partners for the best resolution in the fastest time with the highest possible return.
Revitalization Partners… when a company is worth saving.