Since selling my last business and starting out as a full time Mentor / Business Consultant, I have worked with a number of very varied businesses with very different problems that needed fixing. One such opportunity was a small owner managed niche training business that needed to expand and grow, or it was going nowhere.
The owner was very ambitious and wanted to do everything! They became convinced that they needed to raise £200,000 from Angel Funding, but were finding it difficult! Not surprising, most small businesses are worth next to nothing, so why would anyone invest, whatever % they get.
I had done a fair bit of work with both entrepreneurs looking for funding and Angel Investors themselves, so feel I have a good understanding of this market from both sides and I have in fact done training on this subject. I reviewed the business plan, which had been prepared at great cost and covered a 5 year timescale. It was all hogwash and I set about rewriting a much simpler version which covered a maximum of 2 years and could prove that the goals were achievable. This new plan was good enough to secure a favourable bank loan, which the previous plan had failed to do, and the amount brought in was sufficient to fund the next stage of the businesses growth. I instigated a good management accounting system and ensured the bank were kept up to date.
The owner had wanted to bring on board other qualified trainers, but my plan brought in a business manager, who would go out and sell the courses, leaving the owner to do what they do best and deliver the courses themselves.
Once the next phase of the development is completed, the profits should be able to support further growth, however, if they don’t, the bank will no doubt extend a larger facility, now it has seen the progress made from where it was originally in a huge way.
The morale here is that often an owner manager is too close to the business to see “the wood from the trees” and it really can help to have a Mentor come in and analyse the problems going on in the business and hampering the growth or profitability. Also, really establish how much finance is needed and what it is needed for. If it is just to pay the wages, then something is very wrong!
Remember, donʼt try to do too many things at the same time, you will end up with none of them being done well!!
Finally, only listen to “experts” if you believe they are, not because they tell you they are!!