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Fire Customers? Why not?

Fire Customers? Why not?

  • November 23, 2015
  • Jeremy de Constantin
  • 4 Comments

A career choice, I deliberately chose to work with privately held mid-size companies to avoid the politics that hampers good decision-making in larger companies. Trouble is that in these mid-size companies it is friendships not politics that is an obstacle when trying to do what I do for clients – grow sustainable business value, pre-transition. More specifically it is the abuse of friendships that is at the core. Now don’t get me wrong. Friendships and strong bonds are critical in business. At deConstantin we swear by the KLT rule when engaging with new staff or clients – Do they pass the…

What’s Your End-Game Equation?

What’s Your End-Game Equation?

Have you seriously considered your company’s end-game? No matter what the business, it demands an end-game. More specifically an end-game equation!

If you have no destination in mind and you just float around aimlessly, you could end up anywhere. Hardly a sensible (or fair) strategy when so many others depend on the business for their livelihood and future.

I ask my audience a simple question whenever I present at CEO forums. “Who in the room has a strong end-game?” Few of those present ever put up their hands. So, based on this less-than-exhaustive research, I suspect you too haven’t yet considered your end-game strategy.

Losing sleep over your business?

Losing sleep over your business?

Are you losing sleep over your business? Wide awake at 3am fraught with money worries? It is the single most common comment I hear on first meeting a CEO or the owners of a business where the business is in financial distress. Somewhere between swimming and drowning, the business is best described as being in the land of the living dead. In a career spanning 25 years, I have helped many business owners get their business unstuck from what is at best survival mode. I was asked recently by the director of a turnaround client, “How do you do what…

Vision Precedes Business Growth

Vision Precedes Business Growth

“Vision is what pulls at our emotions and creates desire to challenge the status quo” – Steven DuPuis, Founder of the DuPuis Group When you started your business, what kind of thoughts and emotions did you have about where you wanted it to go and how you would go about achieving your vision? Did you have these thoughts at all, or were you focused purely on the present and doing whatever needed to be done in the moment? Ultimately, if your business isn’t growing, it’s stagnating which, in this day of accelerating disruption, inevitably will lead to contraction and decline….

A ticking time bomb for business owners and shareholders

A ticking time bomb for business owners and shareholders

In our line of work, the very first port of call is the client’s financials. We need to confirm there is the financial strength in the business to underpin the aggressive growth plans we plan to execute. In the growth projects we have initiated with clients over the past 10 years, a staggering 70% of engagements have unearthed issues with the accounting function – from plain ineptitude to in one case clear fraud. Most projects have resulted in the replacement of the head of the accounting function, some who have been insitu for years. Then today I read that the Victorian…

22nd July 1970 – a turning point in our family business

22nd July 1970 – a turning point in our family business

Why secure base leadership should precede succession plans in a family business. If you are involved in a family business (or like me, were) chances are you will relate to this story. My grandfather was larger than life, in every sense of the word – he tipped the scales at around 200 kgs in his prime. Aside from this imposing memory I still have of him, he was the glue that kept our large family and growing family business together. Without realising it at the time, he exhibited most (not all) of the qualities I have since studied in leadership…

Business owners – it’s time to put the ‘financial fish’ on the table

Business owners – it’s time to put the ‘financial fish’ on the table

How confident are you that your financials are in good order?   Sound financial management is a given for any business. You don’t need me telling you that it is the single most important foundation for a business that wants to prosper. It precedes everything! Trouble is as we discover time and time again in our work, the financial function for mid-sized private businesses, not usually subject to regular audits, is often letting down an otherwise good business. What is visible (operations) is in great shape – it’s what is not so visible that is a potential time bomb. Before…

Why a business turnaround succeeded on its 4th attempt

Why a business turnaround succeeded on its 4th attempt

The client (fictitiously named Pipes & Pumps) had tried at least 3 times to turnaround a core non-profitable division of their business. The message here is that a pure P&L – Balance Sheet approach to turning around a business, will not work. What is required in addition is a more human approach, as I have outlined below. We have found over countless turnaround projects that it is the soft stuff that is the hard stuff. Being human is as important as the technical aspects – for instance if there are redundancies involved then people will go through a grieving process like any other personal loss….

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