Expansion: Borrowing to grow

It seems to be about the money

The recent business failures are due to the approach to group expansion.

Thomas Cook Group expanded on a wave of optimism. Servicing the debt would be easy in those market conditions.

The expectation that assets remain stable and creditors won’t get nervous is the common view. However, the reality is that lenders aren’t interested in the long term.

Thomas Cook PLC establishes this, first the banks require an additional £200 million then they increase this to £250 million. This action cascades the demise of the business.

Borrowing versus Investment

My personal approach to expansion has always been pragmatic, never buy another business, it adds to the risk. Use new money to expand, never link it to assets alone. Never borrow from a bank, high street or commercial lender.

A new investor requires some equity or incentive to join the journey. They stand to lose and need to engage to protect the investment. Also, they understand the risk.

Therefore, my approach is self-fund expansion, where that isn’t the option, find the right investor.

The “Right” Investor

  • The investor understands the business
  • The Investor recognizes that they profit from the expansion
  • The investor has a real stake in the success
  • The Investor must be involved

Borrowing against a business plan is viewed as a safe option for business owners. However, actual versus projected performance complicates matters.

Banks protect investor funds, therefore, reducing the risk. Consequently, the Bank is forced to react.

Therefore, cut out the bank!

Expansion through Investment

The need for a clear approach to staged growth and expansion underpins the investment strategy.

Ask simple questions: why the expansion is required? who will gain? how long will it really take?

Therefore, use three lines of projected performance, the:

  • Desired
  • Actual
  • Minimum

Explain the risk factors. Report performance monthly.

Investment Strategy

Consequently, planned expansion needs a clear strategy.

“Like a joke, it has failed when you have to explain the punchline!”

Contact us for more detail on how to attract investors with a powerful Investment Strategy!

Preparation

Preparation
Preparation and planning

Preparation! Winning Tender Writers build a foundation for successful bidding. Therefore, the preparation time is critical.

The Gift

“O wad some Power the giftie gie us

To see oursels as ithers see us!”

Robert Burns

This is the gift described by Robert Burns and business owners can do something about what the Buyer sees.

Although, the public image isn’t the first step in the due diligence process our public reputation can pose a problem.

Check
Check your profile

An example: A Care Provider presents evidence in their bid document that states they respond to and resolve every complaint.

Based on the information they have presented it would appear correct and complete.

However, the local care providers database has a clear complaint about the service, it has been read frequently. The Care Provider has ignored the complaint. Therefore, public evidence contradicts the bid.

As a buyer reviewing your evidence would I be confident that the information presented was accurate?

Consequently when preparing to bid set aside some time to review your public profile. Always do something about outstanding criticism.

Evidence

Proof of competence requires preparation. Take time to gather real evidence.

All of us have encountered academically skilled individuals, however, they lack competence at point of delivery.

On paper, the qualification looked right, in practice, there was still a distance to be traveled.

Therefore, our evidence needs to be gathered over time and from a variety of independent sources. Focusing on Care Providers, one round of surveys provide a snapshot. However, effective preparation ensures access to a wider data set.

Winning Tender Writers know how to present the evidence “what you do”, “why you do it”, “what your existing clients think”. The evidence comes from your customers.

Preparation Never Ends

The key to winning tender writing is constant preparation. Gathering, collating, and presenting evidence of competence of service is never rushed.

The Offer

The team at Mark P Trotter focuses on ensuring that your business is tender ready.

The document review is a simple step but important. (I’ll explain why in another blog”) Public profile, again straightforward enough. Evidence of what you do is relatively easy.

However, combine and present that information for Winning Tenders and the challenge has changed.

Social Care Tenders

It seems to be about the money

The Social Care Tender writing team has successfully supported more than 50 small and start-up care providers. Therefore, working with the experienced tender writers business owners are winning local care contracts.

Working With Us

The first step is to contact Kuljeet or Mark, via the link. We will contact you to arrange a personal call.

Our bespoke service ensures that your business receives the support required, this includes preparatory work for Care Quality Commission registration.

Social Care Focus

Our experienced team understands the meaning of person-centered Care; outcome measures and how to use this information when linked with the specification.

Often every contract looks good and the opportunity is a means of securing income when viewed at face value. However, understanding that to secure a place on the Dynamic Purchasing System is only the beginning.

The competitive mini-competitions require clear evidence, current data, and examples of competence. Therefore, working with our team ensures your business has the information in the right format.

Common Issues

The reality is often that we are competitively bidding at the council’s fixed rate. This is often below the market hourly charge.

The example that springs to mind, the National Care Association in the publication “2019 Social Care Briefing paper”, the authors noted that:

The result being that Local Authorities feel comfortable commissioning complex care at unrealistically low prices – a patient in an NHS facility with assessed care needs costs the state over £2000 p/w but on discharge the commissioner will expect to purchase the same care in more homely surrounding for about £600 per week. Clearly, there is a disconnect between what we pay for care!

This is reflected at a local level when the “real cost” is compared to the price paid.

Consequently, the expectation is that more Not for Profit providers will enter the marketplace. However, Not for Profits must at less remain ahead of the “breakeven point”. Therefore, every provider needs to know the real cost of their care package, consolidate local provision and adjust care packages to the local area. Our team enables you to create that flexibility.

Understanding the Cost of Care

Our experienced care sector project managers ensure the key measures that reduce overheads and unavoidable cost centres are applied.

Therefore, we examine work processes, the greatest efficiency in all service provision remains to “meet the need as it arises”. With the right systems, cost centre care management improves competitiveness.

However, this requires business discipline and a responsive approach.

A delays cost time and money, therefore, maximise your communication tools, understand how to ensure your client need to contact your team, armed with the up to date information the next visit is successful in meeting that need.

Effective communication tools add value to the offer and therefore, reduce the face to face time a client requires.

Access to assistive technologies is often understood to be the answer to prayer, however, access to additional community support is where the real added value occurs.

Our Offer to Social Care providers

About to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC)? Contact

Planning to respond to Dynamic Purchasing System or contract opportunity? Contact

Seeking to win more mini-competitions? Contact

Our social care setup tools enable you to gather the right evidence, provide information on the level of experience and competence. This includes how to calculate your “real” hourly rate, project income based on knowledge of the sector funding and contracts. Our team of experienced project manager ensures you are ready to tender.

We ensure that you remain competitive and we will help you through the first tenders as part of the tender readiness process.

Win Contracts

To win the strategy is simple:

  • Preparation
  • Clarity
  • Cost sensitivity
  • Realistic plans
  • Let your work speak

The team is successful in working with start-up businesses and established care providers. Because, these business tools are designed to streamline the tender process, consequently simplifying contract arrangements and therefore, ensure competitiveness.

Contact Us

Charity Sector

Having a social conscience in business is often used to demonstrate that an individual is “giving back” to society. Many are rewarded and applauded for doing so. Truthfully the accolade is the driving force for many from all sectors of business and the public sector.

However, to truly “give back” we have to invest something of ourselves without seeking a reward. Using our talents in ways that enable and empower Charities and Not for Profits.

“The 3rd Sector”

“The 3rd or Voluntary Sector and not for profit organisations” are certainly awful labels for organizations that reach into the challenging areas of modern life and support individuals.

These institutions have never been somehow second rate or less than brilliantly resourceful. Often pioneering and innovative, their reliance on “living social capital” to support those needing investment is exemplary.

Most are served the scraps from the table. Lottery, large appeals like Children in Need and Comic Relief or Cancer Research appear to make the sector appear well funded.

The History of Modern Charity

Fundraising Cloud modern propaganda tools

In 1998 the team of consultants working in Plymouth for an organization called Plymouth Community Partnership was asked to explain the history of Charity.

That research took us through a range of formulae and structure, trusts and charters, covenants and arrangements. All required benevolence and philanthropy from those engaged in the service. However, with the development of the National Lottery, the Modern Charity (Community Project) with its professional staff materialized.

Oh, what damage this has caused. The so-called professional gives personality to the words of Alexander Pope: “A little learning is a dangerous thing; … There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,”

As a society, we are blessed with the Internet and Google, a digital presence, social media and just giving pages. How these tools are abused and how misinformation creates a false picture of the sector really saddens those with social values.

Abuse of Trust

“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, MONEY, MONEY”

A Lyrical endictment

As CEO of Charity and senior management with management years of paid and unpaid work in the sector, it saddens me to report that the larger charities have abused the public.

How can a charity that accepts donations from pensioners and those limited incomes use funds to pay “professional” staff £100,000 and more? Why do trustees get away with poor governance practice and a lack of accountability? The Charity Commission is an excellent public sector tool but over the years its relationship with external institutes have emasculated the role it plays.

This is an abuse of trust. Don’t take my word for it check the charity register and if you support a charity find out how much the CEO is paid. As one of my colleagues once said: “as we have to ask for – donations and grants, it can’t end up in our pockets”.

Staff are needed and they need to be paid a living wage, rewarded for their hard work, so the challenge to charities is: “fund the frontline staff properly!”

Why Can We Say this?

Our team of consultants are experienced advisors, fundraisers and trainers, we have clear values and provide the support needed.

We provide services that many charity trustees find challenging to cover, for example, governance updates, advice and support, accounting and reporting, fundraising management. These services are designed to fit the structure of the charity and the purse.

Presenting monthly accounts reports takes very little time once we have all the information, for a treasurer this whole process can take hours. We enable the trustees to use their resources effectively.

Are we professional charity workers? Yes and No, we earn the bulk of our income working with commercial operations, however, we keep some time aside for organizations in need of our help, our professional skills.

Please contact us for more information.

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