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!

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.

Welcome to winning services

Welcome to our winning services, we know “First Impressions” are important in business. However, we can get hung up on them! Also, the “USP”, pitching, return on investment, corporate social responsibility!

Consequently, we have ditched the jargon! Save the business speak for the right time and place. Our team is there to support the development process. Therefore, the services are designed to support your business, no fuss, no fanfare.

Experience

The first contact remains the most challenging in any business relationship. We talk of “first impressions”, however, whatever the importance of those first few seconds and the reality is:

“All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to people they know, like and trust.”

Bob Burg – “Endless Referrals”

Therefore, specialists with a wide network of contacts are to be viewed as an opportunity to build resilience in your business. The stronger the contacts the deeper the resource pool.

With access to years of experience in public, private and charity sector project management, business development, and procurement winning solutions are a habit.

Marketing / Content

Often when we work alone it is easy to over-complicate things. A few hours of a skilled marketing professional’s time can be invaluable.

Creating a tailored copy for your website is vital, or just structuring your thoughts for a blog. Small business owners often attempt to meet the daily challenges by doing everything themselves and consequently, not quite achieving everything. Therefore, work SMART and SMARTER, access the skills you need when you need them.

It easy to become the most expensive form designer, customer service rep and admin worker in your own business, the same applies to written material and content writing.

One example:

Social Care

UK Councils are discussing the need to cut contracts and reduce prices. For many smaller care businesses that should be great news.

However, because of contract pressure, these service providers only have time to react to the proposed change. Access to a specialist service can make all the difference. For example:

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

KKS Management provide all the support required for a successful application.

Content Creation

Corporate Communication

pippin Consulatncy – Catherine provides Compelling Content for Annual reports, corporate responsibility brochures, staff handbooks, …

Tender Management

Mark P Trotter

Specialist business support including comprehensive tender writing services. Winning contracts prepared by experienced bid writers

The advantage of working with skilled practitioners is financial, you pay for what you need, task-driven and highly professional individuals focused on delivering high-quality products.

MT Management is a site in development so for more information follow the links to KKS Management and Pippin Consultancy or Contact us

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