I have found that certain entrepreneurs ignore business essentials and always feel that “things will turn out…ok.”  But sometimes, they do not.

My client had developed a significant business but experienced serious cash flow issues that could not be overcome, payroll liabilities, landlord issues….those kind of things  They were very talented and I sought another group for them to become part of.  I negotiated a buy out of their debt and they were to become part of another firm.  All employees (and clients) were out of harm’s way. 

In those situations, a consultant does not want to buy the day and give up tomorrow; i.e., sell short and lose the upside.  In negotiating, I wanted a long term agreement with an incentive built in for upside profitability and equity sharing.  The buyer said, “Tom, I’m not going to do that….this will be self-regulating anyway.  At the end of five years, if I want them, I will negotiate an upside for them; and, if they want to contintue to be part of us, they will negotiate fairly with me to achieve that.  If they don’t want to continue, then it doesn’t matter what I am willing to offer them……..whether it be today or in five years.”

He was right.  The group contributed significantly to the growth of the “buyer” but at the end of the five year period, negotiations broke down and they left.  Sometimes, someone thinks they can learn from their previous mistakes only to find that old habits (business practices?) are difficult to modify.  And what happened to the group that had been originally “saved” five years before and then chose to go back out on their own again?  Within a year, they were out of business (again).  This time….no one offered them an umbrella.

do you need help finding dry land, an umbrella or simply someone to talk to?