28 January 2022

Despite the uncertain economic climate, businesses must continue to develop and rebuild from recent lows. This is necessary to incentivise and reassure staff and stakeholders but should also ensure that businesses are well placed to take advantage of improving and evolving economic trends.

How to rebuild

Identify the operational and financial ambitions of the business

To facilitate decision making, all businesses must have objectives that provide direction and purpose. These objectives are often set using the SMART rule (Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time-bound), and help both to motivate employees and to set targets that can be used to measure progress.

Put in place a project plan with clear steps and deliverables

A project plan is a formal document outlining a company’s goals, the specific tasks required to achieve the goals, and making clear what a successful outcome is. Without careful consideration, preparation and stakeholder follow-through, project plans can be ineffective and ultimately discarded. The plan should include relevant materials (eg timelines, Gantt charts and communication plans) and deliverables.

Secure professional support and investment in people

Rebuilding a company requires careful consideration, eg of employee priorities, the post-coronavirus trading environment, and significant market changes. Too often, management teams try to go it alone and that results in otherwise avoidable issues. Professional advice can deliver real value across a variety of areas (including finance, strategy, business modelling, technology) and should not be discounted. Across almost all sectors, a shortage of appropriately skilled staff is one of the most pressing issues faced by companies today. Workforce investment is needed to ensure the correct level of skills are created, and that employees are further developed with training and retained in the long term through incentive plans, appropriate remuneration and clear career paths.

Consider the impact on stakeholders and focus on securing their support

Company stakeholders with a vested interest include owners, managers, investors, employees, customers and suppliers. Their support must be obtained so that a company can return to healthy profit, and this will involve: 

  • demonstrating authentic, competent leadership;
  • establishing clear lines of communication, and;
  • finding the right balance between the needs and incentives of the various stakeholders. 

Break down the project plan into granular detail and allocate responsibility and reporting

A breakdown of the required work and details of associated resources, together with the relevant delivery and reporting deadlines, is crucial to rebuilding a business. Supporting the project plan (discussed above), clarifying the tasks assigned to employees (from management to shop floor), and having clear priorities will eliminate confusion and drive delivery.

Be brave

Leadership means bravely making the changes needed to operate in a vastly changed landscape. Courage drives innovation and new ways of working, and encourages others to deliver what’s required to succeed. However, the decision-making process must be one of calculated risk taking, supported by careful deliberation and preparation. It is a skill acquired over time, and can be honed with professional assistance.

How can we help?

Assistance from a third party can down barriers and provide clarity and direction. Fresh thinking and teams experienced in implementing step plans can support resource-constrained management teams and significantly improve prospective outcomes.

Our team has considerable experience in dealing with across each area of the rebuilding process:

  • Identifying options and processes to address roadblocks ensuring rapid plan implementation – We have delivered numerous commercial solutions across a wide variety of sectors in recent years. Our teams have practical experience in assessing the options available, then creating and implementing step plans to deliver the solution. We work alongside management, identifying and addressing potential issues and bringing clarity to the process.
  • Project managing step plans from inception to conclusion – From setting goals and defining deliverables, creating a schedule, identifying issues and potential risks, and engaging stakeholders before starting work, our teams can deliver real value.
  • Managing and delivering evolving contingency options – As the pandemic demonstrated, not everything goes to plan and businesses must be agile in responding to change. Our teams are skilled in identifying the available options in response to challenges and putting in the practical steps to implement them.
  • Identifying efficiencies and putting in place gain share agreements focused on reducing costs – Gaining share agreements can be effective to drive improved delivery and incrementally add value. By allowing suppliers/creditors to share in the upsides of reorganisation, we have created arrangements with stakeholders that secure their support and engagement.
  • Aligning Stakeholder Interests  It is essential stakeholder interests are aligned. Deteriorating performance will impact on the respective incentives and interests of stakeholders, potentially dis-enfranchising key parties. This needs to be recognised and addressed, consequently we have been engaged in a variety of restructurings focused on restructuring businesses to ensure stakeholders are appropriately incentivised.

Our Restructuring Advisory team can help with all of the above. Contact Damian Webb or Gordon Thomson today to discuss your current circumstances. 

Damian Webb
Damian Webb
Partner and co-head of Restructuring
Damian Webb
Damian Webb
Partner and co-head of Restructuring