It was the night before Christmas and a lonely business owner was working hard well into the night, ruing the departure of his business partner some seven years ago. Back in the day they set up a business with a vision, focus and drive and created a successful and profitable enterprise. They had a good team of employees and after a few years were on the brink of significant expansion until one of the partners had a serious medical issue that quickly became terminal. The remaining partner took on all the work of the other and tried to manage the whole business and the employees. Gradually the business lost its focus and momentum, and eventually sales started to decline as did profits and cash, and staff departed to seek other opportunities.
“Why am I the only one who cares about this business and has to work so hard; humbug to my employees, suppliers, customers and family?” Finally, nearing midnight, he departed to his home, alone and deep in thought about his future. He needed help but had been too proud to ask but the situation could not go on indefinitely.
Just as the business owner was falling asleep a bright light appeared and he remembered all the good times of his early years and the friendship that grew into going into business with his partner. The light faded to be replaced with someone remarkably resembling Father Christmas, who showed him how everyone outside of his business was looking forward to seeing friends and family and enjoying their time away from work. Finally a dark and foreboding creature appeared and showed him how quickly he too could come to an untimely end if nothing changed and he continued to drive himself so hard.
When the next day dawned the change in attitude was immense, a weight was lifted and the spirit of Christmas returned. He knew that changes would be made in the coming weeks to his business, but first he needed to tell everyone how he felt and how he could help them. In time his generosity and willingness would be repaid but for the next few days he would enjoy himself.
All business owners should remember that what is past has gone but what happens in the present shapes the future.
If your business has lost its way or needs objective guidance on how to make improvements that will reinvigorate the owners and management to achieve a vision, contact Martin Walby at MW Interim Finance for a confidential discussion on +44 (0) 7876 566875 or email