The year 2015 my whole world changed. My husband, Larry, who owned an established equipment company, passed away. With the business being left to me, I now had twenty people depending on me for their livelihood. Talk about a deer in the headlights!
My husband left me a great team but no experience on how to run his business. We continued to serve our customers at a high level, but I was feeling overwhelmed and losing sleep because I didn’t feel confident about the future and me running the business. I received a phone call from Cogent and agreed to meet with Tim, and when I did, I told him I would listen and would not be signing anything today and I didn’t. He returned and convinced me that I had everything to gain and nothing to lose going through the discovery … and he was correct.
Brian came in and looked all over the company, interviewed the employees, and gave me a different view of my company. What really struck me was that the company didn’t hit break-even untill the end of November the previous year, and that was the year business was coming back and we made some strides in the business. When it came time to move forward with a consultant, I wasn’t ready.
Rob, the owner, reached out to me and I was struck by his sincerity and desire to help me improve me and my company. I struggled with this decision for about two weeks before I agreed to bring on a consultant. They sent me Mick.
I immediately felt comfortable with Mick. He reviewed his notes with me and what he knew about the business. Then we immediately started having meetings with my key employees to improve communication. I began to look at my P & L in a whole different light. I still have work to do.
Mick was also introducing Activity reports to my Shop Manager and we were going to finally have a base for what that department was producing. Mick was becoming my trusted advisor and business was progressing.
Mick started to work with AP and AR and he was helping AP set up a cash flow spread sheet and we were also addressing the lack of activity in AR with collections. The challenge began when over Memorial Day weekend, our AR and AP employees were in a severe car accident and would not be able to work for over two months. Sheer chaos!! I was so thankful that Mick was on board and helping the company work through this challenging time. He immediately took charge. We hired temporary employees and Mick was able to get them on board and having that office running efficiently. We realized that our AR person was not keeping up with his job responsibilities and we had to let him go. We collected $100,000 in outstanding debt staying on task, which brought our receivables down significantly. Challenges can also be opportunities in disguise!
Our Selling Sales Manager has now become a full-time Sales Manager. Weekly meetings, one on one meetings with each sales rep. They now have goals and progress charts to keep them on task. We let go of two sales reps and replaced them with an employee that was on board but had to leave due to family responsibilities and a sales rep that has sold 2 machines in one month. We celebrated our July financials as we had the best month since the oil boom of 2014.
Mick and I have established a great business relationship and I am sad that my project is coming to a close. He has informed me that he will be checking in with me and I will be sending him reports to keep him and I current. He will continue to be that trusted advisor and help us thrive.