On today’s episode, we go back to Spring 2019.
Chelsey was planning to use the proceeds from her last business to purchase a new one.
She did the due diligence and saw lots of opportunities with a small local landscaping company that was cash flow positive and doing well. After getting a small business loan to help her out, she bought the business from the owner, who was retiring.
After a few days with her new staff. She noticed that the numbers were always negative.
When she asked the staff, they told her that the previous owner would give them cash to pay for certain things — including their overtime.
It became painstakingly obvious that not only was the previous owner barely breaking even, but they’d take a big distribution from the business, and paid cash to manipulate the books.
Chelsey has a background in accountancy. She’d had attorneys look at the company’s accounts. And both of them had been misled by the numbers they’d seen.
What initially appeared to be a big business opportunity, was a sinking ship.
At first, Chelsey was shocked.
With all of her experience, she thought she knew what to look for.
But it wasn’t just that — she’d been working with the previous owner for weeks to find a good solution for him. He had lied to her. It had never occurred to her that someone could be so willing to take advantage of her like that.
How Do You Turn a Sinking Ship into a Business Transformation?
Chelsey had put a lot of things on the line for this business. And had a very different picture of how this was going to go.
Now she had a big problem to solve, turning this business around, and making it better than what she thought she had purchased.
Having worked in finance in Boeing — this part was not hard for her. She knew the first step was to increase revenue.
After a few phone calls, she found a local landscaper who was willing to help her out. He helped her to learn the basics of the industry, and show her the gap in the market that would get the business back on its feet.
In retrospect, Chelsey put herself out there and was open about her vulnerable situation. And she was met with kindness.
Because of this one person, she eventually took on more complex projects that brought the company success. And then, sold the business with a very positive cash flow.
In this episode, Chelsey and I talk about
- How her industry changes have helped her current business
- The importance of putting yourself out there and asking questions
- The realisation that all businesses, at their core, are the same
The story of Chelsey’s business transformation is humbling.
Tune in to hear how she found the perfect person to sell her business to!