A few years ago, I had a turnaround client in the northeastern USA, a $20 million-dollar sheet metal and roofing company. The first day that I visited the company, I arrived at the entrance way of the business and asked the receptionist to see the owner of the company. To protect the owner’s and company’s name, I will refer to the owner as Matthew and the company ABC Roofing. Matthew came to the company entrance, introduced himself, shook my hand and asked for me to follow him to the conference room.
Matthew was about six feet tall, had light brown hair, long enough to have a small ponytail and with three inch beard. He was dressed in a scruffy pair of jeans, an old blue shirt, and “well used” work boots. No one would ever guess that Matthew was the President of the organization.
While sitting at the conference room table, Matthew talked about the lack of success of ABC Roofing during the past two and one half years for two hours. He shared with me that he has been working twelve-hour days, six days a week. Matthew explained that the harder he works, the more money the company loses. He said that as the company continues to grow the sales, so does the red figures (losses). I listened to the owner’s story about the company until he was about in tears. My guess was that he was just about burnt out and saw no end in site. He said, “Bob, I don’t have any answers on how to turn this company around to be profitable again.”
Matt looked terrible and I really felt sorry for him!
Finally, he stopped talking after he asked me if I have any ideas how to turnaround his company. I closed my notebook where I was taking notes while Matthew was talking about his organization.
I first told him that he was going home after work today and ask his wife to join him for a trip to the local shopping mall. They were going to find a men’s clothing store to purchase five or six pair of khakis slacks and ten professionally looking shirts to wear to work in the future. I then stated that he needed to get a professional looking haircut, so he looked more like the business’s president than a past member of the Rolling Stones. I knew that my comments would earn me Matthew’s respect or he would fire me before lunch on my first day of the engagement.
The turnaround engagement lasted four months. After the first thirty days, the company was very profitable. Matthew wore an “ABC Roofing” logoed hat and white shirt, with Khaki slacks. Both ABC Roofing and Matthew looked great!
Always look and act professional as a manager.
My name is Robert Curry. I am an author, CEO coach, keynote speaker, and turnaround specialist. Over the past 20 years, I have worked with more than 70 companies taking their businesses from Loses to Profits.
Recently, I published two books about turnarounds: “From Red to Black” and “The Turnaround.” Both books are true stories about turnarounds of real companies that I turned the “Losses into Profits” during my career.
Please click on the links below to read some my other articles like Look and Act Professional!
Everyone in the Company is a Salesman!
Are You Working ON Your Business or IN Your Business?
In both books, I have shared all my Profit Improvement Recommendations (“PIR’s”). PIR’s help to grow sales, reduce expenses, improve cash flow, and most importantly, strengthen the management teams.
If the information in this article! helps you, your family or a business associate, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share with me the story.
If you would like to purchase either or both books autographed by the author, please click on the following link: Redtoblackbooks.com.