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William Buck’s Business Health and Recovery Plan maps out the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of a business in turmoil by our Restructuring and Insolvency Team. Below, we highlight each stage the business goes through in a series of videos and related information, from determining ill health through to treatment, recovery, and handover.  

PART 1. Does your business need help?

PART 2. How we approach your recovery plan

PART 3. Recovery for the long run

PART 1. Does your business need help?

Introduction

“I should have had this checked out sooner!”  

By following William Buck’s Business  Health and Recovery Plan, your business will not be burdened with regret from failure to act. Below, we explain the red flags of insolvency you need to be aware of, the process that we’ll implement to determine your options, explain how we administer the plan decided upon, and what follows the renewed success of your business. 

Stage 1 | Focus on predictors of poor outcomes

By identifying symptoms early, we can predict poor outcomes in advance. This sets the platform for recovery. 

Qualitative vs quantitative indicators 

Financial ratios and other quantitative measures will only tell part of the story. William Buck’s experts are specialised in looking beyond the numbers to identify behavioural and qualitative problems that forewarn trouble. William Buck recently reviewed a business to reveal a lack of collaboration between management, deferral of maintenance costs and poor treatment of suppliers. This review provided clarity on the issues faced by the company and solidified the Board’s resolve that urgent action was required to avoid the demise of their business. 

Stage 2 | Triage – indicators, stable or in crisis?

How far down the curve of decline is your business? How much runway is left to work with to get your business flying again? 

Did you know?

A company will go through five stages before its ultimate demise. The earlier the decline is identified and the company’s leaders confront the hard truths of the situation, the more likely turnaround is to succeed.

  1. Hubris born of success
  2. Undisciplined pursuit of more
  3. Denial of risk and peril
  4. Grasping for salvation
  5. Capitulated to irreverance or death

Source: Five Stages of Decline, How the Mighty Fall (Collins 2009)

PART 2. How we treat a recovery plan

Stage 3 | Registration

Your committed team is now setting up the structure to begin the treatment plan to get your business back up and running. 

The Tough Choice 

Once directors have accepted that remedial action is required to avert a deepening of the crisis facing the business, they will need to consider which path to take on their turnaround journey. Our experience suggests that it is difficult to pursue multiple approaches concurrently and that addressing a crisis sequentially through the following structure will offer the best chance of success: 

  1. Restructure to address potential insolvency issues 
  2. Cost and asset reduction to create efficiency and improve operations 
  3. Recovery with improved market position through strategic change 

Stage 4 | Treatment

We will make the process of achieving recovery as smooth as possible, drawing on all our expertise to make your treatment plan successful. 

Safe Harbour 

A company’s board will be able to manage certain elements of the recovery process; however, many will be outside the board’s remit. An apt analogy is the GP Doctor (board) bringing in a specialist (restructuring advisor) to identify issues that won’t be immediately obvious to the GP due to the specialist having a depth of knowledge and a certain skillset different to that of the GP.  

William Buck’s safe harbour advisors are the specialists a company needs to see them through tricky times. Our advisors have overseen restructuring plans focused on capital raising, debt refinancing, shareholder negotiations and the resolution of legal disputes. Engaging with our advisors ensures that the board’s “unknown unknowns” do not threaten an otherwise sound turnaround plan.

Stage 5 | Re-evaluating

To make sure your business can stand on its own two feet again, we will measure your success against benchmarks and ensure you have what it takes to exceed expectations. 

Quality information flows 

Good decisions require good information. As a business emerges from a crisis it is crucial that its information systems can produce timely, relevant information to base decisions upon. William Buck has helped clients create robust reporting systems. These range from dynamic rolling 13-week forecasts to allow for scarce resources to be deployed and for the ‘best bang for buck’, to cost allocation analysis which informs strategic decisions on products and/or markets.  

William Buck’s’ turnaround experts also know that without accountability and ownership, the best reporting systems in the world will fail to meet expectations. We help clients cultivate an environment and culture that delivers the insights required to maintain the momentum a company has created through a turnaround. 

PART 3. Recovery for the long run

Stage 6 | Handover

Ready to feel the sun on your face again? Having received a clean bill of health, we will make sure you have the right tools to succeed when you are back on your own. 

Refocus for the future 

William Buck’s experts have helped clients refocus for the future and capitalise on the hard yards won to stabilise a business. Steep gains can be made by a business emerging from a crisis by leveraging the unique capabilities forged in the fight for survival.  

Stage 7 | Follow-up consultations

Ensuring that we deliver on our brand promise of Changing Lives, we will check-in on you periodically to make sure you are happy with the progress made since discharge.  

Embedding performance improvements 

Having experienced the equivalent of the near-death experience in a business sense, a business leader is unlikely to grow complacent and allow decline to creep in again. Long term sustainability requires vigilance, discipline, continuous improvement and constructive dissatisfaction and William Buck’s experts will follow up their clients to test the waters and see if sustainability and performance improvement measures have been fully embedded into the business’s operations and culture. 

Stage 8 | Ongoing maintenance and wellbeing

Whether it is staying up to speed with industry developments, the economic climate, or expanding your networks, our value-add offerings extend well beyond the end of the formal engagement.   

Return to Growth 

As the restructured business emerges from the crisis and stabilisation phases, stakeholders will be eyeing return to growth as a reward for backing the company through its darkest hours. William Buck’s full-service offering can help achieve these growth targets. Whether it be through collaborating with our network, picking the brains of our expert start-up advisors to facilitate entry into a new market, leveraging our industry expertise to drive innovations, or intelligent and strategic M&A activity, William Buck can help you make hay while the sun shines. 

Case studies

From administration back to the ASX 

Sale of MyHouse to Global Retail Brands 

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