Emma and Daphne had set up an accident repair centre and paint spraying business by borrowing capital; they had no real assets however they invested heavily in a new spray booth. Due to the economic climate, small repairs (that are the businesses main income source) were not being brought in due to the raised insurance excess for commercial and local authority vehicles (their main customers). The business is unusual as both directors are women. Emma is also as estimator and very knowledgeable and this can sometimes surprise their male customers!
They were allocated Shelagh Brownlow; a mentor with an accountancy background as their main weakness was finance. They needed to establish a strategic business plan and improve the balance sheet in order to grow. First they discussed the business in detail, including the ups and downs of the past few years. They needed direction/guidance with for the future.
Shelagh enabled them to improve their systems and processes, establish monthly management accounts, they now take card payments onsite and over the 'phone and have improved their time management greatly. Management accounts are reviewed monthly and this has enabled effective planning. Finally and most importantly sales have improved on last year. They have also identified that women who use their service feel at ease and consider this is an area that they should capitalise on in addition to their usual clients.
"Shelagh is a very pleasant, down to earth person and Emma and I felt a connection with her straightaway, and feel she is just what we need at this moment in time. We have discussed where we are up to in terms of our financial year and how we feel Shelagh can keep us on track with our goal setting. Shelagh is very knowledgeable about the Quick Books financial records which we use currently. We like her commonsense approach which is refreshing and feel is in line with our working practices. We have had some very productive meetings and with Shelagh's help have managed to elicit accurate information with regard to our business financial position. This gives us the confidence to keep our business on track and spot potential problems looming in time to take any necessary corrective action required".