Mark Braund, CEO of Redstoneconnect PLC (LON:REDS), shares some of the lessons he has learned while turning his business from distress to success.
There are many reasons why companies fail or fall into a period of distress. Poor execution of strategy or a failure to rapidly address challenges to the business, such as market disruption, cash flow, or even new regulations can all be contributors to a perfect storm for business transformation.
Successfully turning around a troubled business can be challenging, especially if it is performing poorly, lacks quality management information and/or a clear direction. Having spent the last 17 years turning around distressed businesses, in 2015 I was invited to become part of the non-exec team at a company called Coms plc; a group of businesses with diverse interests from telecommunications through to IT infrastructure and digital media. The company was in a state of financial distress, and we needed to look at how we could transform the business rapidly.
Two years later, the business, now called RedstoneConnect, is focused and successful; a market leader in smart building technology and software applications, with annual turnover approaching £50 million. Although hard work and challenging, the plan to transform the business was relatively straightforward. The business had to focus on what it was great at, divest itself of everything that distracted attention and with refinancing, concentrate on aggressively winning in a market with high growth.
The company benefits from some remarkably-talented people that when provided with a clear strategy and the odd sprinkling of good fortune, have succeeded in not only turning the business around, but building a business that has huge potential for global growth. We are by no means finished, and we have huge ambitions and the talent to achieve them. As we step back to consider what the team have achieved so far, let’s highlight some lessons learned along with some from previous successful business transformations.