Software company with cashflow crisis?

29 June 2008

We see many software companies! Some are hopeless dreamers, others are more pragmatic and have a product that works (that's good!) and also have a market.

Last week I met 2 software companies and we had enquiries from 2 more that were not viable.

One of the companies I met with on Friday 27th June in the M4 corridor has, I think, potential to be a medium sized and profitable company, but its has simply run out of cash before the software has enough customers.

With sales of £1.4m it has proven there is a market and despite building a sound plan, no investors could be found in time. Great shame, they also had worries about their directors overdrawn current account which means they owed £150,000 to the company!

When we meet people they ask lots of questions, How can you help us? What do we do about the bank? Will the VAT man close us down?

One of the first questions these guys asked was: WHY US! In other words why have you met with us when you get so many opportunities to help other companies!

Here is my answer: We select companies from our enquiry list that fit these criteria:

  1. Is there a marketplace for the product, is that market growing, steady, long term or short term, declining or dead?
  2. Does the company have a niche within that market place or more fundamentally - is there a business?
  3. Management and systems - are the systems and management in place or can we supplement or even replace them?
  4. Is there strong WILL and determination to sort the problems and get the company back to profits?
  5. Can we understand the business (we are but simple folk of course!) and can we work with the team or supplement it with our people?

Clearly the last is one that can only be judged after an initial meeting. That's why, if we think we can help, if the first 4 checks are in place and we have been given accounting information, we offer a FREE INITIAL MEETING.

This meeting is frank, robust and we pull no punches. Can it work? What changes are required for turnaround? Do we think the management is up to the task? These are all questions that we ask.

If we think a turnaround is viable; we suggest the solutions, the sub solutions and then discuss them fully. After that meeting we report back in writing to the board with a strategy plan. It's a process that has worked for us over the years and the benefits for the client company are:

  • Professional advice from leading turnaround experts - without charge and worry about fees.
  • Scenario planning opens peoples eyes to the options and solutions available.
  • Removes fear and worry, "a man in the pub told me I will lose my house and can never run another company" and all that rubbish is quickly dispelled.
  • Gets the creative juices flowing AND lifts morale and confidence - "so you mean we can save this thing" is a common response!

Let me know if any of you or your clients want this service: call 0800 9700539 for more details.

Keith