Winningthinking® turnaround

New problems ….. need new perspectives to create new thinking…. enabling new solutions….

New problems ….. need new thinking…. and new solutions….

so… accelerated re-invention™

If you think there’s no way your business will ever be a victim of circumstance… YOU’D BE RIGHT… but only if there’s a comma after the word “think”

As of October 2020: 75,000 UK businesses were rejected for CBILs loans: yet in many cases it was those businesses that most needed support.

We offer a far better cash return than purely guiding you to raise finance, alongside finance the winningthinking guidance will provide lasting benefits to protect your company and BUILD your war-chest of CASH.

The stakes are high, so even if you do achieve the CBILs loan, you are risk of just burning that cash as well as increasing your indebtedness and reducing your solvency or repayments when they fall due.

We use all of the available tools to realise accelerated re-invention™

We are in uncharted waters, and to navigate these we need new collaborations, new perspectives to fuel fresh thinking to enable us to find new solutions.

Is your cash eroding, is funding an issue and your business facing uncertainty?

The Government has led the way by providing an unprecedented level of support to businesses, which whilst being subject to some criticism, has largely been successful to date at minimising the fallout.

As we continue to navigate through the pandemic, the new Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act also provides some useful new tools to help rescue businesses. These tools can be valuable in creating the space businesses need and cleaning the balance sheet.

This is unfamiliar territory for most businesses, so if these issues are affecting you it is important to obtain good advice. We can help your business to secure its survival and create a strong platform for the future by:

  • Thinking differently and collaborating to develop a turnaround plan that empowers management to take new positive actions;
  • Creating more time;
  • Creating more cash, reducing your funding requirement and strengthening
    your balance sheet; and
  • Opening-up additional options for you.

Many businesses are currently facing uncertainty and this may increase from October, as creditors will be able to take enforcement action to recover outstanding debts and much of the government support is due to come to an end. There is a narrowing window to take positive action.

For information about how we can help you, and to see who we are working with to help make this happen, click the button below to find out more.

If you think you need professional help, then it is best to get it sooner rather than later.

But….. it is important to be aware that much of the government support is due to end in October, so we now need to look beyond just survival to create strong businesses for the future.

The immediate solution to overcome fear and regain control..

In summary, we are providing a unique team-based approach using the best FDs, sector experts, turnaround expertise and restructuring skills.

This approach quickly creates more options for businesses in distressed situations, which we achieve in 4 steps:

  1. 2-hour meeting: top-level view to establishing the financial position, high-level activity-based costing, cash flow, threats, opportunities, viability and the capability of the leadership.
  2. 2 days to gather a detailed view of the financials, establish the core issues and scope the turnaround plan.
  3. 5 days to detail the turnaround plan to refocus the core business and realign strategy, including further developed activity-based costing and an assessment of key stakeholder perspectives and risks.
  4. From day 5 we;
    1. seek stakeholder support;
    2. agree the on-going reporting requirements (providing enhanced value reporting to lenders); and
    3. begin implementation.

The key benefits of this are compared to other approaches are:

  1. Turnaround/rescue is at the core of the approach, with the restructuring/insolvency skills used as a secondary tool to support the turnaround.
  2. The team-based approach utilises the skills and insights immediately from Day 1, opening-up the options at pace.
  3. Provides an optimal outcome whilst reducing the burden on the business.
  4. Light touch restructuring/rescue tools can be used more effectively alongside a robust turnaround plan.

It would be great to meet properly if I’m ever allowed back into London, and would be good to catch up again as we continue to develop this and achieve some results that we can talk about.

Tom Pickering, a turnaround specialist and CEO of Icebreaker team, says

“it’s so refreshing and such a privilege to enable executive teams to take actions from a different perspective, get a grip of their situation, identify and restart selling their core business. The outcome is immediate, it’s amazing when faced with a significant challenge to buck the trend, get back to making money and great relationships.”

With the right collaboration, the right perspectives and some creative thinking, we can worth together to find solutions to protect UK businesses.

If you would like to hear more, please contact me  anytime on the details below.

Tom Pickering CEO

07720 597869


3 steps to guide you through seemingly impossible challenges :

  1. Click here we will gladly make 30 mins to understand your problem, then if you wish to, we could:

  2. Schedule 2 hours to identify the right problem to fix and your scenario

  3. Join a leader cohort or a Game Changer Team day to guide you to NEW action

OR if you are facing an out and out crisis and are running out of options, call us on +44(0) 207 193 5518 that’s our comfort zone and can act to support you immediately.

What can we bring?

We break the stasis such as: “We are waiting for the government”

For many business owners tragically this might be the first time their business has faced serious difficulty – so its unfamiliar territory for owners execs to recognise the signs and or what to do about it.

You are “Too expensive?”

We hate wasting time or money so everything we do will be aimed at being cash positive in the short term, and if we cant achieve this it is unlikely we will engage.

Why might owners not see and or be able to bury their heads in sand?

  • Measure of success might be the available cash (funded in the short term by the Gov)
    • maybe you are naively thinking “when things get back to normal”
  • Don’t see balance sheet risk / debt of c19 loans
    • Dependence on Gov – state picked up no timeframe – grant vs loan?
  • Some struggling pre c19 – better now more cash, done nothing new!
  • E.g. Tech norms / Mantras – “next funding rounds” vs “let’s make profit now”

What can we bring? We enable you to overcome stasis or inaction, for example caused by..

  • Stasis caused by thinking – “not sure about what government will do next – wait”  (dependence!)
  • Answer, there is much YOU CAN DO to create own certainty
    • Create a plan
    • open new options
    • new action
    • take ownership –
    • financial control –
    • protect the downside – robust business model
    • increase profit –
    • back to basics –
    • remove roadblocks
    • identify and sell the core business – increase profit
  • market certainty has been driven by flawed mantras
    • “endless revenue growth”
    • “unstainable debt”
    • “tech mantras – PR machine”
    • “unsustainable consumption”
    • “status / cars – now shot”
    • “heroes no longer heroes – back to basics”
    • “products defunct – no longer wanted”
      • Luxury cars, capacity of planes travel

 Some symptoms of the need to act

  • You are
    • burning through your available cash
    • Unaware of the solution: what can you bring?
    • Not paying creditors
    • Making decisions without advice
  • Banks not pushing for businesses to get good advice

 Don’t delay taking advice because these threats that could force loss of control

  • Not taking new action
  • Furlough payments stop no plan
  • October actions
  • Cash burn through loans – solvency
  • Banks and the HMRC are stepping up their plans


Only the best


Some businesses have responded quickly and redesigned themselves for the future following the outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this year. However, many will now be finding themselves in unchartered waters and it could be the first time that they have faced serious difficulties.

Burning through cash reserves or funding that has been secured, while waiting to see how demand returns and the world evolves, or hoping that further support will come from the government, is a dangerous approach.

Unfortunately, there is a risk that this could lead to a wave of business failures as cash piles erode, the debt becomes repayable, the government support comes to an end and enforcement action can again be taken by creditors.

Directors could also come under the spotlight if businesses later fail, despite the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act providing temporary provisions that prevent directors from being personally liable for wrongful trading. There are also wider legal responsibilities that need to be considered.

How can we help?

These new challenges require collaboration and new thinking,which is why we have been bringing together different specialisms within Smith &Williamson, as well as working with independent turnaround consultants and legal specialists to develop unique and collaborative solutions.

Although no one has a crystal ball, waiting to see what happens is a high-risk strategy and there is a lot that that can be done in the meantime:

1. Thinking differently and collaborating to develop a turnaround plan that empowers management to take positive new actions

Tom Pickering, a turnaround specialist and CEO of the Icebreaker team who we have been working with to create solutions, says “it’s so refreshing and such a privilege to enable executive teams to take actions from a different perspective, get a grip of their situation, identify and restart selling their core business. The outcome is immediate, it’s amazing when faced with a significant challenge to buck the trend, get back to making money and secure great relationships.”

2. Creating more time

We can identify immediate cash and profit improvement initiatives, and we are experienced in managing stakeholders through these difficult situations.

The new moratorium process provided by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 1986 can also protect the business while it delivers the turnaround. However, these are untested and have some complexities, so we have been working to ensure that we are able to implement these quickly if required.

3. Reducing your funding requirement and strengthening the balance sheet

As well as through cash and profit improvement initiatives created in the turnaround plan, it may be also possible to reduce the funding requirement and strengthen the balance sheet through careful negotiations with creditors or if appropriate, formal rescue tools such as a Company Voluntary Arrangement and the new Restructuring Plan.

4. Opening-up options

With a robust plan and more time, more options are opened. We also have a network of specialist funders that can provide funding support in turnaround situations if needed.

We are also working with David Stone, MD of a turnaround boutique, Prompt Business Strategies, who says “We have seen a number of businesses struggling to get new funding because their assumptions about their ‘New Normal’ are too simplistic being based on a historic position that is no longer relevant. In these uncertain times, changing the mindset is really important and all aspects of the business need to be put under the spotlight. Funders want to see a robust turnaround strategy, supported by quality data that demonstrates the key risks and contingency plans, on which to base lending or investment decisions.”

What are the next steps?

If you are experiencing any of these issues, please contact Tom Pickering confidentially on 07720 597869 or click to make a time using the icon below.

There is no cost for initial conversations, where we will quickly understand your issues, assess the situation and provide immediate feedback on the potential options and next steps.

Tim Sloggett

Tom Pickering

Here is a report by Erasmus Research Institute of Management, highlighting some of the psychology and  challenges people unconsciously face when making sense of the “new now.” We unravel these issues with winningthinking®

For the Greater Good? The Devastating Ripple Effects of the Covid-19 Crisis
Link to the report by the Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Set the date to define your “NEW NOW” using the 1 day team Game Changer Today

Are you uncertain of your future, with options narrowing and a fear of losing market share?

Milestone 1
What are your objectives you must achieve before the end by the end of May or the first phase of the C19 lock down?
“consider this: what will your “NEW NOW” be and how will you satisfy your customers at the end of April or May?”

This is the time you have left to achieve Milestone 1

& notice the reset taking place, falling revenue, unstable supply chain, hoarding payments, reduced consumption,  market shifts in demand, investment in tech growth businesses pulled.
This requires rethinking – rethinking is hard

Milestone 2
What are your objectives after the C19 Government supported period?
Maybe: “how will you realign your business and financial model to meet the requirements of the post “Government supported” environment?”

This is the time you have left to achieve Milestone 2

You’re probably too busy? This only takes 20 minutes to action this per day over 12 days – so no excuses friends.

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