as a Former an executive in a pharmaceutical group, Isabelle Guyomarch repurchased in 2008 an industrial company in difficulties. An adventure at high risk.
The company is a person... legal, in the legal sense of the term, and embodied by a physical person. I love these words "legal person", full of meaning and of responsibility for the head of company I am.
The company has had a life before us; our responsibility is to allow him the life after us.
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Resume a company means to my senses : abide by "his life", to live on these sides a few years or decades and give him the weapons for the "after us"...
however, too often, the corporate takeover is considered of a purely accounting and financial.
In good health, it is regarded as a machine to "cash". In poor health, it represents an opportunity to remove a competitor, to acquire well-priced know-how, patents, real estate, I don't know what.
The real questions to ask yourself before you take over a business are : what am I going to bring ? What is my vision of his future ?
It does not have all the skills or expertise in the field of this business, but to have a perfect analysis of what it is.
Only the knowledge and the deep respect of his or her strengths and weaknesses will make it grow.
A contract is always a tricky
When I bought CCI Productions in 2008, this industrial group of 200 people was in agony. The officer had retired and sold six months ago to an individual the family business, he had created in the 1970s, specialized in the outsourcing of manufacturing and packaging of perfumes and cosmetics. The period of cover was not going well. The relationship between the founder and the buyer was confrontational, the transmission of knowledge impossible, and everything went awry...
It is, indeed, the crux of the problem : the gap between the vision of the seller whose business is necessarily perfect, of course, and that of the purchaser, who discovers over the course of months the defects and weak points. Between the two, "I said, "you never told me had you not said", and "it is no longer my problem..."
the choice of The team (councils in particular), working on the buy-in is therefore crucial. Mine, I have imposed a condition : to remain after the closing of the transaction. These experts (accountants, lawyers) have audited the company as it is to use, but once their mission was completed, they were appointed counsel and accountants of the group.
They are always at my side for eleven years and comply with this legal person as much as I do.
On the other hand, I am skeptical on the period of cover and in my case, I don't want to. This transitional period that is usually found in assignments of TPE-SMES seems to me dangerous. It mixes the mourning and the birth of a business leader, the two people are connected to the same umbilical cord. To me it is unbearable. Start to breathe on its own and provide oxygen to the company ! This is my vision.
employees, stake the more critical
The social body of a company, analyzed as a passive social (what a funny name !) on the chart of accounts is, however, its wealth : it is with the workers and thanks to them that the recovery will be a success.
The assignment is to the employees a source of change and are therefore of concern. This is to my sense the most critical point, which is not a business plan but the management of the human.
With more than 200 employees, two sales in less than a year, a catastrophic financial situation, the social dimension of the recovery of the company CCI Productions has been the most difficult thing of my career.
The key, now I know, this is the time. Only this time listening unfeigned, communication, and sharing helps build trust and respect. The social cohesion can not be decreed, it is built with patience and leading by example.
Resume a company is to become a boss on a KBIS the next day. This is not the "boss", far away...
financing a permanent challenge
A good plan of recovery is still funding!
which clearly means that the combination of legal person - natural person must be credible in the eyes of banks and investors.
not finding funding is an indicator that one should know to listen for the good of all. As if financing the purchase is one thing, it will still find the financing of the future and its hazards.
A year after the recovery of CCI Productions, I have had to face the crisis of 2009. Order books collapsed and I found myself inspecting the work to make a request for partial unemployment for the teams...
France has lost one million manufacturing jobs during those years of crisis. It was during this period that I decided to reinvest, not to dismiss and prepare the company for the resumption of the activity.
>>> check out the video interview of Isabelle Guyomarch : "entrepreneurship was one of them, I lived femininity as a constraint"
Finally the force of conviction n&comte;necessary to obtain the financing of the purchase was nothing compared to that I've had to make in order to convince the banks that only the investment, innovation and niche strategy, we deliver. A high risk strategy, no doubt, but I was convinced, the classic recipes we would classically closed.
The attack was so violent ! He had to get out of this red ocean, red with the blood of the deposits of balance sheets, layoffs, and the dramatic reduction in margins due to falling prices. Create a "blue ocean" (in reference to the theory developed in the book Blue Ocean Strategy : How to create new policy spaces, Pearson Education, 2010), we put it to the shelter by targeting the luxury and the super luxury ; it is, for me, would more quickly and showed itself to be the most demanding in terms of quality. If the "made in France" still had a future, it was in the high range. We needed the money for the expansion of the range of our plant, recruit talents, and to transmit the know-how.
An imperative : don't lie to yourself
When I visited for the first time these factories, I felt that this entity was made for me... A deep conviction that I could make it a jewel in the French cosmetics industry.
Clearly, I did not have all the necessary expertise at the time. Don't lie about its capabilities, including commitment and work, here is another key point in the resumption of business.
This legal person has made me the head of the company that I am, and together we built her future.
As for the morality, it is, of course, its leader that it must be addressed in order to anticipate unpleasant surprises...
Because yes, the company is able to keep for ever the scars of mistakes and some minor tinkering with the rules and laws. This, too, he will assume after the recovery.
The company is a person, here is my intimate conviction.
Read our complete file"The courage to say, is an asset in business" Entrepreneurs, if they stop to say : "I'm not doing this for the money," "fear, an ally for the entrepreneur"
She deserves the love, respect and care !