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Badger Or Bust: Rooms With A View – My Thoughts

I understand that the Badger or Bust television programme was on Sky One in May 2007.

It would cause too many arguments if I had Sky and Sky Sports so I’m catching the series on the repeats on Sky Three, that’s part of the Freeview package.

The business featured in this show, Rooms With A View, is a struggling double gazing firm in Bradford with a turnover of £1.7 million where leads have gone quiet. As a last throw of the dice, the directors have splashed out about £100k on a new showroom but it’s not working.

It’s desperate times so it’s Ruth Badger to the rescue…

If you don’t know the name, Ruth Badger was the runner up  on The Apprentice with Alan Sugar several years ago and is operating as a turnaround business consultant.

This business featured in Rooms For A View was a small firm with about 25 employees and three salesman.

Now close your eyes after reading the next sentence and keep them closed until you’ve got a clear visual image. I want you to picture a stereotype double glazing salesman.

Got it clear in your mind?

A killer? Someone who ruthlessly goes after the deal until the prospective customer submits?

Thought so. The double glazing industry has that reputation.

But not these three salesmen.

Two are of mature years and their heart is no longer in it. One says that his aim is to “get as much money from doing as little as possible.”

I suppose you could see this as the definition of efficiency and effectiveness or you could see it as idleness and complacency.

The other salesman was younger, at 45 years old but admitted that he wasn’t committed to the company.

Was this a case of bad apples or bad management?

The management team of two brothers just accepted the situation. There was no leadership and no discipline. The salesmen were indulged with a laugh and a joke.

Unfortunately with weak management and no team spirit, the company was in serious trouble and despite Ruth Badger generating focus and energy in the business, it was too late.

After an intensive week there and a return visit after a week away, things were not progressing as they should. On the second return visit after a month, the company was closed. It had gone into voluntary liquidation.

The directors had given up. They had enough. It was just too difficult.

This story shows the problem of bring in outside assistance at the 11th hour. The business can start reversing its momentum but sometimes, it is just too late. Businesses run out of time when they run out of cash.

Being television, I wondered whether this was a true story. Surely no company could be this bad. I went to check Companies House to check and there it was.

It confirms that the company is in liquidation and the address is care of insolvency practitioners, Begbies Traynor.

The key message here is…

If you have a struggling company, don’t leave it too late to get help and advice.

Even better, try not to get into this mess in the first place by improving your management skills, and have a vision and a plan for your business.

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