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The End

Date - 25 December 2016/ Category - The End
The end

This post has been by far the hardest to write; it’s coming at the end but it was one of the first I wrote.

It’s interesting that the other posts just flowed naturally and yet it’s been 3 months since I turned my laptop on and wrote anything.

There are many reasons for this, lack of routine, a new house that needs lots of work but in truth those were contributing factors and not the root cause of my writers block.

You see 6 months ago the business that I worked for got taken over. It was a business that I had worked for for over two years and to be honest one that I had transformed into a pretty formidable selling machine.

Yet overnight that business changed hands, without word or inclination and this set off a spiral of changes that led to my writers block.

Rather than go into these experiences in great detail, I wanted to give you a first-hand account of how quickly things can go downhill due to poor management and ownership, as seen through my own eyes.

The day of the takeover (early May), I was in a meeting being threatened with my job (again) because our cost per acquisition was £1000 for PPC clients. On average these client made the company £7000 each, and led to additional contracts through referral of at least one other client so the profit per client was effectively £13,000 over one year after marketing costs.

When I had joined the business I wasn’t a director, the cost per acquisition on a £100,000 per month budget was £3000 per client (33 new clients a month).

By that may I had effectively reduced that by 66%, and was operating on a lower budget of £60,000 (60 new clients a month) yet this I was being told was a terrible performance. My predecessors had done much better, the days of £3000 were not even a memory for them.

As a result of this ever increasing battle to reduce costs, my role within the company although it changed dramatically in importance was never solidified. I remain for the whole duration a humble employee, I didn’t even get a footnote in the structure chart.

There were many reasons for this but primarily it was because no one was ever removed from management when my remit increased, so people paid three times my salary were simply side lined but kept their place in the structure chart and their pay packet.

When the business was taken over then the first thing the new owners did was consult the structure chart and overnight my remit was forgotten, at least on paper.

Because the new owner lived abroad, he sent an army of consultants to review his new asset, and as such these consultants sat with the directors, not me for weeks on end without ever visiting the business itself.

This left me effectively running a business but with no power to do anything. Bonus time came and went, employees left but they weren’t replaced, the undermining was ruthless and crippling.

In the space of 12 weeks I held together a £150 million pound business without a thank you or word from my new boss. I lost a stone in weight and copious amounts of hair but I did it. I even managed to deliver the companies best sales performance in 5 years.

Yet after 12 weeks when the fact that the business did not operate as the structure charts suggested was revealed, things did not get better. Rather than consult me about how to run the business, the directors I had replaced and the outside suppliers I had removed due to inefficiencies on previous campaigns were consulted instead and every single one conspired to ensure I was replaced.

Within 2 weeks I went from in charge to nothing. A new sales director was brought in and the marketing was outsourced. In effect rather than ask me what I needed to grow the business they acted like I didn’t exist.

This left me with nothing to do and rather than sit there and do nothing I chose to leave the organisation that I loved.

When I left I didn’t even get a goodbye card. I remained loyal to the end, working my notice and trying to teach my replacements but to my knowledge the three months after I left were in stark contrast to those before it, they were in fact their worst quarterly performance.

From what I could work out a simple judgement had been made that I was too young to run a business of that size despite its good results. They opted for people twice my age with great CVs that clearly couldn’t actually do what they say they can.

To add insult to injury, the week before I left they offered to “train me up” to the right level, having left me to see my replacements fail miserably to pick up even half my job.

I think that it’s important here to stress that I am not bitter. I understand their reason for replacing me stem from their lack of understanding of the business and outside forces acting to enhance their own hand.

I don’t condone their actions but I do understand them, even if I feel that those actions, led by consultants display a clear lack of business acumen.

Blog Summary:

Having provided advice on managing stress and people throughout these posts I thought that it would be good to demonstrate how even people with some wisdom can fall from grace spectacularly in a short space of time through no fault of their own.

Yet I can say one thing, I did my best. There was nothing I could have done to prevent the car crash that was my exit and as such I must not dwell upon it.

To the future.

Find out what happened after the events of this blog (and what happened to the company I left) in “volume 2“.

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