Many people have asked me ‘what is the biggest challenge you face when running your own company?’ As you can imagine, the list is endless, however, one of the hardest things I have had to contend with over recent years is making ‘commercial’ decisions, rather than decisions I would usually make as an individual.
Whether it be a Plc, Ltd or LLP the fact is you need to sometimes detach your own personal feelings from a decision and ask yourself ‘What is best for the business?’
Over the years there have been many examples when I have had to make a decision which is in direct contradiction to what I would want to do as a person, but ultimately has been in the best interest of the business.
Recently, I was faced with another tug of war decision between what I think is right and what is best for the business. Basically, one of our clients went into Voluntary Administration, owing us (as well as lots of other companies) a significant amount of money. Suffice to say, this was a shock, particularly as we only completed a client credit check on them only a few months ago. Despite this, assets that were present then, had now mysteriously vanished or decreased in value significantly and ultimately the entire landscape of the company had changed rapidly. Suffice to day after further investigations all the directors had registered interest elsewhere and it appears any monies owed to them now ( the main reason they were going under) was now not being aggressively chased.
OK, decision time, do we pay for a team of accountants/solicitors to go digging around and try and prove any wrong doing or do we cut our losses, put it down to experience and tighten up our credit checks to minimise the risks of future exposure. I know what I wanted to do, as the feeling of injustice was burning very deeply inside, however, after much soul searching, what exactly would i achieve by pursuing this company for full recovery of the debt. It became clear they simply did not have the money and whether this was by circumstance or design, the end result was still the same, therefore any action was probably going to end is another costly episode.
Therefore despite being left frustrated and desperate for my pound of flesh, the reality is we would have look at the bigger picture.
How hard can it be....................the answer is, sometimes very hard!