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a blog by Chris Barrow

Trending on Tuesday

After 24 hours back at work (and I slept for most of last night - thank you to those who offered ideas on how to deal with entrepreneurial insomnia), I am noticing four main trends in client communication:

  1. The continued problem of trying to keep existing team members happy (and find new people);

  2. How to calculate and implement the price rises necessary to maintain profits;

  3. Owners still burdened and burning out;

  4. Buyers and sellers complaining about how long it is taking to get deals done.

On point 1 - I remind you that extra hours will only serve to break the team you already have - the majority of unhappy team members are not griping about pay, they are concerned about hours worked, lack of continuity in their daily duties and general working conditions;

On point 2 - I'm all over spreadsheets with my clients at the moment - a few weeks ago I created a simple Excel to translate pay rises in to price rises and it has been a popular download. On this evening's client call I'll be sharing another Excel - this time on calculating the true cost of "drowning in check ups";

On point 3 - I continue to coach my clients on SNEF - sleep, nutrition, exercise and fun.

Many years ago, the late Thomas Leonard counselled coaches that "we only get to coach our clients on the things we need to know ourselves)" - physician heal thyself.

On point 4 - deals that used to take 3 months are taking 6 - and 6 months are taking 12.

The legal and accountancy professions involved in M&A work seem to be drowning in deal flow as so many more owners decide to either abandon ship or cash in their chips and leave the casino.

Let's remind ourselves that the professional community have the same challenges as everyone else - do they gear up to deal with volume and hire extra people - or do they weather the storm of extra work in anticipation that things will calm down again?

Lean machines are the order of the day and it would be a brave professional who decided to take on extra staff right now.

So if you are buying or selling a practice right now - manage your expectations on how long that process will take.

How do people deal with all of this?

There are two types out there:

  • The BMW tribe (bitchers, moaners and whiners) who criticise, condemn and complain all day, every day, no matter what;

  • The GTD tribe (get things done) who roll up their sleeves and crack on with it.

It is almost unheard of to change a BMW into a GTD.

Move away from or remove the first.

Move towards and attract the second.

Then we can get to work. There's a long road ahead.

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