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Instructions On How To Succeed In A Recession

Media Release September 2008

Business Instructions On How To Succeed In A Recession From The Results.Group

In a climate in which the phrase ‘technical recession’ is making an ominously regular appearance in business media, business owners could be forgiven for thinking the best strategy is to batten down the hatches and wait for the upturn. However, one company is proving there’s another, better option. Since its establishment in 1996, The Results.Group has developed into New Zealand’s leading provider of business coaching for mid-sized, privately-owned companies. Now, it has some timely advice for businesses.

To recession-proof their business and take advantage of the downturn, The Results.Group’s Managing Director Ben Ridler advises a 1-2-3 strategy, addressing three core issues for business owners:

1. Sustainability

“You need to translate your worst-case scenario into cashflow terms, and think about what changes you need to make in order to be secure.”

2. Efficiency

“In this climate you need to look at moving more money from the top line to the bottom line. It’s time to get lean and mean to ensure that you can ride out the conditions.”

3. Opportunity

“Forward planning is good, and you certainly need to factor in standard competitor behaviours. Nevertheless, opportunities will come to companies that adapt their strategies and position themselves to build marketshare during an unstable period.”

The Results.Group coaches its clients in areas of business including: growing in size and profits and developing an exit strategy; moving in new directions; improving productivity and employee engagement and retention; and simply enjoying the ride or freeing up more time for other pursuits.

It is now opening its advice to non-client businesses as well, by making freely available on its website a concise survey that can tell business owners what their current level of recession-readiness is, and where they can improve, therefore protecting their livelihood and getting ahead of their competitors.

The survey can be found at:

“What many business owners don’t realize is that in a recessionary environment, there is as much opportunity as ever,” Mr Ridler says. “You might not grow, but when others are dying off even treading water is progress. There is a big opportunity right now for businesses to get lean and mean – what we do is help get their strategy right to grow their market share and client base, to put themselves in a leadership position in their industry once the economy picks up.”

By following its own advice, the company is getting results: independent research through Perceptive shows the annualized growth rate of clients to be 49.6% (consistent with the previous year’s research). The Results.Group won the 1-1 Business Services category at the 2008 Vero Excellence in Business Support Awards, and was nominated in 2007 and 2008 in the Education category, against all the major universities. It also has a successful bank-sponsored seminar series, the ASB Business Seminars.

Mr Ridler restructured the business when he and Simon Mundell (Director and Head of Business Development) became major shareholders in 2006. Their first move was to defranchise the practice in favour of a new professional services model emulating that of a legal or accounting firm, to incorporate nine practices servicing over 200 clients on a weekly basis, with 10 offices and infrastructure across New Zealand.

Mr Mundell says the management team rejected the traditional franchise model of business coaching because of its tendency to foster one-man bands who were often simply ‘buying a job’. “Franchising doesn’t work for professional services, because of the lack of focus on client service and follow-up, and high-quality education and implementation.

“What The Results.Group does is aggregate global best-practice in business and deliver it through weekly coaching. We distill the best research and case studies for practical use and application by New Zealand companies. We establish clearly what an owner’s goals are for the business and then take the steps needed to get there.”

The Results.Group leadership consists of nine partners throughout the country. The company’s model of partnerships within the business, and keeping coaches in-house, allows for a sense of ownership and greater control over the qualifications of coaches, and ensures consistency of delivery.

Part of that consistency depends on The Results.Group practicing what it preaches, and Mr Mundell and the company’s partners are tasked with ensuring that each practice, and the company as a whole, is ahead of the curve in areas such as succession planning and taking advantage of an economic slump.


About The Results.Group

The Results.Group is New Zealand's leading professional service provider of business coaching for larger-sized, privately-owned companies. Its nine practices work with more than 200 New Zealand businesses – helping business owners to:

• grow in size and increase profits

• turn their business into a more valuable, saleable asset

• develop their business in new directions

• maximize employee engagement

• enjoy more freedom and get 'a life beyond work'

• get their business 'ready for sale'

The Results.Group provides a comprehensive range of coaching and mentoring services, diagnostic business assessments, a full calendar of business education and professional development events.

The Results.Group was nominated as a finalist in the Education category of the Vero Excellence in Business Awards in both 2007 and 2008, against major New Zealand universities, for its innovative education work in business seminars.

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