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Business improvement - Five steps out of failure

Richard Close recently spoke to Finance & Management Faculty members about his long experience in turning around failing businesses. Here, Christian Doherty summarises his five-point plan for achieving success.

A qualified accountant, Richard Close is currently chief executive of Briggs Equipment. His presentation to the faculty drew on 25 years of experience in the automotive, manufacturing and distribution sectors where Close has worked in finance and chief executive roles.

“At Briggs Equipment, we arrived at the business in 2006,” says Close. “It was a distressed sale, and at that point it had a £120m turnover, but was losing £10m a year, with 1,000 demoralised employees. It now has a turnover of a little more than £80m, having made £5m, with 600 fully engaged employees. And trust me, the two are linked: one was a cost from demoralised employees and two, it’s the employees that turned the business around, all we did was provide the resources to do it.” So, where to start?

This is an extract from the Finance & Management Magazine, Issue 221, May 2014.

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