Discover how to begin the business rescue process yourself, using a method we call ‘The Kitchen Table Guide’…because you can literally do it while sitting at the table at home. 

In this episode, Richard explains why the process is important for all businesses, and how to start ‘The Kitchen Table Guide’.

‘The Kitchen Table Guide’ is a business rescue process we use with many of our clients. And have done for 40+ years. 

In this six-part mini-series, we’ll look at each stage of ‘The Kitchen Table Guide’ in turn, to give you practical guidance on how to use this strategy to help your own business today.


Hello. I’m Richard Simms of FA Simms.

We’re talking today as part of a six-part guide we’ve put together. We’ve called it ‘The Kitchen Table Guide’. It sounds a bit strange, I know, but it’s all about basically trying to help you to see ways to take your business forward. 

If your business is feeling under pressure, then this is an opportunity for you to review your business in a very informal way. 

We call it ‘The Kitchen Table Guide’ because it’s something you just sit at home, at your table, and work it through very informally, very relaxed, and it gives you chances to think about things. 

There are occasions, actually, where you might think, “Actually, well, let’s not sit at my kitchen table. Let’s go and sit somewhere else.” And I’ve had certainly a lot of conversations with people in the past who’ve said, “Well, maybe going somewhere different to where I’d normally go allows me to clear my mind a bit.” It gives you an opportunity to feel like you’re not being hindered, if that’s the word, by the normal thinking process, that normal environment. 

Occasionally I’ve taken our team before and we’ve hired a room in a hotel. When I say a hotel, I don’t mean a bedroom in a hotel. We’ve hired a room in a hotel – a meeting room – we’ve sat down, we’ve spent a bit of time just clearing the mind. And there’s some benefits too, to having a blank sheet of paper in front of you, certainly a clear table in front of you, to give you an opportunity to think freely and not be burdened by what you’ve always done. 

A key part of this conversation in these podcasts is to actually look at your business without the emotional attachment that you have to your business. Because I don’t have to do that. I don’t have that history. I don’t have a friendship with your employee that’s been with you five years, or other people in that business. I don’t have that relationship. 

I’m looking at it purely from a commercial basis. And I’m asking you to do the same, in as relaxed a way as you can. You don’t have to be horrible about people. I’m just saying, just think about it. Think about structure. Think about:

  1. how you can help yourself, and 
  2. look at it as if you were an external party reviewing your business.

This is what it’s all about, trying to make that process as relaxed and cost-effective as possible for you. 

Okay. In a very simple way, the process allows you to question:

Where am I today? 

What is my business doing today? 

Where am I, how am I getting on? 

What does my business consist of? 

We’ll walk through that step-by-step over the next six episodes. Just to give you an idea of what you need to be considering during that process. 

Next ask yourself: where do you want to get to? We’re going from, let’s call it Point A – simplistically where you are today to Point B – where you want to get to. I’m going to talk you through the process of how you shape your route to get to where you need to be. 

Because actually it might be that Point B is dramatically different to Point A. But it could be actually Point B is very, very similar to Point A. But we can’t look at that until you sit down and say, “Right, what do we want to do? Where do I want to get to? How do I make myself the most effective, efficient business that I can be?”

What we can’t lose sight of is the fact that the business environment is changing so rapidly at the moment. If you don’t change with it, there is a risk you get left behind. You suddenly find yourself in a situation where actually your competitors are leaping ahead of you, racing away in the distance, and you’ll go, “Oh, well, why didn’t I think about that? Why didn’t I consider that?”

The most important thing is you go through a process of considering what you need to do to change your business. What you need to do to make your business fit for purpose in any current environment. Because that could be different again in 12-months time. It could be different again in six-months time. And the one thing we are facing, all of us, is that rapid change of what’s going on. 

Okay, so to recap, we’re going to say, “Right, where are we today? Where do we want to get to?” We’re going to explore the bits that link between the two and we’re going to explore the process. In a very simplistic view, what we’re talking about here is…

Imagine you’re a company, which seems simplistic in many ways, but we’re going to take your business, your company, living in a cardboard box. It’s like a micro-version of your business living in a cardboard box. Not a fresh cardboard box. Not a particularly special cardboard box. Just a cardboard box. 

In there are all the constituent parts of your business. What we’ll do, in a very simplistic way, is remove the contents of the box and lay them out on the table. And that’s the process we’re going to go through over the next six episodes. Take the contents out, review them, play with them, swivel them around, pick them up, throw them in the air. Give them a thorough spin 360, have a good look at them and say, “Right, what do we need to do to change these?”

That will help us to understand what we want to get to and the steps you need to take to get there. Okay. Remember that and we’ll talk about those different steps over the forthcoming episodes.

Thanks very much.

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