Andy McDougall and the Spot On Business Planning team would like to say a huge thank you to Mark Willings from Horbury Dental Care & Implant Clinic in Wakefield for his fantastic testimonial.
“We were having a problem with cash flow and struggling to control our finances on a monthly basis with no accurate forecasting available to us. We tried to manage our accounting in-house using Sage and aided by our financial accountant. Unfortunately, however the data was not sufficiently sensitive on a daily basis. Therefore, we were finding it was not until 3 months later we could see results from a particular month but by then it was too late to change anything. In short, I felt we had a real lack of financial control.
I’d heard about Andy McDougall from two colleagues who both used Spot On Business Planning in their dental practices. They recommended I contact Andy, so it was very much word of mouth.
My impressions of the Spot On Business Planning process were very good right from the start. The approach is very thorough and methodical. It takes a short time to understand the importance of “order and sequence”. Once this concept is grasped fully, then the process makes perfect sense and it was amazing how quickly Andy and Anne-Marie could get right to the core of our business to understand the challenges we were facing.
Naturally, recommendations and suggestions to help us quickly followed. This process, whilst painful at times, is now yielding results from which not only the finances but also the business structure and personnel are all benefiting.
Has the process achieved results? Yes:
- A restructuring of the business to have personnel in correct positions to achieve agreed objectives.
- Re-writing of job descriptions to accompany new roles.
- Proper performance measurement leading to performance management for all staff. This has been very positively accepted by all staff who now understand their contribution to making the machine work efficiently and effectively.
- And monthly management accounts using carefully planned forecasts to compare business performance means we have much tighter control on business finances.
What were the three specific strategies or analysis that SOBP determined that made a real difference?
(i) Business restructuring.
(ii) Initial analysis carried out by SOBP on our 5 year plan proved that it was not financially justifiable. This has made us completely rethink our strategy… a major change in direction but one we have made with confidence! The background to this is I sold one practice because Andy’s advice was that I was going to lose more by not being at my other practice than I could make up developing the new one. Andy’s models proved that the financial goals and strategy I was pursuing did not stack up and we needed to completely change the business model. So, I sold to concentrate all my efforts on the existing business.
(iii) Monthly management accounts with Andy’s detailed interpretation.
One of the things I most like about working with Spot On Business Planning is having the confidence of knowing that I am making the right decisions for the right reasons. This comes from talking through problems and possible solutions. The ability then to analyse the implications of various options on the financial performance of the business by using the forecasting models that SOBP have built. This has meant that decisions have been taken with an insight as to the outcome without a ‘hit and hope’ attitude!
On a personal level I have found the support given to me by both Andy and Anne-Marie has been invaluable. Often as a business owner one can feel very alone and so the help of such knowledgeable advisers has been very helpful.
Would I recommend SOBP? Yes, unhesitatingly.”