How to Successfully Turnaround A Failing Business- Andy Bailen Ep85

Quotes:

  • “In many cases, I found that leadership of a business just simply won’t face the reality that their business is either struggling or even failing.”– Andy [10:14]
  • “Seventy percent of the time or so the companies are truly in trouble in losing money and burning through cash.”– Andy [14:40]
  • “Many times, that senior leadership needs to change over to truly effect the successful turnaround.”– Andy [25:22]
  • “You want to set goals around each element that goes into achieving the high-level goal.”– Andy [33:35]
  • “You get much greater buy-in to the go-forward plan when you go to this turnaround effort collaboratively.”– Andy [34:25]
  • “The one element of OKRs that I’ve seen people misunderstand from time to time is putting in immeasurable objectives.”– Andy [38:16]
  • “Hire great people and let them do the work.”– Andy [39:55]

How to Successfully Turnaround A Failing Business

How do you effectively turnaround a failing business? Many elements including less profits, bad leadership, and a crisis like Coronavirus can lead to a business failure- and it requires a strategic plan, objectives, and goals to complete a successful turnaround effort.

In this episode of the Page One Podcast, Luke Peters speaks with Andy Bailen on how to successfully turnaround a failing business. Andy founded 3Pe Consulting in 2009 and is an accomplished retail and consumer products senior C-level executive. He has an outstanding record of achievement in multi-billion-dollar companies as well as start-up businesses. Andy’s highly experienced in P&L management, strategic planning, business development, product development, global sourcing, finance, private equity, franchising, etc.

Listen in to learn the importance of involving all business stakeholders in the turnaround process for it to be successful. You will also learn the value of having great people working for you as part of your trusted team.

Key Takeaways:

  • How a company’s leadership perspective can either make and break the turnaround efforts.
  • The importance of talking to business stakeholders during the turnaround process, to help formulate the holistic view of a business existence then and now.
  • The value of a robust balance sheet in a business for support during a crisis.
  • The roles of a business’s leadership, teams, and departments in effecting a successful turnaround. 
  • How to use OKRs to measure goal effectiveness and teams’ performance accountability during the turnaround process.

Episode Timeline:

  • [2:10] Andy explains how they work in turnaround, temporary retailing, and franchising development.
  • [3:19] He names some of the big companies they’ve worked with like Blockbuster, KB Toys, etc.
  • [4:36] How he turned around Party City’s bordering bankruptcy situation to a success story.
  • [7:29] How growth for the sake of growth instead of profitable growth ruins businesses.
  • [9:45] He explains how the leadership of a company impacts the turnaround efforts of a business.
  • [12:03] The steps that Andy and his team take into account during the first week of the turnaround process.
  • [15:23] Why cash is the biggest concern for businesses to raise a turnaround flag, and not the other metrics.
  • [17:18] Andy mentions all the KPIs they use, leading with profits and revenue margins.
  • [22:14] Why businesses failed during the pandemic due to lack of sufficient working capital.
  • [24:03] How a business leadership contributes to its failure and what needs to be done to have a successful turnaround.
  • [29:40] Andy explains in detail how they use OKRs to drive for goal effectiveness and teams’ performance accountability.
  • [35:29] How not to overwhelm the team with many goals and instead start with the high return goals.
  • [39:55] Andy advises business owners to hire great people and allow them to work.

Luke Peter: Thanks for joining us on The Page One Podcast, I’m your host Luke Peter, CEO of NewAir Appliances. Before we get going, I have an important new announcement that I want to get to you guys. I need your help, if you’re a vacation homeowner, I’m started up a new cause, you can check out Vetcation.org to learn more. What I’m doing is we’re supporting veterans with dream vacations. Right now, we’re in need of caring vacation homeowners to donate a week’s vacation to deserving military families during Purple Heart Day in August of this year. Something that might just be another week’s vacation for you is literally a vacation of a lifetime for one of these struggling families. I hope you will pause the podcast right now and check out Vetcation.org to learn more. You can email me and there’s also an info page on the site where you can contact us. I hope to hear from you.

Luke Peter: Great. In this episode. You’re going to learn from Andy Bailen all about successful business turnarounds. How Andy has successfully helped turnaround large companies, of what it takes and what themes Andy has seen along the way so that you and your businesses can get actionable business insights. Andy founded 3Pe Consulting in 2009, he’s an accomplished retail and consumer products executive. Andy has an outstanding record of achievement in multi-billion dollar companies, as well as startup companies. He’s highly experienced in P&L management, turnaround situations, private equity businesses, e-commerce, omnichannel retail, pop-up stores, product development, global sourcing, licensing, the list goes on, supply chain finance, real estate, and board-level management. Andy, welcome to The Page One Podcast.

Andy Bailen: Thanks, Luke, it’s a pleasure to be here. I appreciate you having me.

Luke Peter: Cool. Andy, that was a mouthful right there, why don’t you kind of-

Andy Bailen: It was.

Luke Peter: … describe a little bit, maybe in more succinct terms how you help companies with your current consulting practice.

Andy Bailen: Right now we, while we are somewhat agnostic about clients we take on, if we truly think we can help them, most of the work we’re doing over the last couple of years is focused in turnaround work, as you mentioned, as you started the show with. We also do a lot of work in the world of pop-up or temporary retailing, and quite a bit in franchise development. Either taking young franchise concepts and helping them scale effectively, or even taking businesses that are interested in franchising but don’t know how to do it, and kind of working side-by-side with them to bring them into the world of franchising.

Luke Peter: Great. Andy, before we get started on the questions, can you just name off a couple of the main companies or larger companies that the audience might recognize? Just so they get a little bit more about your background, I know you worked at Blockbuster and I think Toys”R”Us and worked on a specific turnaround I believe with Toys”R”Us. Anything else of note to list on there?

Andy Bailen: Yeah, Toys was not a turnaround at that point in time. But some of the bigger companies that I’ve worked for were Blockbuster, back in their better days, couldn’t be too much worse right now. I was the number two executive at Party City and that was a turnaround at that point in time. I was the CEO of KB Toys. I was at Toys”R”Us, I went into Toys”R”Us to create and then roll out both their pop-up store and outlet store programs. Then most recently, I spent about five years on a private equity, kind of a quasi roll up in the toy manufacturing space called Alex Brands.

Luke Peter: Cool. Well, thanks for that background. Again, the theme of this one is going to be focused around turnarounds and what Andy has seen and themes he’s seen to hopefully give all of you listeners some actionable insights. Why don’t you start by describing a turnaround story that you’ve been a part of, just one of these specific companies and stories, and maybe a bit of an overview, and then we can dive into specifics in the following questions.

Andy Bailen: Okay. I mentioned it before so I might as well use Party City as an example. This goes back a few years, but Party City had started out and really grew rapidly quite successfully, partially franchised owned, partially company owned locations. But got to the point that they grew so fast, they really started losing control of the business. When I joined them, the company was bordering on bankruptcy, its stock had been de-listed, sales had truly stalled and were in the negatives. There were a number of challenges. It was a real question whether the company would file bankruptcy and have to restructure there.

Andy Bailen: I was part of the new executive team that came in, at that point I was running merchandising, marketing, supply chain, planning, allocation. We set about identifying the challenges and the opportunities to fix the business, and I know we’ll go into the detail about different turnaround tactics as we go on with this conversation, but long story short, we took the business from a relatively steep loss to a positive, slightly over $40 million EBITDA within about two years time. We got the stock relisted on Nasdaq. We created a new prototype store to renew our growth strategies, we started opening stores again. It became a very successful turnaround, it ultimately led to a couple of acquisitions in subsequent years, initially through Party City’s largest vendor and then through private equity. I think if anybody looked at the metrics there and the speed in which we were able to affect the turnaround, anybody would classify that as a success story.

Luke Peter: Yeah, that is a great story. Let’s get into themes of turnarounds, Andy, and maybe Party City might have a different theme than other ones you’ve been involved in. If you could give us, I know there’s probably a lot of things you guys did there, but the one key problem you saw that had to be fixed at Party City. Then also, maybe other themes you’ve seen at other companies, something really specific that was an overarching theme that was hurting the company.

Andy Bailen: Yeah. Party City was really working capital, cashflow related where money was really draining out of the business at multiple points. The controls weren’t in-place to understand where that cash burn was occurring. The concept at Party City of a value offering in a big box specialty environment of goods to celebrate all kinds of occasions was still resonated relatively well with the customers. But as working capital was challenged, inventory levels became challenged, the condition of the stores became challenged, and the customer ultimately sees all that and started to fade away. The challenge in that particular case was really plugging those holes if you will, for lack of a better term, and then determining the key tactics to start to regrow the business.

Andy Bailen: It was already good margin, product margin embedded in the model so that wasn’t a need there. Again, the concept of the business was not an issue but that is the case with many other businesses that I’ve worked with in turnaround situations. There it was really, the people internally didn’t understand the numbers, didn’t know the numbers, didn’t know where the drain was coming from, and therefore couldn’t fix it. It was really driven by growth just of the sake of growth, versus a concept of profitable growth.

Luke Peter: Did a lot of the financial team, did you have to bring a new team in to run finance, and did you even have to bring in a new finance system or ERPs to better see the data? Or how were you able to solve that problem?

Andy Bailen: There’s a lot of retail 101 that went into this effort. Yes, the head of finance was new, just as my role was new. The people that worked for us in many cases were very interested and willing to support the turnaround effort, I found that to be the case a lot. In many cases, I found that leadership of a business just simply won’t face the realty that their business is either struggling or even failing. But once that leadership either changes their perspective or goes away and new leadership comes in, people in the teams, in all departments of a business, typically can step up to new leadership and are looking for that type of leadership.

Andy Bailen: We ultimately evolved our systems but it wasn’t part of the early-stage turnaround effort. Part of that is the cash simply wasn’t there to make that large an investment. We had to work with what we had. Get the spend under control, really get some basic cashflow modeling in-place. Again, look at the business where it was before the challenges and what target areas we could look at to get growth back sooner rather than later. But in those two, allowed us to start throwing off more and more sales and cash and invest in a new a ERP system and invest in new stores amongst other things.

Luke Peter: Great. Andy, overall, when you’ve gone into these different turnarounds, Party City but also others, what does your first week look like? You come in, you maybe have some reports and stuff but you don’t know everything about the company, what do you initially dive into, what are the top two or three things that you spend your time on?

Andy Bailen: Well, the reports are important, knowing the numbers are absolutely critical. Looking at the income statement, looking at the balance sheet, cash is probably the most important thing you’re going to dig into immediately because that’s going to be the life blood of the business going forward. Really a deep dive into the numbers but we might see the numbers beyond income statement balance sheet, you have to try to get into much more nuance metrics within the business about where is the business coming from, what items are the most profitable, what customers are the most profitable, what items are a drag on the business, what customers might be a drag on the business, where is their over-investment? Oftentimes, it’s an uncontrolled inventory. Really digging into those numbers, you learn an awful lot but you don’t learn everything.

Andy Bailen: The other thing that I would typically do, and sometimes it’s in the first week, it doesn’t always get done in the first week, is talk to the employees of the business because you oftentimes get different perspectives on what’s going on. Maybe do just speaking to the leadership of the business but I would also speak to customers when possible, I would speak to creditors which is oftentimes the vendor base when possible, and really formulate a holistic view of the business as it exists today and ideally, as it existed before the challenges were created because that gives you a little bit of a roadmap to create a plan to move the business forward.

Luke Peter: Yeah. One of the things you talked about is uncontrolled inventory and then of course, a big focus on cash. Now, I’m guessing that most of these companies are not profitable, maybe they could be but then they’re just having different cash issues, right?

Andy Bailen: Yeah. Sorry about interrupt you, but some can be profitable but have a declining level of profit and they want to essentially affect the turnaround before they truly need a turnaround which is really the ideal way to do it because the challenges are much more manageable at that point. But you are right that probably 70% of the time or so, the companies are truly in trouble and losing money and burning through cash.

Luke Peter: Now if I had to break it down, let me try, I’m sure I’m going to miss some key themes, but obviously one of them is cashflow, so that could be inventory related, or just a poor use of cash, or not being able to track cash. The other thing could be maybe their sales or margins are really poor. Then maybe another option is they’re just overburdened with expenses. Is one of those themes more common than the other or do you see them all and sometimes you got to go and hack expenses but the other parts of the company are fine? Just trying to get the theme of what you most often see in companies.

Andy Bailen: There’s a theory in business that sales really disguise all problems, all other problems. Rarely when a business is growing their sales dramatically will you see them reach out for a need to think about some version of a turnaround. Typically, you’re seeing all those metrics be challenged to one attempt or the other. Cash as you said, is clearly the biggest concern is when people see that they’ve only got a few months or several months left to exist before they run out of money, that red light goes on and everybody’s looking for help at that point. A lot of companies do it before that but they see an ongoing decline in top line revenues, they see degradation of gross margin, they certainly see a degradation in net margins. You’ll typically find out expenses are getting out of control as a percentage of revenues, but it’s rare, at least in my experience, that a company will raise the red flag only because expenses are running up and are out of control. If the other metrics are still looking relatively decent, if not, it’s not good.

Luke Peter: That makes sense. Now, you’re in the middle of these transitions, what type of KPIs are you following? Obviously some cash and sales KPIs, but is there anything specific that you like to follow, just something that might be interesting for other CEOs to hear?

Andy Bailen: Well, when you look at a number, and you look at all the typical ratios, we look at it over time so we’re not just looking at a snapshot of anything when we go into an engagement. We look at, depends on how long the company’s been around, but we’ll go back as much as five years and look at the trends in business because oftentimes, this stuff doesn’t happen all of a sudden, other than when you run into a COVID type situation, it’s happening slowly over time.

Andy Bailen: When we dig into KPIs, one of the things that I learned a long, long time ago and always apply in terms of how we look at numbers is the 80/20 principle, I think most people understand what that is. But in terms of product profitability for example that 80% of your profitability is coming from 20% of your products, or it could even go to overall expense spend, or customer base, et cetera. We always keep that in the back of our minds as we are analyzing numbers, knowing that more often than not, we’re going to find a fair amount of opportunity to make the business more efficient financially. Whether it’s a SKU reduction, whether it’s elimination of unprofitable customers or programs. In terms of KPIs, we’ll look a profitability by customer, we’ll look at profitability by item. If there are different divisions within the business, we’ll do that same thing.

Andy Bailen: As I said, we look at all the expense ratios, we look at inventory, productivity, both in terms of revenue and margin generation. It’s one thing to say that this item or this program is generating 10% of my revenue so it’s great, but if 10% of the revenues are not matched by 10% of the margin and 10% or less of the inventory investment, there are levers there that need to be adjusted. We look at all that. We look at accounts receivable and the aging of accounts receivable and how much money should be coming into the business that’s not coming into the business. That directly affects working capital.

Andy Bailen: We look at the order of the cash cycle, how long does it take from when an order is placed to actually get the cash on-hand? We find that things like the aging and the orders to cash, companies get, for lack of a better term, lazy about tracking that stuff down and staying on top of it and keeping both of those metrics current. If you’re average aging is 35 days, it tends to sneak up to 40 days and then 45. It just kind of layers upon itself in terms of being a challenge, working capital wise amongst other things.

Luke Peter: So many of the things that you’re talking about in all of these themes is cash management or so many of them are cash management. What is it that you’re coming and you have experience-

Andy Bailen: Well, not-

Luke Peter: Go ahead.

Andy Bailen: I’m sorry to interrupt but when you think about a lot of it is cash but a lot of this, because I have never run into a turnaround situation that while cash is king, that allows you only to manage expenses and affect a successful turnaround. You’ve got to be able to drive the top line, the revenues profitably and think about bringing money into the business and not just protecting the money that’s going out of the business.

Luke Peter: Yeah, you can’t cut your way to success. You got to grow it on both end.

Andy Bailen: Yeah, absolutely you can’t. Yep, totally.

Luke Peter: Andy, what are some, now benchmarks are always awesome to hear, I know they’re going to vary across industry, but when you come in, are you able to share any standard benchmarks on EBITDA and margin? For example, in companies, are you like, “Hey, we got to get this company to 40% gross margins.” Or, “This company’s got to be over 10% EBITDA.” What are standards that are acceptable in the different industries on those two metrics that you’ve gone through? This is like gold, CEOs love to hear comparisons where there have been-

Andy Bailen: Yeah, it varies quite a bit, but if I was going to look at a EBITDA ratio for a consumer-facing business, ideally you’d want to be, and there are companies that achieve this, but you want to be somewhere in the mid-teens at minimum to really have a healthy business. You want to tie that together with a very robust balance sheet that allows you to manage through ups and downs, both seasonally as well as running into scenarios that we’re all experiencing now with COVID. I think one of the reason, and this is anecdotal, but one of the reasons so many businesses unfortunately have closed their doors since really over the last year, is because their cash on hand, their balance sheet was insufficient to protect them. They simply didn’t have enough runway in terms of working capital to give them time to pivot their business, and adjust, and do the things necessary to hopefully survive, give them at least a better chance to survive. That robust balance sheet is always a critical part of its deal point on cash.

Luke Peter: Yeah, that’s super great to hear on the EBITDA side as well, just so people can benchmark themselves. When you come into these turnarounds, and again, every department’s different, you’ve talked a little bit about finance, but what type of org chart changes are you usually focused on? Do you commonly see that you have to bring in new finance, or new marketing, or new sales? Or is it just dependent vary?

Andy Bailen: Well, it varies somewhat. Yeah, a lot of it’s determined based on the size of the client. There are small clients that I’ve worked with that there’s not a lot of people to replace if you will, in other words it might be the founder who’s running the business with a couple of other people, sometimes family members. In those cases, it’s a matter of just having to kind of breakthrough any potential denials of the business challenges that they may have, and truly teach them the right way to move forward.

Andy Bailen: When a company is larger in scale, then I found oftentimes, not all the time but oftentimes that senior leadership typically got the business into that situation. They simply didn’t change with the times and didn’t listen to customer and change with the customer, they weren’t facing the reality of the numbers or they simply didn’t know the numbers, whatever the case might be. It’s unfortunate but many times that leadership, that senior leadership needs to change over to truly affect a successful turnaround. At the end of the day, it’s probably the best thing for the people that exit the business as well because it’s simply not the right fit for them.

Andy Bailen: Once you get beyond leadership, as I mentioned earlier, oftentimes you’ll find that the teams that are really truly doing the work are looking for the leadership that they didn’t have prior. When you provide it or bring in new leadership to provide it, they listen, they step up, and they want to do the right thing for the business. It takes a lot of communication, you have to be truly honest about the situation that the business is in, and what is going to happen in the near term and that could include expense cuts, including [inaudible 00:26:35] cuts. If you do that, you try to do it only once so people don’t start thinking about when will the other shoe drop? But again, honesty is critical and once you kind of impart that to them and tell them about the plan and why the plan is going to work, and how it’s going to be executed, and then update them on a regular business, I found that people generally in those roles are willing to step up and anxious to step up and will provide value to the business.

Andy Bailen: In terms of the departments specifically, I think it’s really dependent upon the challenges you find within an individual business. If you’ve been bringing a product to sort, hypothetically, a company’s got expenses that are being managed and their expense ratio is staying relatively in line with their revenues but their revenues are dropping year over year over year, and maybe their margins are creeping up at the same time, and the customer is just not engaging with the offering that the company is bringing to market, in a case like that, the people that are creating the offering most likely has to be turned over. Then there’s a question about, “Well, there’s a marketing team that supports that, were they able to get the message out effectively for a new product offering?” Those, in the case where it’s top line driven, revenue driven, you look at the people that are driving the top line in the revenue.

Andy Bailen: When there are control elements to it, then you shift into finance. If you find yourself not able to get shipments out the door, if you’re using your own distribution centers and orders continuously get shipped late or miss picked or whatever the case might be, then you have to look at those teams. Really, if you dig into the numbers, you try to see the biggest problem areas and that will often lead you to team members that might have to be either challenged to improve or in certain cases, moved out of the business.

Luke Peter: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Now, in there you talked about, I think you talked about the plan and if they can follow the plan and how they’re going to turn that around and so I wanted to ask you about your specific planning method. Do you use some sort of formal planning method? How do you write these up, do you use something like OKRs or X-Matrix, or how do you write the plan? Then also, how do you keep teams accountable and yourself accountable as the plan rolls out?

Andy Bailen: Yeah. I’ve used OKRs for years and I’m a huge believer in them. I like them because, really a couple of reasons, one it creates very measurable goals. For any goal to be effective in a business or elsewhere, it’s got to be measurable. But two is that it drives the accountability for performance bound to the teams that have to execute that and it does it in multiple stages. Look, when we come into an engagement, the very first step is to through that analysis of the numbers, stop the bleeding. If there are things… We won’t work with this in the OKR process, may not have the time to do it. We look at where cash is burning through the business, or we look at where expenses are truly being wasted, and all those types of things, and then we’ll make some recommendations on immediate changes just to protect the cash and start to go build up the working capital.

Andy Bailen: But then as we continue that deep dive and doing our due diligence with the numbers, and with employees, and with vendors, and with customers, in applying the 80/20 theory and understanding or at least thinking we’re understanding where the opportunities are, we’ll start to build a plan that will become the basis for the OKRs. Typically, that evolves around where we want the client to be as a business. In other words, what’s their product market fit, where should they be in the covered marketplace?

Andy Bailen: We look at the financial structure of the business and what we believe we need to achieve in terms of financial results to get the business to the point where they would no longer be considered a turnaround and they would relatively healthy, if not healthy. Clearly we look at the product piece because at the end of the day, if the product’s not right, not much else is going to matter. Then we also look at the team and the people structure, the people and the structure of the people in terms of the go forward plan. We take all of that and start to create deliverables for it and that is where the OKR goals come into play. We’ll create them with leadership, whether it’s a existing or new leadership at the highest level or levels of the business. But then there’s a lot of stuff that have to come below that and we’ll truly start to engage with the individual teams based on the high-level goal.

Andy Bailen: If the high-level goal is to create an inventory turn ratio of X to make it more efficient, there are multiple steps that have to go there from SKU rationalization to proper buying to reducing lead times and when you place orders to receipt and all those other types of things, and you want to set goals around each element that goes into achieving the high-level goal. The team members, we will collaborate typically with team members to talk about what has to happen to get to that high-level goal and how do we get there and what are the metrics we could use to track our performance against them? Then kind of hold hands on the ultimate list of the objectives and the key results we want to see, the OKRs, and how we’re going to get there. The team will theoretically walk away feeling much more involved with the process. I found that you get much greater buy in to go forward plan when you do go through this effort collaboratively. You just have to go fully after that and track it relentlessly.

Andy Bailen: One of the things that we do is we communicate the entirety of the plan to the organization but still let the individual departments or teams work on their set of OKRs. We start by tracking it almost weekly. Then as time goes on, as we see performance targets met, we’ll start to spread that out a little bit and then go from every week to every two weeks, to maybe every month, or whatever the case might be.

Luke Peter: Andy, how are you tracking that and how are you communicating it? Because we’ve done this and once you get the whole team involved, it’s either a massive spreadsheet or some online SaaS program, but it’s just a lot to look at. How are you guys doing that and communicating that information out?

Andy Bailen: You want to tell it down to… If it can be a fairly significant spreadsheet, you want to try to treat it as an exception report structure, versus looking through every single number. You’ve got a certain target for results in a particular effort and you want something to either spit out or get highlighted when it comes in below that target. Then you drill down on that and you talk about it. What I found is, there are no great shortcuts to this. When you start this process, this review process, you as the consultant or the leader of the turnaround, a good deal is with a number of departments, so it’s quite time consuming for us. But for the team members, you don’t want to overburden them with tons and tons of deliverables and goals, you want to start with the ones that are going to give you the greatest return, 80/20, and let them achieve those versus boiling the ocean. Let them do the top three and finish those, and then move on to the next three so you’re not buried in data analysis.

Andy Bailen: But you got to go through the review, just you have to put the time into it. What I found consistently over time is that when you do that, the teams will understand that you’re going to spend the time on the exceptions. Nobody wants to spend the time in these meetings truly, so they’re going to work even harder to avoid these exceptions. They’re going to say, “Listen, I just spent an hour and a half discussing six different exceptions and what’s going to be done about them.” Maybe the next time around there’s only three because they understand that these goals are there to be met. While I found that it’s a lot of time initially, I’ve also found that over the course of multiple meetings that the need to invest time shrinks as you get deeper and deeper into the process.

Luke Peter: Yeah. Well, that’s really helpful on how to roll those out. OKRs are great so if companies haven’t tried those, it’s easy, it makes sense to people, and it’s relatively easy to roll out to a team and involves communicating then information to the whole team and that’s really the key to OKRs and being successful with them.

Andy Bailen: Yeah. Yeah, as I said, I’m a huge fan. The one element of OKRs that I’ve seen people misunderstand from time to time is putting in objectives that are not measurable.

Luke Peter: Yeah, for sure.

Andy Bailen: It doesn’t work and there’s a little bit of a learning curve to how to take what you want to achieve because we get what you’re saying, but how do you turn that into something or somethings that are truly measurable?

Luke Peter: Yep, couldn’t agree more. And it takes some time, it’s like anything new, you’re kind of exercising a new muscle and you got to give an organization some time to learn it.

Andy Bailen: Yeah. No, listen, it’s the same as the communication as well. You’ve got to get the entirety of the team, and the entirety of the customer base to the extent possible, and the vendor community, and creditors if need be, you’ve got to keep them truly engaged with what you’re doing. Silence is pretty scary. But when people see that you’re reaching out and you have a plan and you’re being open and honest about the plan, and ideally you’re making progress that starts relatively quickly and is consistent in nature, you’re going to get much more support from all of those group than your other ones would.

Luke Peter: Yep. Well, listen, I really appreciate all of your insights today, Andy. Why don’t we finish it up here with just some words of wisdom and what is the best business advice that you’ve ever received? Something that you can pass on to our audience here.

Andy Bailen: Hire great people and let them do the work.

Luke Peter: Yep, many people have said that, I think Steve Jobs said that too.

Andy Bailen: Well, he probably said it before I did but I don’t know. But, listen, it’s true, you hear it all the time, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Understanding it and actually doing it are two different things. People say all the time, “Hire somebody that is better than you.” Or, “Hire around your weaknesses.” I support all of those but at the end of the day, you just want to hire really good people that are willing, that are smart, and willing to be part of the team, willing to work hard. They’ll pay tremendous dividends, absolutely.

Luke Peter: Well, that’s great advice. How can listeners find more about you and your practice?

Andy Bailen: Well, my website is 3PeConsulting.com, that’s the numeral three, P as in Peter, E as in Edward, consulting, dot, com.

Luke Peter: Perfect, we’ll get that in the show notes.

Andy Bailen: Yeah, and if you want to stick my email in there as well, I won’t spell the whole thing out but that’d be great to have in the show notes as well.

Luke Peter: Cool. Of course, you guys can look up Andy on LinkedIn, Andy Bailen, his last name is spelled B-A-I-L-E-N. You can look at more of his experience and if you’re in need of a turnaround, Andy could be your guy. Before I let you all go, just want to remind you again that we need your help if you’re a vacation homeowner, for this new cause Vetcation.org. You can see how we’re supporting veterans with dream vacations. The kink in the hose is we need those homes, we have plenty of people in need. Right now, we need caring vacation owners to donate one week to a deserving military family on Purple Heart Day in August. What might just be another week’s vacation for you, is literally the vacation of a lifetime for these families, these struggling families. We hope that you can check out the cause, Vetcation.org, you can fill out a form over there if you’re interested in helping or you can email me directly if you want to get involved. I hope you all enjoy the interview today, truly appreciate your reviews on iTunes. Hope you join us for the next interview. Take care everybody.

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Contact Andy Bailen: LinkedIn

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