Sometime ago, I was dealing with a fellow in the motor industry, and he had an agreement with quite a large motor repairer, to do their vehicles. He was going through a tough time, most probably wasn’t as strong mentally as he could be at that time. He’d had been 12 or 18 months of being harassed and worrying and feeling like he was going to lose everything.
We went and saw the organisation, and I said to him, “Look, he is a little bit fragile, and let’s just take it easy.” (More from a mental perspective than a business perspective, we were just being straight in that.) And if you can direct the questions to me, we’ll will get them answered and I was fairly involved in the business.
And they wouldn’t do that. They kept almost harassing him, and wanting him, saying, “He’s the dealer principal, he should be doing it, and we deal with him, we don’t deal with other people.” And again, it’s lack of understanding of what people are going through when they are facing a financial difficulty. And yes we can be strong, yes we can be tough, and yes we can say, “It’s business.” But here’s an individual that was struggling, searching for a little bit of guidance, and just empathy, and yet they refused because it wasn’t their policy. And that’s what we’re dealing with.
Now the problem there, is that if you take it to the next step, what does that person do. He goes and sees a solicitor; the solicitor gets involved. Immediately his solicitor gets involved, the other solicitor gets involved and you’re in a legal fight and ‘Boom!’. There’s no business left. He goes and sees an accountant, the accountant sits down with the figures, the figures go across to the other person, and ‘Boom!’ immediately you’re into a battle of trying to prove figures and that type of thing.
So who does he go to? And that’s where it’s important to go to a business advisor or someone that can just work through the issues in a casual way. Let’s just understand these people when they’re in financial difficulties – they aren’t necessarily bad people, haven’t necessarily done anything wrong, it’s a situation that developed. And we’ve got all the understanding in the world if someone comes here and says, “I’m depressed,” or “I’ve got mental health issues,” except if it relates to financial issues. And then everyone jumps on him and calls him a bad person, just because it’s ‘Finance’. And if we have a little bit more understanding, we can help these people, get back on track, and build successful and good businesses.