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Jason

Work Problems And.. Promotion

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I thought I'd ask HPCer's opinions a big shake up at my current work place.

Basically the company (30 employees) is owned outright by the MD who over the past 3years has completely lost interest in the company (not that he will admit it). He never addresses any issues that arise, never talks to the customers [i.e. the high level directors of the hand full of customers we have] (only when he absolutely has to) and now has changed his working week to two days from three. All he really does is watch Sky Sports...

To add a spanner in the works, his son (mid 20s) has been with the company for around two years, and he came in the company at the 'top' and never really learnt the different departments. He doesn't understand the importance of doing things correctly, and he outright lies to his dad about issues - stuff I try to show him in black and white, but he never really reads it. He's the type of chap who will never be at fault, and his excuses are already lined up for his next failure... one that I (and my team, or the sales team) constantly has to sort out.

Anyway, the MD has always said the 'company runs itself'... which has always annoyed me, as it's the Sales Manager who sorts out issues with customers and orders, and it's me who sorts out anything with the company.

Now things have got too much for the Sales Manager and he is leaving - mainly over the attitude of the MD and his son (not that they will ever see themselves at fault). The MD never really cared until (after two weeks until he spoke with me, as I was only holiday for the two days he was in - lol) as he expected me to just say I'll sort it.

The problem is, no-one in the company could do my job, because if they did they would have done it before me taking responsibility (and it varies massively, from sorting out the warehouse, profitability/pricing, logistics, what to pay staff (I don't actually do the payroll [that's secret as they pay themselves shed loads], just tell the MD what to pay), recruitment/HR, supporting the system, training, dealing with auditors, phone call about saving money on xyz.. yep, me). I've been there for over 12years, and as I take on more jobs I recruit and delegate tasks - but still seem to be the go to guy to sort stuff out.

The problem with this job, is it is simply too much work as I will never totally give up my old job. I'm not a salesman, and I'm not really had corporate experience - i.e. when sitting in overseas meetings with the directors of billion $ companies, they expect someone senior to lead that meeting - not me in my early 30s.

So, the "plan" is for the MD to give the job to his son.. and I know how that is going to plan out. He will say he's doing it, and me and my team will do all the work (as usual). However is this an opportunity for me to run the company as I like (and recruit/delegate as required)? The only issue is I don't want his son involved, as he just makes things difficult.

Next week I need to try and get it into the MDs head that his son can't do this; and I need to make it crystal clear that if he is to do it, I'm not doing it for him. I think I'm between a rock and a hard place at the moment..

The alternative is to leave myself; which would be a shame because we have a good team now, and the pay is very good. The MD will never give me shares, put me into a higher directorate position, or let me see the yearly accounts (as he pays himself £200k+, which is stated in the companies house accounts that I buy).

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Always a problem when working for a privately owned company. I worked for one myself a long time ago. Always lots of promises, but it was clear it was really only the founders that would ever benefit. At one time I was being charged out at £750/day - and earning £12K/year (back in the 90s). Clearly, someone was doing rather well out of it - and it wasn't me!

Also similar issues to you as it was clear that the owner no longer wanted to do it but, in this case, was absolutely necessary to make the sales. No-one else seemed to have his touch with prospective clients.

I ended up leaving.

I suspect you will not be listened to in favour of the son. Blood is genuinely thicker than water in these situations. Unless you are prepared to walk, I'd be careful of being critical of the son's abilities. The best solution might be to have the son as a figure head, while you actually run the thing. Perhaps he can be made something important sounding like CEO, and you Managing Director - with a commensurate payrise. If you can make the son an ally to this in advance so much the better. He's a 20 something who perhaps feels out of his depth/obliged to his old man. This is going to take some deft manoeuvring on your part.

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Sounds like you have a very good understanding of your (and the company's) circumstances. I don't think anyone else is in as good a place as you to be able to figure out your next move ( unhelpful as that sounds).

I presume they aren't asking you to do the sales managers job, rather that either you or they will recruit / promote someone to that position?

Either way it sounds like you will essentially be running the company single handed for a while so there's some experience there.

The question regarding moving is, where to?

The only way you'd find out is by casting your net and seeing if you see anything interesting. Then in a few months /years time you can weigh up how things are working out against other similar jobs on the market.

The other "out there" suggestion is you could wait until the boss's son really upsets most of your customers then start up in business in competition and collect the £200k salary for running the company yourself.

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Sounds like the ideal opportunity for a forced MBO to me. What are you reasons for not following this route?

MBO certainly springs to mind, but that relies on a willing seller. Certainly worth a try, if the choice is between that and oblivion and you think the company has decent value worth having.

You might well need to raise money to buy the founder out. If you have a decent business, it's the kind of deal quite a few Private Equity houses are happy to back.

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I would be fairly sure that the father is well aware of the son's shortcomings, if not fully accepting. If he has lost interest then there may be, albeit currently unknowingly, a willing seller.

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MBO for an owner paying himself 200k a year sounds pricey. Any discussion i went into i'd start with taking out the public company records, so you make it obvious you know what he's paying himself.

What's stopping you from starting up a competitor? Working with that son sounds like poison - unless you can engineer a situation where you can prove to him or his dad how out of depth he is, then i'd be looking to exit sharply, as i doubt son will be willing to take your advice much if he is left in charge!

Does owner need the money? Maybe he's only lost interest because he's seeing that 200k a year as easy money - wonder how interested he'd become if that revenue was in doubt..

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Go to the MD and lay it on the line- that he and his son are taking the mick. If he's not prepared to compromise, then leave and set up a rival business on your own...you seem to know what you're doing?

My best mate set up a business a couple of years ago with his redundancy money from the public sector who were cutting back (and with a little float from me, long since paid back). He's coining it now, and part of his business is sending out consultants / trainers for say £250 a day while billing the customer £500...the difference is that my mate generally works 50-60 hours a week winning new business, and the people he's sending out on the jobs know and trust him (and so are happy earning £250 a day doing what they're competent and confident at doing).

I should really have demanded a small stake in my mate's business in return for my initial float; not because of capitalism, just because he's a chippy twit who is now delighting in showing me his Rolexes and other trappings of his new found wealth! But we've been mates for 20 years so it's all fine.

If you've got a profitable business model going and have had it with your employer I've got a house deposit saved here that I'm not going to spend on a house while they're so stupidly expensive, so if you need a backer...

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Be upfront and ask for the pay package you think you're worth and are happy to stay at and see if the old man agrees.

The 'I'm running the company and I'm indispensable' employee syndrome is common and, in almost all cases, the company continues without them.

The main job owners get paid for is carrying the can. If it goes t1ts up you get paid go home and find another job they might not go home as they might lose their house.

Set up a business in direct competition and it will never be your business but simply someone else's business you abused insider knowledge to steal. If you feel underpaid or undervalued leave and find somewhere else that does value you, if you can't, you're overvaluing yourself.

This isn't meant to be harsh advice but be careful of people telling you what you want to hear or feeding them information that means they tell you what you want to hear.

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I worked for a small company where the MD employed his nephew. Unfortunately he was such a buttock, the MD let him go. :unsure:

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Be upfront and ask for the pay package you think you're worth and are happy to stay at and see if the old man agrees.

The 'I'm running the company and I'm indispensable' employee syndrome is common and, in almost all cases, the company continues without them.

The main job owners get paid for is carrying the can. If it goes t1ts up you get paid go home and find another job they might not go home as they might lose their house.

Set up a business in direct competition and it will never be your business but simply someone else's business you abused insider knowledge to steal. If you feel underpaid or undervalued leave and find somewhere else that does value you, if you can't, you're overvaluing yourself.

This isn't meant to be harsh advice but be careful of people telling you what you want to hear or feeding them information that means they tell you what you want to hear.

FWIW this is really good advice. The graveyard is full of indispensable men.

The fact you're not involved in the account preparation suggests there's at least one dimension of this business you don't know that well - and I'd be wary of ascribing a particular motivation to why not.

It could well the boss is adopting a morale-boosting strategy of giving the impression you are indispensable, and their contribution is small. IMO, any business owner worth their salt should be trying to design themselves out of it and minimise their contribution - otherwise they just have a job.

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Ah the classic: Wealth does not pass three generations

Nearly 60% of the time a family's money is exhausted by the children of the person who created the wealth, according to Roy Williams, president of wealth consultancy The Williams Group. In 90% of the cases it's gone by the time the grandchildren die.

"It goes back to the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son," said Williams, referring to the free spending child who blows his father's inheritance yet is welcomed back anyway. "We haven't changed in 2,000 years, and that same unprepared heir issue is now worldwide."

http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/25/luxury/family-wealth/

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From what you say, the MD the boss you respect and respects you is losing interest in the company he built up....you sound like you have a full understanding of the firm and are in a way looked up as a boss from others working there.....you do not respect the son who is not the kind of person you would wish to work for......so maybe as still young with lots of experience working as a team in a family business is to go your own way and become a real boss in charge of your own business......a risk worth taking.

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Be upfront and ask for the pay package you think you're worth and are happy to stay at and see if the old man agrees.

The 'I'm running the company and I'm indispensable' employee syndrome is common and, in almost all cases, the company continues without them.

The main job owners get paid for is carrying the can. If it goes t1ts up you get paid go home and find another job they might not go home as they might lose their house.

Set up a business in direct competition and it will never be your business but simply someone else's business you abused insider knowledge to steal. If you feel underpaid or undervalued leave and find somewhere else that does value you, if you can't, you're overvaluing yourself.

This isn't meant to be harsh advice but be careful of people telling you what you want to hear or feeding them information that means they tell you what you want to hear.

The 'stealing' bit is nonsense. Nearly every business out there has been 'stolen' from elsewhere by someone trying to do it better.

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go your own way and become a real boss in charge of your own business......a risk worth taking.

I did and I was a terrible boss. I was always arguing with me, like Gollum.

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Guest eight

Surely market theory dictates that a more efficient company (ie. one where the MD only pays himself £175K/year for doing nothing) will grind your employer into the dirt in short order?

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Has the MD lost interest due to being near retirement and has enough money for himself? The son from your description lacks real business insight, if he is the next MD in waiting I'd be finding out all I could about how the business runs and spend time learning the skills from people in each area.

From your post I guess you feel that when the current MD walks and hands it over to his son you feel the business will slowly fail.

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MBO for an owner paying himself 200k a year sounds pricey. Any discussion i went into i'd start with taking out the public company records, so you make it obvious you know what he's paying himself.

Someone paying himself £200k a year and admitting that he does nothing ("the company runs itself" even if it doesn't) sounds like trying to deal with someone with a very shaky grasp of worth.

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The sales manager decided he couldn't put up with the situation; the pay, however much, was not enough remuneration.

Will you adopt the mindset of the Sales Manager ? Or can you turn up, do a good job, collect the handsome pay, go home, and forget about work until the next day. Or will the workplace 'eat away at you' 24/7.

Only you know.

If you will hate the workplace and the pay won't compensate I would leave before the workplace drags you down completely and you become less positive, start moaning, and have an attitude that may make you less employable elsewhere. If you think the company will collapse under the son you need to get out before that happens, which is why those made redundant in a first tranche are always the lucky ones.

With regard to setting up in competition, if all you do is copy the business then SNACR will be right. If you can create a different business and expand the market, albeit supplying the same product, then CCC has a valid point. Again, only you know whether you are a copier or an innovator / entrepreneur.

Personally, I would take the pay as long as possible saving cash as hard as possible, while planning an exit strategy.

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Someone paying himself £200k a year and admitting that he does nothing ("the company runs itself" even if it doesn't) sounds like trying to deal with someone with a very shaky grasp of worth.

What a cheeseball! The rather small company I worked for some years ago, the two directors were not frightened to put on boiler suits and do something with spanners.

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A professional firm would have sold interest to its partners, gradually working up to retirement.

An unprofessional firm is what happens in the OP.

The Son, having only experienced success on the backs of others cant possibly know of his shortcomings...he hasnt actually got any while he has a great team doing all the work.

The Father, from his sofa sees the cash flowing in, his successor is merrily getting the job done...whats to know?

The result is either all the skills are going to drift away, leaving the son wondering what went wrong, or someone taking firm grip.

someone is going to get hurt.

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What a cheeseball! The rather small company I worked for some years ago, the two directors were not frightened to put on boiler suits and do something with spanners.

... they look the type ...

Sooty%20Squeak.png

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... they look the type ...

You funny fugger. You have made my day!

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