As a business leader, do any of these situations sound familiar?

  • You´re not entirely certain of the best way to improve your profitability
  • You´re not able to predict with any accuracy your business´ future profitability or cash flow
  • You see an opportunity for growth but don´t know if you have the resources to make it happen
  • You´re worried that your business may need restructuring to stay afloat
  • You want to implement improvements to key departments or processes but haven´t got the right people to do it
  • You´re planning an acquisition, but are worried about its integration
  • From time to time you´d like to bounce some ideas around and get an impartial, professional second opinion

If so, then we can help

What we do

At Bassford, we recognise that many CEOs or business owners often have to wear many hats, and attempt to tackle everything that needs doing single-handedly.  This can take them out of their areas of direct expertise.  At the very least, it´s challenging. In the worst-case scenario, it could impact negatively on the evolution of their business.

Our role is to help CEOs or business owners meet some of the biggest challenges they face. We can add specific expertise and skills to address particular problems at particular times.  We work with them to provide the best possible outcomes.

We principally help our clients tackle issues across four key areas

Business Planning

Are you an ideas person, excellent at the big picture and disruptive thinking, but haven´t got the time to set out exactly where you want to be in the future and how to get there?

Or perhaps you´re unsure how to prioritise the various projects you have pending in order to optimise your existing resources and maximise growth?

If so, we can work with you to help you channel your ideas into a consistent and coherent business plan that will enable you to:

  • Crystallise your preferred strategy for the business, and set out clear  metrics in terms of targets and objectives
  • Drive the financial budget planning process
  • Provide a common basis of understanding (and ownership) for the key stakeholders within the business about where the business is going and how it´s going to get there
  • Provide a framework around which the key processes and detailed operational plans can be developed
  • Create a detailed action plan to ensure the targets and objectives are met

Financial Planning

If you want to control and grow your business sustainably, a financial operating model is a critical element in being able to underpin your ambitions.  Are your financial planning, budgeting and forecasting processes linked to your organisation´s strategy?  If they aren´t, they should be.  Successful business growth and operational excellence demand effective and efficient financial planning, budgeting and forecasting.

With our expertise in financial planning and budgeting, we can help you:

  • Create a detailed financial operating model and budget with which to better manage and control your business
  • Gain greater visibility of your future cash flows, together with any potential future financing requirements
  • Identify potential issues and opportunities in your sales and key cost drivers, which we can use to help drive profit/operational improvement
  • Develop a dashboard of meaningful key performance indicators (KPIs) that will provide you with important insights about how well your business is performing
  • Create a solid foundation upon which to build a detailed presentation of your financials for outside investors

Business Restructuring & Transformation

Most companies suffer a crisis at some point in their existence.  The intensity and urgency of effort required to fix troubled businesses makes it an all-consuming endeavour, and one best shared with an external, independent professional.

In our experience, businesses generally go wrong because they don´t adapt to changing conditions.  They lose market share because of new competitors, or changing customer tastes, or shifts in technology; they generate insufficient cash and suffer a liquidity squeeze; they diversify and lose focus on the core business; they suffer a catastrophe such as a fire, fraud or customer bankruptcy; they overtrade; they have poor financial controls; they allow overheads to expand too fast – or any combination of the above.

We can help you analyse the problems, and then rapidly produce a plan to be implemented with vigour.

It will probably include many of the following elements: selling or shutting loss-making divisions; arranging standstill agreements with lenders and suppliers; cutting costs ferociously, and eliminating all unnecessary overheads; reducing stock; and collecting debtors more vigorously.

Whatever the cause or required actions to effect a turnaround, our professional, unbiased opinions can make all the difference in helping a CEO or business owner to come to the right decision.

Interim Finance & Project Management

For small and medium sized businesses that do not have or require a full-time CFO or FP&A Director, an interim CFO could be an invaluable asset.  They could provide you with additional insights, and help you make the important changes that your existing staff have neither the time nor expertise to handle.

Similarly, your business might not need full-time recruiting staff, but during certain periods, finding the right people with specific skills and competencies may be key to a successful future. Bringing in an interim recruitment consultant with the ability to find exactly the staff you need may be a wise investment.

Finally, the short-term assignment of an experienced professional may be needed to project manage a restructuring or transformation project, or to handle a crisis situation within an organization.

In each case, we can provide the necessary professional expertise to work with you and your existing team, and manage projects to a successful conclusion.

Why work with us?

We are business advisers with a focus on helping our clients develop their companies and achieve profitable growth

  • We work objectively as a strategic business partner with whom you can build a long-term relationship, not as a vendor of standard, off-the-shelf solutions
  • We have deep expertise and international experience in the areas in which we offer advice
  • Our approach is fact-based, objective and tailored to our clients’ needs
  • We will only work with you if we believe we can make a real, positive difference. We never sell services simply for our own benefit!

About us

Mark West began his career in the automotive industry as a design engineer for Ford Motor Company.  After reading for an MBA at London Business School, Mark held a number of senior finance and strategy roles across a range of industries, including Commercial Finance Director at ntl (now Virgin Media), and more recently as Group Director of Finance & Planning for a major Spanish Medical Devices supplier.
During his career, he has acquired a wealth of hands-on, management experience, and has a proven track record of developing businesses, managing growth and improving finance & business processes.
A key success factor has always been his ability to act as a true business partner, working at all levels throughout an organisation.  In addition, his international experience has seen him undertake projects with senior management teams of companies in the US & Canada as well as in the UK, Spain and Switzerland.

Partners

If your project extends beyond the scope of our services, we are able to call upon the participation of a broad range of highly experienced business professionals with functional expertise ranging from Corporate Finance to Recruitment.  Three such examples include:

Pablo Ruiz & Associates

A boutique Corporate Finance consultancy which provides specialist advice to companies in Spain & Mexico. In addition, they have extensive experience advising start-up companies, and offer specialist support to companies in financial difficulties.

iRecruit

Combining todays best recruitment practices with HR technology automation, iRecruit offers unique, customisable recruitment solutions. With more than 12 years of recruitment experience, iRecruit´s founder, Paul Kuepfer, has a deep understanding of today’s recruitment challenges.

Carl Sverdrup

Carl is a Danish national, based in Zurich, with more than 20 years’ business development experience.  Throughout his career, he has held a number of executive management as well as advisory positions in organisations that include ABB, Fläkt Woods, and Twin City Fan Companies.  Carl has deep expertise in M&A and private equity investment projects, and has advised a number of large, listed companies on strategy, and global expansion.

Testimonials

ANTONIO RUILOBA MOLÍNS

Owner/Director Bodegas La Val

Mark West advised us and worked with the management team on the business planning phase and valuation of our management buyout of Bodegas La Val.
What impressed us most was his detailed, methodical approach, and the insight & integrity he brought to the process.  His advice was fundamental to the success of the buyout operation, and the foundation stone for the continued growth & success of Bodegas La Val.

JASON GREEN

European Anchor, Business Intelligence - Infosys

At a previous company, I worked closely with Mark West on a complex business restructuring project which included a series of best practice process improvement initiatives. Despite the breadth and complexity of what we were attempting to achieve, I was deeply impressed by Mark´s professionalism, dedication and drive to make the project a success.
Ultimately, thanks to Mark´s tight management of the overall project, we achieved our specified objectives within both the agreed schedule and budget. As a result, we attained a significant reduction in both fixed and variable costs, as well as an important improvement in customer satisfaction.
If you want a hands-on, experienced, proactive resource to come into your business, challenge you and bring new ideas to the table then I would have no problem recommending Mark for the task.

JAY ATARA

Chief Financial Officer CEG

I´ve known Mark West for many years and have tremendous respect for his professionalism and total integrity.  Prior to moving to CEG, we worked together on a project to establish a corporate planning function at my previous organisation.  Working closely with all the major stakeholders, Mark designed, led and managed the project, which successfully established a centralised financial planning & analysis function responsible for driving the annual budget process, together with monthly & quarterly reporting & variance analysis.
In the first full year of operation, the centralised planning team helped generate significant revenue increases as well as cost savings across the group, thanks to its ability to identify and focus on the key growth & margin drivers, whilst reducing resources on the non-scalable activities of the business.

Contact

Please don´t hesitate in contacting us to find out how we can help your business to achieve profitable growth. You can use the contact form, or alternatively email me directly if you prefer with a short message & contact number, and I´ll get back to you as soon as I can.

mark.west@bassford.ch

Bassford GmbH
POSTAL ADDRESS *
Chamerstrasse 50
6300 Zug
Switzerland

* By appointment only