I hate saying, “I told you so”


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When people learn of my various work activities such as high-risk repossessions, fraud investigation, legal document service and business credit consulting, they often ask me what the hardest part of my work is.

The answer may surprise you, as it often does them; It is not being threatened with weapons, having dogs set on me, dealing with violent and erratic meth goblins or being constantly insulted by angry debtors; the hardest part of my work comes from the business credit consulting where I have never been threatened, assaulted, insulted or bitten, at least not yet.

The reason is that for nearly two decades I have watched business owners repeat the same actions, leading to the same pain over and over again. This despite their having access to the information, tools and proven solutions that can remedy it and often prevent it from ever happening again.

As a father I liken this to watching a child run on to the road, being narrowly missed by a speeding car, being rescued, having the dangers explained to them and being sternly warned, then watching them run back on to the road to dance with the traffic.

I find this so hard because I have seen hundreds of business owners suffer through liquidations, company collapses, voidable transactions, soul destroying litigation and the decimation that this causes them, both professionally, and more importantly, personally.

I have personally seen this result in suicides, family unit implosion, imprisonment and destruction of mental health.

In many of these cases I have met with the business owners (I have met with over 13,000 in my career) a year or two before the catastrophe occurred and spelled out to them in relevant and specific detail what can happen and exactly how to avoid it , shown them how to use the tools in a business-friendly and cost-effective manner, only to have them say, “well it hasn’t happened to me yet – I will let you know when it does and then we can look at what you are saying”.

This is akin to saying, “yes, I know that I have no fire insurance on my house, once I smell the smoke and see the flames I will put some cover in place.”

By this time you will have nothing left to insure and the call will just be a waste of everybody’s time.

My desire for businesses to be protected from a credit management perspective does not come from some desire to make money at others expense, or to be right, or to be seen as some kind of business guru – it comes from literally hundreds of gut-wrenching phone calls from people I have met with asking me to assist them in remedying something that I could have helped prevent from ever happening.

Now maybe it is me. Maybe I am not always effective in conveying the risks, despite having empirical data and relevant, real-life experience to prove my point. Maybe this is a failure that I must own.

I have spent my professional life upskilling, studying, gaining access to top experts and the most effective credit management tools available, doing everything I can to be the most effective advisor I can and serve those that allow me to do so.

I’m not asking business owners to trust in me alone, trust the facts. The risk is not subjective when it is proven. Read the paper. Watch the news. Google “liquidation” in the town that you live in. These are not fairytales; they are records of recent history and each one is a document of real pain and loss.

Do your research, find someone you can trust who knows their rear from their elbow in this regard, and for goodness’ sake, listen to them!

Rant over.

Just a thought.

Related: The quick or the dead

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Nick Kerr
Nick Kerr
Nick Kerr is the director of IPI Group Limited. He can be reached on 021 876 527 and nick@nzipi.com.

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