du Boulay is a leading contractor in the commercial fit-out and refurbishment sector of the construction industry. Since its origins in the mid 1970s, the company has developed a first class reputation in hospitality fit-out, specialising in restaurants, hotels, coffee shops and bars. The Wandsworth-based contractor is a fairly recent convert to the partnership model which we’ve spent the last decade championing.
As is often the case with partnership converts of ours, they were already doing a lot of the things synonymous with our partnership model before we came into contact with them. As such, the implementation was relatively painless. However, Kate Bialek and David Budd, whom we met with to discuss the benefits of implementing our model, said that “making it official”, as it were, did reap some quantifiable benefits. Yes, the team was already functioning like a well-oiled machine. Indeed, there’s simply no room for discord when there’s just 14 in your team and you’re turning over ten million a year. Despite this, both admitted that the change in structure and resulting elevation in the teams’ status and stake in the business meant that the guys “went from 90% commitment to 120%”, according to Kate, which of course is never a bad thing.
We’ve incorporated hundreds of partnerships during our tenure and are proud of the culture seeds we’ve sown. Admittedly, du Boulay was experiencing cash flow issues in the run up to implementing our partnership model. Kate was transparent about how much of a contributing factor this was in the decision to make the switch. Kate said, of the change: “That’s why I think the model is so helpful, because it provides initial help with cash flow.”
Our partnership model is fairly unique in that it is essentially a hybrid of a limited company and an LLP (limited liability partnership) wherein the limited company remains the trading face of the business, whilst the team become members of the LLP. Along with the countless cultural benefits of implementing a partnership structure, arranging things in this matter provides an initial reduction in tax liability, for both the business and the individual partners, which has made all the difference for many of our clients who found themselves in times of financial distress.
We believe that all businesses should be run as partnerships because if your team isn’t invested in the success of your business then, frankly, why are you paying them? This childish ‘screw the boss’ mentality which we come across from time to time is backward, mutually unproductive and should, in our humble opinion, be firmly consigned, along with Jeremy Kyle, hover boards, and the dreaded man-bun, to the last decade. After all, it’s 2020. So, let’s evolve!