"Finance is only a means, not an end"

“Finance is only a means, not an end”

Following a resounding failure, the first operated a transformation…

Following a resounding failure, the former carried out a radical transformation of his SME, created in 1963 and taken over by him in 2010. “The detonator was six years ago, a project that caused us to lose 200,000 euros in the face of a client who is not very honest but also a lack of quality of work, ”explains Thierry Burin des Roziers. The company loses 40% of its turnover. The boss notes “a form of exhaustion due to the overactivity of the building in an environment where all the major projects exceed the planned time by 30%”. Driven by a form of intuition, he radically transformed the company. Instead of turnover, he prefers an indicator of the valuation of working hours, a ratio (customer selling price minus the purchase of equipment in relation to the number of hours worked). “In the building, there is 90% a logic of volume. We run constantly, we do a lot of volume at low prices. Behind, it creates tension, useless energy. It’s unpleasant for everyone, everyone is looking for excuses, explanations, ”reports the boss. He prefers to give up public calls for tenders, to work better than too much. From €4.5 million, turnover increased to €2.5 million: the company received departures and three dismissals.

“This rebound started with a leap into the void. Today, the turnover has stabilized, even if that is no longer the subject that interests me”, adds Thierry Burin de Roziers.

The boss has “cut the logic of exhaustion”, and invested in the logic of relationship. He engages in a CSR program before working on the raison d’être of the company. “Our priority is to understand and serve the customer. Even if the project does not succeed with a client, there is a quality of relationship, therefore an investment. Relationships are calmed both inside and outside the company. »

This speech was inspired by his involvement in the EDC. “At the end of my life, it’s not finance that will be of value. It is only a means, not an end. President of EDC Poitou-Charentes Limousin (110 leaders), he found material for solidarity, dignity, “economy of the common good and balanced sharing of wealth”. “An economic model at the service of people and not the other way around. He entered this ecumenical Christian movement twelve years ago to “plow deep”. He acknowledges having changed and “tremendously reduced the pressure on employees”.

Sharing experiences

Arrived in the movement four years ago, at the same time as his entry into entrepreneurship, Amaury Legrand appreciates the exchanges within the EDC. “When you are an entrepreneur, you are very alone in the face of the decision, the risk. Being able to exchange for free between leaders is priceless. » he found there « a freedom of speech, a benevolence in the confidentiality which gives confidence ». And a “movement for sharing good practices”, which today wishes to open up.

In tandem at the head of the merchants’ association, this entrepreneur in the hotel and catering industry has also learned “to detach himself from turnover”, even if he has a volume obligation of activities. Stunned by the Covid (minus 78% of turnover), he did not listen to “his first reflex of overwhelm on his fate”. “It didn’t lead to anything. It is not by lamenting that one makes customers want. ” His engine, he says, he finds in the attitude and drive of his collaborators, amazed by the creative force of the youngest, convinced that society needs entrepreneurs, “and that money does not is not the brake, the main thing is the project”.

All Christian entrepreneurs

Sophie Izoard-Allaux, lecturer at the Faculty of Theology of Lille, has compiled in “Humaniser l’entreprise” (Mame editions) 33 testimonials from entrepreneurs, members of Christian Entrepreneurs and Leaders (EDC) of all sizes, of all sectors. Among them, that of Thierry Burin des Roziers. Six years ago, he changed his way of leading. Today, his diary “is as white as possible to accommodate the unexpected”. Village of François (for the most fragile), praise of slowness in business, permanent integration project in Les Mureaux… behind all these detailed examples, “messages of hope” to show that “there is really the possibility of ‘a fulfilling business life’.

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