If your business has run into financial distress, the road back to profit can be a difficult journey filled with stress and uncertainty. Afterall, no one wants to see the company they built failing.
Michael Beattie, a Toronto-based business executive who specializes in, among other areas, helping companies in crisis, says it takes a lot of perseverance and hard work to turn things around.
When your business is in trouble, it can be tough to know what to do. No two turnarounds are ever the same. Here are some tips that will help turn your profits from being in the red, back to black.
Examine the situation. Before you are able to fix a problem you need to be clear on what the problem really is. If the issue is low revenue as a result of poor sales, then you need to determine why sales are where they ought to be. Is it a lack of morale among sales staff? Are there issues with the product? Dig down and get to the root of the problem. Then you will be in a better position to solve it.
Bring in consultants. When you are attempting to fix what is going wrong at a company it is best to bring in an external expert opinion.
Analyze performance metrics. Companies that collect data to examine where they have been and predict where they are going should be able to clearly explain how the data demonstrates their future potential. If the information being collected does not directly point to an uptick in future performance, it needs to be eliminated.
Value your staff. Niels Juul, a partner at the brand recovery firm Nofatego, says employees are the most valuable resource for any organization. During times of trouble, it is important not to disregard your key staff members. It will be necessary to let some of your workers go, but be careful to keep those employees who have proven to be high performers. Part of this is to ensure your employees continue to trust management. If staff members lose faith in an organization and its ability to stay afloat, they will jump ship.
Michael Beattie adds further guidance to this, highlighting the importance of continued communication among team members and saying: “… And we focus on people. We get the team together and see where the communication is breaking down, because there’s almost always a problem there. Then we determine if the problems stem from branding and sales, or with operations on the back-end…”
Create a plan for the future. Once you have analyzed the issues behind the company’s troubles it is time to develop a realistic plan forward. Note that there will be some in the company who support any changes needed and there are others who don’t. If you are unable to convince those who don’t immediately put their faith in the new direction, they will need to go.