Changing courses for a company that is in trouble is not an easy undertaking, but with a sound strategy and some important support, it can be successful.
Here are some expert tips on how to turn struggling companies around.
- Discuss it. MBM Investments Corp.’s Michael Beattie says while most companies want to hide any hint of trouble, it is not the right thing to do. “When a company is in trouble, communication is crucial,” Toronto’s Michael Beattie Talk with the board and any key employees about what is happening. Be sure to have your plan of recovery formalized. They will find it easier to rally around the company if they are confident in the leadership and the way forward. Allow them to offer their input into the business plan and future plans
- Document a future plan. Stakeholders will want to see that a struggling company has a plan for the future. It is crucial that a company have solid operations, sales/marketing, and business plans documented. It also helps employees, management, investors, and banks, know where they fit into the scheme and how they can help the company turnaround. When you prepare the documents, don’t shy away from including the good, bad and ugly.
- Revise the plans. Gather the feedback that has been given by stakeholders and key players in the company and incorporate it into a revised business plan for recovery.
- Talk with employees. Try and nip fear in the bud by having a company meeting and letting your employees in on the plan for making the company successful again. This will give them a chance to see what part they can play in the recovery process. It can also be helpful to give employees a chance to offer feedback to the business plan.
- Be straightforward with customers. There will likely be rumors about what is happening to your business. You will need to step in and clear up any confusion and let your customers know that you have a plan to turn things around. Give vendors the same courtesy by letting them know where you stand.
- Get financials under control. If you will have trouble paying creditors, be sure to call them and be upfront about the situation.
Downsize. This is one of the most difficult things to do when a company hits hard times, but it is an important move to get the business back on track. This means cutting back on staffing costs. Letting employees go is never easy but you will need to make the tough decision of who is most important to the future of your company.