The most important thing is ideas
The health of a business is not guaranteed forever. Virtually all business owners or managers will face the daunting task of managing the recovery of a faltering business.
This is a period characterized by low sales, low cash, low market share, and low innovation. Some recover from this and bounce back stronger than before, and some don’t. There are many factors responsible for this; those that are self inflicted like; a major project failure, inexpert management or poor financial control are generally termed internal forces. While those that are not self inflicted like; government intervention, economic recessions, the presence of low-cost competitors, or natural disasters are termed external forces. The continuous survival and success of a business greatly depends on managing these forces internally and externally. Neglecting them can be unfortunate for any business regardless of size. Capital isn’t that important in business. Experience isn’t that important. You can get both of these things. The most important thing is ideas.
7 turnaround strategies to revive a business
1. Re-Evaluate: situation
2. Re-Define: strategy
3. Re-Employ: people
4. Re-Innovate: product
5. Re-Brand: marketing
6. Re-Finance: money
7. Re-Work: execution
1. Re-Evaluate: Situation
The most critical turnaround strategy
The first place to start is to look within the company. This is known as self- evaluation or self-assessment. You have to know what the situation is and what the problem is. When you already know the circumstances, you can now take appropriate actions. When looking within, focus on the following key areas; Strategy, People, Customers, Product, Process, Finance. Re-evaluation is the most critical turnaround strategy; without it all other things are just frantic moves that will yield little results. Before you begin to act, know why, what and how affected your business is. Only through re-evaluation can discover all these. If you don’t know where are you going, any road will take you there.
2. Re-Define: Strategy
Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation
After re-evaluation comes re-definition. Re-definition is putting the business back on track. This is where you go back to the drawing board to set the overall direction for the company. This is where you create the turnaround game-plan. Faltering in business is often as a result of not having a clear direction or having derailed from the set path. So you need to revisit the foundation of your business by touching the following key areas; Purpose, Vision, Mission, Values, Brand. Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.
3. Re-Employ: People
What helps people, helps business
Hardly can you turnaround a faltering business without talking about the people behind it. A business cannot function by itself, people make it function. People make or break your business. This is why you need to re-employ. To resurrect a dying business, get the right people on board and get the wrong people off, period! What helps people helps business.
4. Re-Innovate: Product
Do something new, then work to make it successful
Lack of innovation is one of the warning signs of a faltering business. It is impossible for a business to remain relevant in the market if it fails to introduce new products/services. People change, markets change, technology changes and so must your business. If you refuse to change, by constantly innovating your products/services, you are bound to fail. To bring your business back to life, do something new, then work to make it successful.
5. Re-Brand: Marketing
A change in you can change the market for you
One of the consequences of a faltering business is the negative impact it has on the brand. Your customers begin to lose trust in the brand as their satisfaction level declines. Negative word of mouth marketing starts to spread and the brand is no longer known, liked or trusted in the market. To correct this negative association with the brand, you have to kill the old brand and create a new one. This doesn’t necessarily require a total change in the brand name; only do this as a last resort. What rebranding means is to give your business a new meaning, a face-lift and a new brand identity. This is why in almost every turnaround situation; the company comes up with new marketing campaigns, new logos, new brand colors, and new slogans to let the market know that things are not the same as before. “A change in You can Change the market for you!”.
6. Re-Finance: Money
Break down your financial needs into sizable chunks
One of the most obvious signs of a faltering business is lack of money. The easiest option would be to seek external funding, but this can be a very daunting task. So what do you do? Start sourcing for funds from within the business. Don’t try to solve all your financial needs at once; it will only further put you in more financial mess. Break down your business financial needs into sizeable chunks tied to specific needs and begin to fill them with the excess funds gathered. Seek out strategic alliances from your partners like your suppliers, they can offer you trade credits. Only after you have exhausted these internal funding options should you seek external sources. Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight.
7. Re-Work: Execution
Focus on performance-driven work
You need to do the work. And not just as you have always done before, you need to re-work the way you used to work. You’ve probably been engaged in random work rather than focusing on performance-driven work or goal-oriented work. It is one thing to work and it is another to align your work with the strategic goals of the organization. Only by doing so can the business be saved from faltering. Every work must be broken down into processes, must have a owner and must have a goal or key indicators to track performance. And it doesn’t have to be perfect, “A good plan implemented today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow.”
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