When local businesses are in trouble
Snap non-performing local businesses out of it. Stop any procrastination, inaction because of fear, or because of drought and start them taking action. To turn around a business might be easier than you think, but it must happen. Many communities ignore their struggling companies; they believe businesses in trouble deserve to die or move on.
They are wrong, they never think of the implications, the loss of jobs and services to the community which is usually not easily replaced, along with the loss of talent. Particularly in smaller towns and villages.
Stop telling people it is too hard to turn a business around. You can have access to the answers, both you and the businesses needed to make a difference in stopping another empty building and more people leaving town.
Taking the right actions and time management of the people involved will be the most significant issues. No actions, no turnaround, and there must be sufficient time made available to do the work that will be necessary. Simple really, no time and no money are not acceptable excuses.
Plan logically, set strategies and actions according to what is working and what is not. Gut feel must be backed up with logic.
In determining the businesses ideal mission and purpose, look back over its life and the life of the owners and evaluate previous successes and failures. What qualities, skills, or attributes have been mainly responsible for their accomplishments in the past? What have been their best experiences or highest achievement, and what do these moments have in common?
Set a recovery program for local businesses in trouble
Keep one eye on the horizon. Droughts come and go along with floods and fire. Neglecting the future exhausts the people who will need to see their future beyond the hard work required right now to make the necessary changes. Be sure to prioritise and set timelines.
- Start by taking actions even if they are small, and build a new momentum
- The best work; make more sales, sales can fix most problems
- Dismiss people not carrying their weight; other employees will welcome it
- Seek commitment for employees, suppliers and other stakeholders
- Make every expense line on the profit and loss count
- Realign the vision, objectives and budget for a successful outcome
- Start plugging the leaks in time and money
- Seek to outsource non-core activities
- Give those who need it daily updates
- Notice progress and celebrate wins including small ones
- Progress gives energy. Bailing water without progress drains the crew.
- Control the messages to employees and the community
- Continue development; it is an investment, not an expense
- Utilise modern technology as required
- Implement training where appropriate
- Stay positive and express confidence in the future.
Pretending it will be smooth sailing when the business appears to be in trouble, makes you untrustworthy. Alert people with confidence, not desperation.
Local businesses need to realign stakeholders and their workloads
If you make a list of all the things, they have done in which they were particularly proud; it will provide you with a common thread on which to rebuild their future. Be sure to allocate responsibilities and seek accountability
By evaluating past experiences and achievements, can you identify strengths which will ultimately turn the outlook of the business and its people towards a brighter future? Don’t let urgency distract you from necessity.
Realign the stakeholders and their workloads and assign responsibilities.
As people will become much more active than before you stepped in to help, new, unexpected problems frustrations can arise. Seek feedback. “What’s working, what’s not”? “What could be done better”?
Having reliable sales projections and a consistent flow of sales is imperative to the growth of any business or non-profit organisation. Marketing and lead generation must be sufficient to ensure healthy sales and revenue. Lack of sales will inevitably translate to low income, low profit and an increase of debts to suppliers, financiers and the tax office, and no one wants that.
Analyse sales performance and lift potential outcomes. Perhaps they have a lousy product?
As the crisis subside, take time to look a how the business might power up for the future of the people involves and the community. It might mean refinancing, innovation, entrepreneurship, looking for new suppliers and partnerships, upgrading or technology and systems. Or even selling out.
Recognition of the early warning signs of a business, or non-profit organisation which is in trouble, and the decision to act quickly and get the help needed can save many and reduce the overall stress level in the community. Always seek to engage entrepreneurs to help out.
“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out”. Steve Jobs
“If you want to turn a business around, it will mean building good relationships, and helping the people involved dream the same dream you do, and to find the right ideas and opportunities to make a difference”. Peter Sergeant