Something happens to throw it off course and slip from making a slight profit to haemorrhaging money at a rate that looks as though it can never end.
If it’s a physical challenge like an earthquake, flood or fire you should already have plans to deal with those.
Otherwise, anything or all of these can happen:
- The owner or CEO dies/moves/transfers/leaves/sells up
- the market changes and no one wants what you sell
- Legislation makes your market unavailable
- Cheaper producers grab your customers
- your customers leave because of mounting poor service/poor sales service/poor quality goods and services received
- key staff leave
- the company puts all its eggs into a new (wrong) basket
- major supplier goes bust
- major customer cancels an order
The question is can you recover from this challenge?
And the answer is always it depends…
What To Do Now
First don’t panic and sack half your company.
Second sit down with some trusted advisors, outsiders if you have to, and make a complete audit of your company:
- The physical assets (work in progress, stock, retail space, office space, storage space, order book, balance sheet)
- The people assets (used and unused skills, locations, current roles, ambitions, tenure)
- Other assets (customer relationships, supplier relationships, intellectual properties, copyrighted items)
- All known goods and services sold past,present and projected
Third use the details you discover from the audits to decide your strategy to not just rescue the company but to put it back on a sound footing.
If people are interested I’ll explain what some of the audits I show above mean and how to make sure they’re useful.
Fourth, check which people are the influencers in the company – and it doesn’t matter what role they have. By the way one of the audit outputs in a list of influencers. Speak to them one on one and run your strategy past them – get their feedback.
Fifth, make your own tough decision, take the new strategy and start to implement it. Be ready for upset it will happen, although there are ways of minimising it.
Sixth, once you’ve set the course steer that way regardless. Remember your company could have died without your decisive action. It may be too late in which case it will die anyway. Provided you took the right steps you’ve given your company the best possible chance of survival. Be stubborn and be prepared to have people argue about the way you go. Be prepared to lose good people who don’t like change. Above all be prepared to see the ultimate goal – your company a success!