When a company hits turbulent times, there will likely be people on the sidelines advising you that it is time to throw in the towel, give up or shut it down. However, the companies that survive are usually the ones that don’t hear the noise and refuse to accept the negativity. These companies will change their direction, people and strategies before they decide to quit.
When times get tough, just say, “NO.” This is not the easy road and is generally pretty painful. As the leader or owner of the company, you may be forced to make decisions you didn’t believe you would ever need to make, such as parting ways with family members or long-time employees because it’s for the better of the company as a whole. When “Just Say No” to failure is your strategy, everything deserves scrutiny. Positions are eliminated, salaries or benefits are cut, long-term or unprofitable relationships end, products are abandoned or sold—everything is examined.
Become your own turnaround advisor. Develop a list of core business elements and another of items you need to look at. Begin by asking yourself: If I weren’t already doing this, would I start? If you hesitate, then it goes on the list of items you need to look at for further scrutiny. There shouldn’t be very many entries on the core business elements list since usually companies only have a few things they do better than anyone else.
Where do you, personally, fit on this list? Are you better at starting companies than managing them for the long-term? Are you managing a “string factory”, where the market has moved on but you have not? Be honest.
A well-seasoned turnaround expert once said, “It takes a long time for a company to die.” When faced with business downturn, strong business leaders actively manage the process and refuse to accept failure. Instead, through self-analysis and change, businesses can make the turnaround necessary to shift back into a profitable, progressive state.