November 23rd 2010
Will Your Business Survive?
These are tough times to own a small business. If your business is in the pits, you can turn it around. But you will need to be very honest with yourself, remove all emotion from the process, make the commitment to completing the turn around and work hard. Don’t view the business failure as a personal failure. If your business is struggling to survive, follow these steps to turn it around:
1. Face Facts.
Look at what is holding the business back and be willing to change that. Take a clear view of each aspect of your business. Don’t worry about blame. Keep all emotions out of it. That’s not easy since you founded this business, but you must replace emotion with facts and logic.
2. Review and Assess Each Aspect.
Examine every aspect of your business. There are likely several problem areas in a struggling business. Write them down. For instance if your phone or email goes unanswered for long, you are probably losing customers. If your marketing and planning is haphazard or non-existent, your business is in danger. Do you offer too few products or services? List all the problems. Coldly review every aspect of your business one-at-a-time. Decide what’s working and what is not. Create a list of corrections that will put you on the road to recovery.
3. Set Priorities.
Look at the list of corrections and decide which will have the biggest impact on your business. Make that number one. Add the second and so on.
4. Focus On One Issue At A Time.
Study each issue and develop expertise in that issue. If you need more expertise or knowledge on an issue, find outside help. Set a measurable goal and timetable for correcting each issue. No more than 3 months maximum. Be clear about what you must do and do it.
After you’ve achieved that goal. Move onto the second issue. The key here is to focus on only one issue at a time. As business owners we deal with many distractions every day. Sticking with one thing until it succeeds takes discipline.
5. Tackle the Next Issue on Your List.
Business changes all the time so if the first issue took a lot of time, you may need to review the business again.
Fixing a broken business is similar to starting a new business except there’s more at stake. Don’t waste time worrying about whether it’s your fault or the economy or a combination of problems. The important thing is to fix it now. YOU CAN DO IT.
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