Business turnaround – the questions you need to ask yourself to survive

Is your business in distress? If declining sales, negative cash flow and low morale have been keeping you up at night, chances are you already know the answer.

While admitting there’s a problem isn’t easy, the good news is, it’s the first step to recovery. But what next, you might be asking – how do I turn things around?

Before you take action, you need to figure out what’s gone wrong. If you’ve already ruled out external factors, such as economic recession, it’s time to swallow your pride and look internally. Here are the key questions you need to ask.

“Is our business strategy sound?”

Your strategy is your roadmap to business success and growth. So, if you’re facing difficulties, you need to call your existing direction, goals and policies into question.

What problem do you solve and for who? Are your one, five, 10 year goals realistic? Are you measuring the right KPIs? Has your competition changed? Are your strengths/weaknesses still valid? Look for gaps and reassess everything.

“Are the right people running it?”

To answer this, take a good, hard look at your employees individually, and your workforce as a whole, to assess your situation and identify any issues that could be impacting your success.

Is performance good, satisfactory or below par? Are the right people in the right place? Are staff committed to the business, and do they have the incentive to be? Is internal conflict an issue? Are there any bad eggs? Do leaders have the right skills and experience? This includes you.

“Are our customers satisfied?”

To figure this one out you need to look at things like your repeat sales figures and your customer service records. You can also speak to your customers directly in person or create a feedback form.

If they aren’t satisfied, why aren’t they satisfied?  Does your branding match your promise? Is your pre or post purchase communication up to scratch? Are you listening and acting when there’s a problem? Importantly, are you even targeting the right customers?

“Is our product innovative enough?”

Whatever you’re selling, there’s always room for improvement. How could your product or service be better? What are your competitors doing? How can you use technology to make it cheaper without sacrificing quality?

The reality is customers tend to lose interest unless there’s a new feature, product or price on offer. So re-evaluate your offering and identify shortfalls. If innovation is lacking, you’ll need to come up with viable upgrades to stay interesting and relevant.

“Are our systems and processes efficient?”

Ineffective systems and processes can throw a spanner in what should otherwise be a smooth running business model.

Is there a better, faster way of doing X,Y and Z? Are there any investments you can make to save time and money, for example new software or hardware? Are there policies or red tape in place  slowing things down? You might be surprised at what you find.

Business turnaround – from questions to action

By asking yourself these questions you should be able to identify what or who is responsible for your downfall. Typically, it’s a combination of things. Once you know what they are it’s time to take action, from re-visiting your strategy to reimaging your workforce, product and processes.

Too invested to be objective or need some help? Our business turnaround experts can ask and answer the tough questions for you. Get in touch today.