By Greg Niemi . March 19, 2013

You’re the consultant.  You’ve been brought in by the leadership of the company to help turn their business around.  What follows is the situation. 

Head ScratcherIn a nutshell, the business is strapped on several fronts.  The profits are minuscule, cash is tight and lines of credit are tapped.  The company has good products and services yet could be better differentiated from its competitors. 

Employees are also stretched thin (and tired too).  Wages have been frozen for a few years and the owners have taken voluntary pay cuts (plus paid in more capital to float).  Is also no surprise that vendors are being strung out about as far as they will go. 

The leadership was contemplating closing the doors, or selling off assets (or even selling the business in its entirety) or as a last ditch effort, construct a turnaround.  They decided on the turnaround and have brought you in as the expert.  

It is easy for you to see there are systemic problems.  You have identified the following priorities (which are not listed in order of priority): 

  • ·       Marketing, Advertising, Positioning, Branding
  • ·       Customer Service, Satisfaction, Fulfillment
  • ·       Sales Management
  • ·       Product offering, Age of Products, New Product Development
  • ·       Manufacturing Process Improvements, Inventory Mgt., Logistics
  • ·       Fiscal Management, Profitability, Cash Flow, Pricing, Costing
  • ·       Organizational Structure, Talent Acquisition, Accountability
  • ·       IT, MIS, Process Design
  • ·       Leadership & Management 

Having identified the above list as the turnaround expert you know you now need to prioritize to decide which you will address first.  You have to begin somewhere.

Certainly you may be thinking “I need more information” or “it depends” or … however you only have so much time and the clock is ticking loudly.  Time is of the essence and you need to pick somewhere to begin – right now. 

What would you do?  Which priority did you choose?  I am curious.  Email me.  Write a comment in the comment section of the blog.  Or read my last blog to see what the turnaround experts would do to float a boat like this to buy the time needed to address the other priorities.  

I find it interesting many times it is easier for us to give good advice versus heed our own – emphasizing the need to look at things as honestly and objectively. 

Please know I write this article only to inspire us as business owners and leaders to follow our own advice to do what needs to be done.  

A business must be profitable in order for it to live another day.  Every business deserves to be fairly compensated for their profession and talented work. 

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