Compass North Inc. article:
How to Respond to Business Trouble or Crisis
Unless the Company is bankrupt or it has no money to spend, there are always positive things that can be done if you wake up to a problem in your business. Here is an action list of what I suggest:
You should note, however, that when businesses get themselves in real difficulty, they generally need someone new to help get things turned around, even if only on a temporarily basis. This is because usually the Company's problems have become compounded and have been building for some time, and management has either lost perspective, ability or credibility.
If you are in this situation, you can turn to Compass North Inc. CNi can provide your business with a full time, interim turnaround manager who will be able to sort out financial and general management problems, develop and execute on action plans and help you get things back on a better track.
If you act rashly, you will probably have the opportunity to regret in leisure.
Finding the right solution to your problem requires seeing the situation clearly. Because panic fogs the mind, your best bet is to decide firmly to keep your mind calm, clear and capable.
Available Time Frame for Action
Bad business situations can be sorted into one of the following groups:
Immediate Emergencies: - true crisis requiring action be taken within days
Pressing Problems: - something that kill your business within months
Looming Trouble: - a slide that could be terminal within a year or two
Categorizing Your Problem
The key to solving your business's problems lies in correcting diagnosing their causes and these generally can be categorized as follows:
Operational: These are specific technical problems in core operations that require specialized technical solutions, such as problems with computer systems, production processes, maintenance or logistics.
Financial: These relate to:
General: This broad category, where most business problems arise, includes:
Consider The Options
It is only after your business's problems have been properly diagnosed, and their cause and category identified, that credible, custom-tailored solutions can be identified.
At time like these you shouldn't forget that, unless you have burnt your bridges along the way, most people will still be hoping for your success and, depending on the terms, they might be willing to continue providing support. But to find the right response to the challenges you face, you need to consider all the options available.
Realistically, this doesn't include playing the blame game, or denying or hiding from the problems, or praying for something external to change in order to improve your situation.
At this stage, I recommend turning to competent outside advisors, and not trying to go it alone, for evaluating and selecting among the full range of action alternatives is when ability, experience and perspective play a vital roles if you are to get the odds for success in your favor.
Decision and Action
Importantly, make timely, considered, firm decisions. Not doing so will cause you to run the risk of becoming economic 'road-kill'.
Lastly, remember that finding the right solution is not all what needs doing. In order to complete the deal, you will need the right people, cooperation and execution if you are to succeed.
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