What are the ‘Big Issues’ to look at when you are working to Transform, or Turnaround a business? The actions that really make a difference.
In this article I have put together what in my experience are the 4 fundamental issues in making any form of business transformation, intervention, or turnaround strategy work effectively. They are:
Work with the right people and share the load
Having a rapport with the person or people you work with, and trusting them implicitly, is a must when you’re changing and growing a business. I know from my own experience that having a great partner not only makes it all work, it also makes it all a much more pleasurable experience. When you can share the load and talk through issues such as cash-flow, sales, people, strategy etc., they move from being potentially insurmountable problems to everyday issues that you deal with as a matter of course. Having the right person there at your side when you need them makes a massive difference.
It’s worth making the point that if you don’t have a business partner that fits this bill, and with whom you can share the load, look outside the organisation for someone who can fulfil this role on a part time basis. It may only be one day a month, but if you can get the right person, they will be worth their weight in gold resulting in both a stronger, more sustainable business; and of course less stress!
Make sure you have the right business model
Make sure your business strategy is pointing in the right direction and not stuck in 1995, or even 2009! The pace of change in all our markets is increasing ever faster and you have to be constantly reviewing your strategy to make sure your offering is at the very least meeting current customer requirements, and is ideally set fair for the next set of changes coming thick and fast over the hill.
In the same vein, when you are updating your offering you have to make sure everyone knows about it. As we are reminded every day, the power of social media and the way we can communicate with our customers is all powerful. I bought in to social media when somebody reminded me that we should not be telling our potential customers how they want to be communicated with! It is of course their choice, and if they want to use Twitter then so be it, that’s how they should be communicated with!
There is no excuse for not telling the market place how you have reviewed the current market and as a result made important changes to your offering. If you don’t tell, no one will know.
This of course works both internally and externally.
Be comfortable with your Cash flow
It goes without saying that when you have to worry about how you are going to pay the wages at the end of the month, or your suppliers, or HMRC; this is not an environment which is conducive to being at the top of your game, and driving the business forward.
The financing of any business doesn’t just happen – it has to be worked at, both to get it right in the first place and then constantly evaluated to make sure that both working capital and capital expenditure are covered. This is particularly the case if as per item 2 above, you have revamped your business model and that these proposed changes will soak up more of your working capital.
Covering off these 4 issues with your trusted partner(s) will provide a substantial platform from which you can really drive forward your growth plans, Business Transformation or Turnaround Strategy; and will significantly increase the chances of success.
If you have any comments on this article or would like to discuss any aspect of it please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0845 689 8750.
John Thompson is Managing Director and founder of Trans Capital Associates