What does it really take to get your business back on track in this economy?
There are three things you need to consider. The first is survival. The second is stabilizing your business. The third is returning to profitability.
Even if you are driving the fastest race car in the world, it still takes time to accelerate from zero mph to 250 mph. Of coarse a race car will accelerate much faster than a mini-van. Each and every business has its own unique time frame to recovery just as every car will travel that 0 – 250 mph in different time frames.
Before you even think about business returning to normal or getting up to speed, you need to think about survival. Have you cut all necessary costs, reviewed all job descriptions, set goals for all employees and have you, in general, done all the necessary things just to keep going?
Once you know your business has survived, it’s time to take the business to the next level and that’s stabilization. During this phase, you will redefine and rethink your business. It’s about focusing on who you are as a company and changing what needs to be changed in order to further stabilize the business. Business is coming in more consistently. You’re breaking even or doing even better than just breaking even. You’re finally starting to see the efforts of all the reorganization and hard work. You are encouraged by your efforts and those of your employees. There’s a sense you and your company are going to get through this.
From stabilization you move to profit. In the profit phase you’ve created a new model and a new cost structure plus an understanding of your sales opportunities. You’re closing sales consistently and your cash flow has improved dramatically. Now it’s a matter of working your new game plan every single day. Paying attention to details. Not going back to the old unproductive ways and cost structures. And most of all, never forgetting what it felt like to be so close to losing it all.