How to Save a Dying BusinessOluwaseun Olayisade
We have identified what signs to look out for to know if a business is dying but why wait till the business plunges when we can be observant in the daily operation of the business. Even when you see the signs that you have a dying business on your lap it is still not enough reason to pack up shop rather it is a wake up call to ensure all your efforts and resources does not go to waste.
You can still make that dying business a success. Here are some proven tested ways to turn around a dying business before it hits rock bottom.
- Identify exactly where the business is presently and what it needs. Does it need a face lift or total overhauling? This is when you decide to either Pivot (it could be to change the direction of the business, your marketing strategy, customer care strategy, your customer base, your products and services or your business model. It entails your team identifying what exactly needs to be changed and what it should be changed to for results) or Persevere (continue as you have been doing knowing fully well you are on the right track). I recommend “Lean Startup” by Eric Ries for better understanding.
- Re-brand your products and services to re-position your business and overhaul the impressions customers have formed about your business.
- Focus by narrowing down your products and services. Carve out your niche to help streamline your resources and ensure you get one thing right at a time.
- Revisit your Customer Care practice. You will be surprised at what something as little as Customer Care can do to your dying business.
- In this period the 20% of your customers that bring in 80% of your business (check Pareto Principle for that) should not be left in the dark as to what is happening. Be open to them, they just might know who or what your dying business needs for that turnaround.
- Before you come up with a new Business or Marketing Plan seek and re-evaluate your customer’s view on what needs they expect your business to meet because overtime your customers’ tastes will change and you need to change with it if you still want to remain in business.
- Cut off the bad debts customers, the ones that do not pay on time and the high maintenance cost customers.
- Ruthlessly cut down costs and unnecessary expenses the business may have incurred over time. Close down the branches that are not generating income.
- Set up a team to investigate your marketing strategy; change it if the need arises (most likely you will need to).
- Read and Research everything you can find on your niche of business.
- Qualification and Management: Are the people in your management team qualified for the job or did they get it on a man know man basis? If not it is high-time you overhauled them and employ qualified hands.
- Bring in a tried and trusted Consultant to give you a third party view on what needs to be done. This is essential since they will not attach sentiments and immediately see what is wrong with the business.
- Get a good legal representative if you do not already have one to advise you on every step you intend to take so as not to incur costs by being sued.
- Motivate your employees; their morale and self confidence could drastically be affected as soon as they start noticing the decline in business. Motivating them will bring back the can-do spirit they once had. At all cost ensure you keep the high performance managers and employees.
- Communication is key. Make sure you run an open house especially to key players in your business.
- Lastly if you have done your best and still could not revive the dying business sell it off to more capable hands and try a new idea with the proceeds you make from the sales. The idea is to never give up as an entrepreneur. The big names you hear today made a lot of failures before they made the successful business you know about.