What to Do When Your Business is in Trouble


All business fail – time to time.

Some businesses fall into a downward mode and never recover and are forced to close themselves-down or become bankrupt.

Some businesses fail in their existing fields - yet manage to pivot into totally new products, services or offerings and scale heights again [these are the rare ones].

Some businesses lose their earlier profitable levels – but manage to stay afloat.

Some businesses survive – by sucking the profitability from other units.

Often, when an organization is in trouble – there are always signs, signals and indications of their being in trouble – much before the organization or its CEO realizes it.

Paradoxically - most of the organizations also have the answers, solutions and know how to fix what is wrong.

Off-course Sometimes technological advancement can bring you into obsolesce from being a cutting-aged one - But this won't happen overnight.

The 21 Tell-tale signs that your organization is in big-trouble OR heading for one

  • 1.Top talented people are leaving in big numbers – this is a very easy sign to notice. Otherwise too - Employee turnover rate has become all time high
  • 2.No new clients
  • 3.Existing clients are reducing or stopping to buy from you/use your services
  • 4.Outstanding's are increasing in the markets – you customers are not paying in time. You're regularly on the receiving end of late payments
  • 5.You find that every month – you have increasingly difficult time to manage cash-flow and expenses. You're unable to pay bills on time
  • 6.When you find that you can't pay salaries on time – probably you have already reached the bottom
  • 7.You have reached your borrowing limits
  • 8.Meetings become blame-point-finger exercises
  • 9.Sales are falling
  • 10.You're holding too much inventory
  • 11.Everyone is stressed
  • 12.You have become a MeToo - No Differentiation, No niche
  • 13.You are the only one – people come to – for all the decisions
  • 14.Unstable leadership – too many changes happening too fast – as part of knee jerk reactions
  • 15.You are into big cost-cutting mode – even though it is also compromising on the essentials
  • 16.Your business has not introduced any changes in product, services and in your message to the client
  • 17.Employee have stopped asking for raise or bonus or promotion
  • 18.You have expanded too much – too fast, without consolidating any
  • 19.Your organization has gotten into Late filing of accounts
  • 20. Increase in customer complaints to alarming levels
  • 21.You have lost few of your Key accounts/key customers

Causes of business failures – the most common ones are given – you can add your own

  • 1.A new entrant/competitor* – who is not only aggressive BUT also is giving the customers what they never thought possible
  • 2.Market Saturation [too much supply-very less demand]
  • 3.Changes* in Customer* preference/buying-habits
  • 4.Economic* Slowdown
  • 5.Leadership* failures* and Poor Management *
  • 6.Not changing in spite of observing* emerging trends*
  • 7.Bad Product
  • 8.Bad Customer* Engagement
  • 9.Poor employee* engagement*
  • 10.Overexpansion
  • 11.Lack of capability* development – equipping employees with future skills*
  • 12.Lack of corporate vision* and clarity

How to turn-around your failing business

Like always all the *marked ones have detailed Do-it-Yourself Blogs on that topic in Success Unlimited Mantra

  • 1.Understand why business* fail*
  • 2.Understand why Business* succeed*
  • 3.Identifying – why your business is falling
  • 4.Understand whether your business needs to stop operating AND taking decision WHY should it continue or stop trading
  • 5.Listening to
  • I.Your Employees
  • II.Your Clients
  • III.Your Competitors
  • IV.Your Business Partners
  • V.Your Vendors
  • VI.Happenings in other Industries and businesses globally
  • 6.Identifying the gaps and revamping what are needed
  • I.Sharpening Your Leadership Capability
  • II.The Talent which can help you pivot, face the challenges and grow
  • III.The Customer Value Proposition
  • IV.The Employee Value Proposition
  • V.Changes in Product/Services
  • VI.The Business Model
  • VII.The Revenue Model
  • VIII.The Marketing Channel
  • IX.The Promotion Methods
  • X.The Technology Upgradation
  • XI.Getting rid of bad customers
  • XII.Letting the unproductive employees with poor talents and attitude leave
  • 7.Doubling the collection efforts
  • 8.Identifying – how WE CAN BE THE DISRUPTION – by changing the playing-field
  • 9.Get professional guidance — for free ONLINE only – from us
  • 10.Make a cost-optimization plan against cost-cutting
  • 11.Ask Existing Vendors for Discounts
  • 12.Switch Vendors
  • 13.Seek Lower Credit Card Transaction Rates
  • 14.Ask Your Landlord To Lower the Rent
  • 15.Reduce Employee Hours
  • 16.Eliminate Advertising – Go for Innovative Low-Cost Marketing Techniques
  • 17.Find what crazy-risks* you can take vis-à-vis playing safe
  • 18.Use only what you need - Return unwanted leased property
  • 19.Make your employees partner in decision making
  • 20. Reduce cost centers and increase profit centers
  • 21.Make each function an independent profit-center
  • 22. Overhaul and trash your existing process, procedures, perceptions and practices – recreate the ones which will appeal to larger and different client base
  • 23. Go for Crisis stabilization - track the situation, monitor it well and try to control it from going out of hand
  • 24. Look for ways to simplify*
  • 25. Focus on the basics* - that which made you successful
  • 26. Get in touch with your customers – big-time. Listen to their stories - Make it easy for your customers
  • 27.Create a new enthralling story of yours to share with your employees and customers
  • 28. Reinvent your business* by making it Leaner*, Fitter and handsome
  • 29. Boost your marketing and selling base as well as the channels you sell through - Contact Competitors of Present or Former Customers, Call Former Prospects
  • 30. Sell Additional Products and Services to Existing Customers
  • 31.Develop Multiple Revenue Streams
  • 32. Team Up with Other Vendors for Joint Sales
  • 33. Worst Case Scenario, Sell The Business
  • 34. Offer your new product/services to beta test customers at a discount, or for free.
  • 35. Target a different market
  • 36. Act Fast But Don't Act Stupid
  • 37.Remember you as a CEO Should Calm Nerves - Not cause Anxiety
  • 38. Stop being Driven By Pride Or Fear
  • 39. Empower* Your Employees Chance To Turn the organization
  • 40. Build up new alliances and collaborations*
  • 41.Never use the economy as an excuse for not taking action
  • 42. Search for alternatives
  • 43. Understand the Forces Influencing and Leading to Disruption and Recognize which New Value Drivers Will Lead to Success
  • 44. Find Where Disruption Might Be Coming to Your Industry
  • 45. Identify the current Innovations and Technological Advances That Are Likely to impact Your Business
  • 46. Anticipate New Desires of Customers and Potential Competitive Developments That Could Disrupt Your Work
  • 47.Be the disruptor* yourself Within an Established Organization and Test Your Ideas in Real Time
    Identify the Characteristics of Adaptable Organizations
  • 48. Become an intelligent learning organization*
  • 49. Evaluate Your Own Current Capacity to Lead Within a Disruptive Environment
  • 50. Understand that THE TIME for Leading the Charge for Disruptive Innovation IS NOW
How to Restart Life after Failure
How to Create a Intelligent Learning Organization