A successful business is one where you are able to see and feel progress. An environment where efforts are collaborative and goals are achieved regularly. In today’s startup culture, many companies exert maximum effort to simply stay afloat. If performance has taken a downward turn, perhaps profound change is necessary.
Many of us have been part of a struggling company and felt utterly helpless. The below steps can help you investigate and instigate positive change.
Step 1: Change the model
Revisit the original business plan and look closely at the details. See where the model has failed you and what can be improved upon. In many cases you may have to scrap the plan completely. This may not be a bad thing. Starting from scratch means you can leverage the things that are working and create an entirely new model based on that. It’s a learning tool but also a chance to get creative.
Step 2: Assume the worst
Even though we are trained to think positively, when you begin investigating the metrics, it’s best to look at the worst first. Get it out of the way, dig deep and find out where the company is really flailing. This lets you begin with a certain awareness and build up from there.
Step 3: Dig Deep
The biggest similarity that many floundering businesses have in common is poor management or high staff turnover. Take a deeper look at company culture and HR practices and you will often find both the problem AND the solution. While operations and strategy will seem like the obvious starting points, staffing should be a top priority. It may be time to make some hard decisions with regards to hiring and firing – but the return will be worth it.
Step 4: Brand Matters
So very often, a company’s strategy or material investment strays far from it’s original branding. And while it’s true that an organization needs to change as it grows, when the brand is forgotten, the company suffers. Unclear or misguided branding is a symptom of a much larger problem. Look back at what the branding started as and you will be able to clearly track where things got off track.
And remember, there are many things still in place to help see you succeed. You have already worked hard to build an established infrastructure, basic cash flow and an existing client base. By leveraging these things in new ways, you can turn your initiative into a thriving enterprise.