What To Do When Things In Your Business Start Going Wrong

Running a business isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, as the famous Maroon 5 song put it. No: things can go wrong, badly, and in a short space of time too. Just look at what happened to Hoover back in the 1990s. Hoover went from a household name to bankruptcy in the space of a year, all because of a poorly judged ad campaign.

Obviously, the chance that something will go as dramatically wrong in your business is unlikely. But companies go under all the time. And so you have to be armed with a contingency plan.

Perhaps things aren’t going well for your business right now. Maybe your finances are looking pretty bleak, and you need some help on what to do. This is the post for you. The following are things that your business should be doing when things start going down hill.

Open Yourself Up To New Ideas

Most companies trundle along for decades, doing what they know and making a lot of money in the process. But every now and again, a spanner gets thrown in the works. Usually, that spanner is in the form of a new technology that snuck up on a company without them noticing. Just look at what happened to the music industry when Napster arrived back in 1997. Napster was taken down, of course, but the music industry suffered. Many companies went out of business and those that survived adapted.

Is the same thing happening in your business today? Is your business model being disrupted by new technologies? If it is, you have two options. One is to try to resist the change, or tell yourself that you’re going just to sit it out. This is not a good idea. Technologies tend to wash over incumbent businesses, upending their business models in the process.

The other is to embrace and explore the changes. When a new technology arrives, don’t view it as a threat to your business. Treat new technologies and ideas like the disruptors do: as an opportunity.

Investigate Your Processes

Sometimes it’s not the technology that’s the problem. It’s the fact that your company seems unable to implement its processes. Over time, it loses competitiveness, and other companies come to dominate. In time, your business loses market share, and that puts pressure on jobs and wages. It’s not a good situation.

But there is hope. Things like Lean Training Courses can do a lot to help failing businesses investigate where they’re going wrong. And more importantly, the courses themselves are inexpensive compared to what companies are losing.

Cut Out Problem Clients

Read most articles on what to do about turning your company around and they’ll say get more customers. That’s great if your business spends very little time with customers – say an online store. But what happens if your business isn’t like that? What happens if you do spend most of your day talking to particular clients and meeting their needs? Then how your clients behave is of great importance.

It might seem counterintuitive, but it might be best to end your relationship with problem clients. Some clients are just anathema to your business and drain all your energy. They take away from your capacity to build great relationships with more valuable customers. If things start to go wrong in your business, focus on your highest paying clients and get rid of the chaff.

Seek Out Emergency Finance

Sometimes businesses just aren’t viable. But more often it turns out that they are viable, but just have a cash flow problem. In other words, they’re making lots of money, but they haven’t got any of it yet.

Not having money on hand needn’t spell the death of your business. There are plenty of firms out there who will lend you money based on money that you are owed. If you are in a financial hole but have money that’s about to come in, cheap loans are available.

Review Your Statements

Another common problem for small businesses is not keeping tabs on their expenditures. They sign up for a scheme here, a service there, never really reviewing what they really need.

Companies that are in trouble should immediately take a look at their financial statements. They should root out all the unnecessary expenses and get rid of them. Be honest about what services you actually need, and what services aren’t contributing anything. Ask whether you need to pay a retainer fee to for services you rarely, if ever use. Ask whether you need to outsource various services, or whether you’d do better financially if they were done in-house.


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Ive been blogging now for 5 years on various sites for the love of knowledge share. I decided to start my own blog a few years back to share everything from tech to business news. Follow me on twitter for more.