Recently a family friend asked for help to turn their family business around. The business is in the service industry and turns over in excess of $10m.
My first impression of the business was the family members where doing what they wanted rather than having a joined up approach. Several of the family members wanted to be the leader and where living on past victories. These factors alone would pull a business backwards. Cash had been wasted on random marketing which sent out different messages.
The family business had some very profitable parts of the business which had been left. New products had been introduced at huge cost without proper planing or market appraisal. Debt had started to stack up but rather than deal with it, the debt had been pushed to one side. You get the drift!
Turning your pride around
Start with the end in mind. Survival and return to profit.
Keep the egos at bay and reshuffle the pack in order of strengths. Sorry, if other members of the family do not like this. Tough. You must survive!
Build a joined up team action plan. Everyone must know what they are doing and what responsibilities they have. Review this plan and keep building it. More importantly execute it!
Restructure the debts by communicating with the creditors and work out a payment plan. They will not disappear!
Start with the most profitable lines and see how you can make them even more profitable.
Talk openly with the staff never lose the human touch. Plan a way forward with them in mind. People respond to honest communication and it builds trust in the management.
Get rid of the luxuries and work on being leaner throughout the business. Keep it human though people build businesses!
Focus the marketing on the profitable parts of the business. Get the marketing message out there throughout the business so it is all joined up.
This business is now turning it around, can you?