Save my Business – When I Get Around to Ask for Help

It goes without saying that this has been a tough year for many businesses.  Small to medium-sized companies that need help to recover are our bread and butter.  But the media’s emphasis on bad news has affected the mindsets of many business people, who sometimes forget that others are thriving in this economy.

The frustration for us and others in our business turnaround specialty is that this leads to pessimism and a resistance to change.  The net result is that we are often called in very late, after more damage than necessary has been done to a client’s business.

As with your own health, if you wait too long before going for a checkup, it might be too late to save yourself from real damage.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, since learning that a highly-respected mentor is struggling with late-stage bowel cancer.  His specialty is business development.

He has long taught business owners and consultants to find effective ways to ramp up revenues and bottom-line profits.  His cancer was discovered at a late stage.  My concern is that this beloved guy’s illness could have been resolved at an earlier, more treatable stage.  I don’t want to ask, but did he not have an annual check-up, which should have exposed the problem when it was more easily treatable?

This brings me to think about our businesses in general, which have many similarities to our living, breathing bodies.  We need to keep an eye on progress by checking vital signs.  If not, we can end up in intensive care.  Far better to live and operate under a healthy diet and exercise regimen and to take steps early enough to be able to make timely changes.

This is one of the fundamental issues we face when confronting client concerns.  All too often the business patient is dying in front of our eyes.  It cannot keep current with creditor needs.  Revenues are down, so cash flow is inadequate.  The late-stage prescription is generally to communicate effectively with creditors and their agents, to work out a sixty-day payment hiatus.  This provides time to recoup, adjust and take steps to ramp up revenues.

It is far better to recognize the problem at an earlier stage, sometimes defined as mid-decline.  At that point the company still has some maneuverability.  Management is not yet preoccupied with creditor calls and lawsuits and the need for business debt relief.  It still has time and resources to do what it takes to recover.  It can likely pay its creditors in full, albeit on revised payment terms.

As with our personal health, it can take real courage to ask for a business analysis and prescription for the right medicine.  But unless we do so, before the business starts to keel over, it can be much harder to keep it afloat.

I’m rooting for my friend and mentor.  He has the positive outlook and the best professional help to beat this.  And as with the owners and managers of troubled companies who are trying to plot the right course, mindset trumps everything else.

At the same time, I’m looking forward to working with more business owners in the New Year who look for business turnaround help when they still have lots of options.  It is highly satisfying to bring a business back from near death.  But it makes far better sense for the owner to ask us for help before they have to call the ambulance.

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Comments

2 Responses to “Save my Business – When I Get Around to Ask for Help”
  1. Sylvia Hamilton says:

    I am in finacial trouble and would like some ideas how to save my business and get it back on its feet so I can sell it with a profit. I would like to retire but my finances are all in my business.Can you help?

  2. Ken Thomson says:

    Sylvia:
    If you can provide me with more detail, i can give you some feedback. Our email address is results@biz911.com.

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