Small-Business Recovery Planning: Charting a Turnaround - dummies

Small-Business Recovery Planning: Charting a Turnaround

By Steven D. Peterson, Peter E. Jaret, Barbara Findlay Schenck

If your company is facing a business downturn or even a crisis, create a revised business plan that reflects your new realities and sets out a step-by-step action plan to address them.

In crisis planning, don’t start the whole process of business planning from scratch. Your mission and vision statements are likely still intact. Your company overview probably hasn’t changed all that much. In fact, you can probably focus your immediate attention on the following four areas of your plan (the rest you can tend to later, after the heat is off):

  • Modify your goals and objectives.

  • Revise your company strategy.

  • Update your financial review.

  • Revise your action plan.

The steps you take are pretty much the same as those involved in assembling any other business plan. The big difference when you’re trying to orchestrate a turnaround is to keep the most urgent issues front and center.

Focus your goals and objectives on resolving your direct threats and getting your company back on an even keel. The same goes for your revised strategies and action plan: Make sure that they specifically address the immediate problems you face and that they can achieve the solutions you propose within the time frames you set.

Desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures. If you’re awash in red ink or burning through resources faster than you can say venture capital, you have to take bold actions like slashing expenses, letting people go, or shaking up your management team.

Doing so isn’t easy or pleasant, but remember: If you can’t do it, your investors will find someone who can. In fact, when turnaround professionals are brought in from the outside, one of the first steps they take is to order a change at the top.