The process for strengthening business performance is the same whether you are off plan or in crisis mode.
Hewlett Packard recently reported a 51% increase in quarterly profits. In a previous article I commented on the Mark Hurd’s (the new CEO) observations on the layers of bureaucracy in the company’s sales organization. The quarterly report confirms Mark is not just observing what could be run better, he is implementing. Let’s look at some of the lessons.
According to the story reported by The Wall Street Journal, HP cut approximately 1,500 people in the quarter and emphasized that while they are continuing with a reduction in forceprogram, they are recruiting for certain positions deemed to be important, namely sales. The article also reported the company benefited from the sale of higher margin attractive components bundled with lower priced PC’s. Translating that, HP was able to increase it’s average sale and gross margin for certain products that were attractively packaged and marketed to its target audience for those products.
How does all of this apply to your business particularly if you are not hitting your performance goals or if business is particularly difficult you are concerned about your business being able to survive.
The process for strengthening business performance is the same whether you are off plan or in crisis mode. The primary difference is that in crisis mode, you are going to have to negotiate time with creditors and they are not going to grant it unless you have a practical, achievable survival plan that you are implementing now. If you are in survival mode I highly recommend you get outside help. You will think you cannot afford it. I will tell you that you cannot afford not to do this. Make sure whoever you contact has experience and has lost sleep for the same reason you are losing sleep right now.
The primary goal in a turnaround is to build liquidity right now. The cash flow model I present in the course "How To Increase Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less" is the template I use with every business including turnaround situations. Register for the FREE course at www.stevepohlit.com and it is yours.
The details of what you do can vary from company to company can be different but the principles are the same:
Eliminate all unnecessary spending and that sometimes means people you have known for quite some time need to go. This is one key reason to use an outsider. They take some of the heat off of you. In addition, it can demonstrate to your creditors that you are serious about strengthening your business.
While you are fixing the outflow you must be aggressively addressing the inflow. This means collecting money that is due, and maximizing sales and gross margin. Remember you cannot have sales and margin unless you have the right product in the right place at the right time so liquidating in-demand product to create cash is not advisable.
This is an article and not a manual or a book. Fortunately nearly everything you need to know is detailed in the course I just mentioned. Finally, while the guide on what to do to be successful is there, those that attempt this on their own rarely succeed. I think that is true for just about everything, don’t you agree?