What do you do if your company is in survival mode – every day is a struggle to stay in business and you have no time to think about the future or strategy? Recognize that you are on a path to failure.
Few companies survive: only 74 of the S&P 500 in 1957 were on the list in 1997, and only 12 of those outperformed the index. Half of the S&P 500 will be replaced in the next 10 years. (Innosight Executive Briefing 2016 Spring). Your need to be exceptional, if your company will be one of the exceptional survivors.
To avoid failure, you must free up some time. This means that things will likely get even worse in the short term. You have some difficult decisions to make: should you shut down the company, try to sell it, or turn it around?
Were you in survival mode from day 1? Did you understand the customer unmeet needs, the competition and external trends? Did you have a viable plan to market and sell to customers? Did you have the right resources (people, processes, technology, capital)?
Examine if you can be successful. Will you be able to understand your target customers and why they should buy from you rather than the competition? Will you be able to define a viable way to market and sell to your target customers? Will you able to create a business and financial plan which enables you to attract people, capital and grow profitably?
And if you are able to start turning your company around, you need to monitor your plans, financial forecasts and assumptions at least once a month, as revise as appropriate.
One of the keys to success, especially for a small/medium business is an advisory board for either the CEO or the board of directors/owners.
When starting a business, make sure you have the right plan, in order to avoid getting into survival mode.
To enable discussion with your board and management, download the following one-page PDF.
If you are in survival mode