Ten Warnings of a Business Turnaround Situation

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Small business and government grants resources home

Ten Warnings of a Business Turnaround Situation

This is a checklist to identify warning signals that a business
is in or is heading towards a crisis state.

Cash flow problems
The business owner might not have a clear report on receivables
nor have a process for maximizing revenues. There could be delays
in paying bills and meeting salary and other expenses in a timely

Lack of profitability
The business owner might not have set profitability goals and/or
might not be tracking profits. Or, these mechanisms could be in
place, but the business is just not profitable.

Issues Related to Products and Services
A successful business requires a clear definition of products and
services it offers. It is a warning if a business owner cannot
clearly define the business, is not monitoring the shifting marketplace
demands, and is not offering highly marketable products and services.

Business Owner has Weak Personal Foundation
A business owner might have personal problems affecting his or her
ability to effectively manage the business.

Staffing Issues
The staff might exhibit low morale, the company might be losing its
best people to competitors, or the overall work environment might not
be encouraging high productivity from its employees.

Customer Issues
It is a warning if the business owner cannot define the ideal customer.
Other warnings are lack of effective communication channels with the
customers, customer lawsuits, high volume of customer complaints, a lot
of product returns, and low customer retention.

Business expansions or alliances that are creating problems.
A business might expand too quickly or into the wrong markets. It
might form alliances with companies that are not a good match and
will not enhance profitability.

Lack of succession planning
A business might lack succession planning. This is a warning for family
owned and non family owned businesses.

Lack of business vision and/or mission
The lack of a business vision and/or mission might be evident in lack
of teamwork or a weak company culture.

Lack of business growth
The lack of a business plan with clear cut goals could be the source
of slow business growth and a strong warning that a turnaround strategy
is needed











How To Improve Your Self Management Skills

You are responsible for everything that happens in your life. Learn to accept total responsibility for yourself. If you do not manage yourself, then you are letting others have control of your life. These tips will help "you" manage "you."

  • Look at every new opportunity as an exciting and new-life experience.
  • If you catch yourself worrying about an upcoming task, go ahead and do it now so it no longer is a distraction.
  • Get into the habit of finishing what you start.
  • Give up "waiting time" forever. Have something with you at all times to work on. For example: plan your day, work on a report, or read a page from your book.
  • Be a professional who exhibits self-confidence and self-assurance in your potential to complete any task.
  • Avoid worry. The majority of the things you worry about never occur.
  • Agree with yourself in advance that you will have a good attitude toward the upcoming task.
  • Hire specialists to do those things you are not expert in.
  • Take a chance-calculated risks pay off in entrepreneurial progress.
  • Frequently ask, "Is what I am doing right now moving me toward my goals?"
  • Plan the future, but live in the present.
  • Make a list of your accomplishments as you go through the day-they are greater than you think.
  • Keep a time log at least once every six months to determine exactly where your time is going.
  • Do it right the first time and you will not have to take time later to fix it.
  • Practice concentrating on your work, doing only one thing at a time.
  • Accept responsibility for your job successes and failures. Do not look for a scapegoat.
  • Do not view things you do as a "job." View all activities as a challenge.
  • Use your subconscious mind by telling it to do what you do want. Instead of telling yourself, "I can't do that very well," say, "I can do this very well."
  • Schedule several short vacations or long weekends-this creates positive deadlines by when you must have projects done.
  • Develop a faster operating tempo or pace. Do things with a sense of urgency. Get over thinking you must do everything yourself.
  • Take time to be quiet and reflective for a few minutes each day.
  • Live effectiveness in everything you do rather then just sporadically applying time management techniques.
  • Live in the Now. The current instant is the only time in which you have control-not the past, not the future, just now, in this instant.
  • Recognize you control only 50% of a relationship and that is your half. If you are dissatisfied with what is going on, change what you are doing and saying.
  • Give yourself points for completing tasks on your "to-do" list in priority order. When you reach 10 points, reward yourself.
  • Carry a card with your goals written on it and review your goals at least three times a day.
  • Act with enthusiasm in all that you do.
  • Take time out to thank yourself for a good job.
  • Practice your personal beliefs. It may be helpful each morning to take 15 minutes to gather your thoughts and say a prayer.
  • Operate knowing that there is good in everything. Every cloud has a silver lining-look for it.
  • Whenever you have an important thought that is not directly related to what you are working on, write it down. Then you will not forget it and you also will no longer be distracted by it.
  • Make a commitment to show someone a specific accomplishment on a certain date. The added urgency will help you feel motivated to have it done.
  • Reward yourself when you have successfully completed a high priority project.
  • Instead of thinking about what you didn't get done, recognize all you did get accomplished and reward yourself for having done the most important things.
  • Keep a list of accomplishments as well as a list of "things to-do. You will learn just how much you do get done.
  • Practice self determination, wanting to do it for yourself.
  • Nothing takes the place of persistence. Practice "stick-to-it-iveness."
  • Get into the habit of writing down a person's name-it will help you to remember it.
  • Believe that you can be what you want to he.
  • Operate on the philosophy that what we give out is what comes back to us.
  • Occasionally, sit quietly and do a self-assessment of your skills and strengths.
  • Praise yourself for your progress.
  • Recognize not all days will go as you desire. Be kind to yourself on days when your self esteem is wavering. Remind yourself that you are good and can stand up to any obstacle.
  • Never criticize yourself as having a weakness. There is no such thing. You are only talking about a present undeveloped skill or part of yourself that if you so chose, you can change. You do not have any weakness, only untapped potential.
  • Check to be sure you do not fall into the activity trap of simply doing tasks without knowing to what greater good the task is designed to contribute.
  • Be pleasant all the time-no matter what the situation.
  • Life is what you perceive it to be. Do you see it as a bore or as an adventure?
  • Recall what you were hired to do and make sure it happens.
  • To get ahead in anything, operate in the "and then some" manner. Always do what is expected "and then some," so what you give is always more than is expected by the other person.
  • When working on a project that you can't stand, do it for a few minutes at a time until you can't stand it anymore. Then do something else and come back later for a few more minutes. Keep taking these bite size pieces until it is completely done.
  • Look at what you do as an adventure. You can discover new things from this new perspective.
  • Challenge yourself to do things differently than you have in the past. It provides new ideas and keeps you interested.
  • Finish that last task you are working on before you go home; do not just leave it.
  • Plan your day as you shower and dress in the morning. Keep a pad and pencil nearby to jot down ideas.
  • Talk to yourself. Self talk using positive affirmations is something that is common among all great achievers. They convince themselves that they can accomplish their goals.
  • Practice being punctual. Others will sense your professionalism.
  • Plan, at least to a minimum, everything you undertake.
  • Think it through, then do it.
  • Think of your time as money. Are you getting a good return on the way you invest/spend it?
  • Take some time, no matter how short, every day to do something you enjoy.
  • Remember, if you think you can or you think you cannot, you are right.
  • Use the self-fulfilling prophesy on yourself. Expect yourself to succeed.
  • Doing gives you the power to do.
  • Whenever you agree to get back to someone or complete a project, commit to a specific date by when you will have it done. and write this in your calendar immediately.
  • Think in terms of long-term results.
  • Create your own "motivation board" by putting up notes of things you need to do on a bulletin board or special wall space. It is an easily visible way to see what you need to work on. When an item is done, remove the note. Also keep your goals listed and pictured on your board.
  • "Ninety percent of success in showing up."
  • Be open and ready to make adjustments as things change.
  • Focus 100% of your attention on a project.
  • Since your boss will be asking you for progress reports, from time to time, stay informed by asking your people for progress reports each day while you meet them in their office or work area.
  • Hire an Assistance to run small errands and cleanup paperwork, etc. Even if you pay them from your own pocket, it is a good investment because it increases your productivity.
  • Enjoy your life and blessings. You could be worse off.
  • Recognize that even though you say you are doing something for someone else, in reality you are doing it for yourself. Since you are doing it for yourself, you can also enjoy it more.
  • Start each day with a smile.
  • Your job reflects you. Can you take pride in it being well done, error free and on time?
  • Do it right or do it wrong just do it!
  • Compete with yourself to become a little better each time you do something. Achieve your potential.
  • Streamline your daily routine to do the same thing at the same time in the same order. Periodically review for continued effectiveness and efficiently.
  • When responsible for a project, become intensively involved with it.
  • Tell someone else what you are doing to keep on schedule. It keeps you committed.
  • Make each day the best day of the week.
  • Network with others in the organization to stay informed of who is doing what, when, where, and for whom.
  • Use even small "pockets of time" to make lists, write notes and consider ideas.
  • Consciously decide what are some things you are NOT going to do.
  • Be willing to ask that a staff meeting be called to clarify a specific issue.
  • Purposely schedule something you enjoy between routine projects. It will help rejuvenate you.
  • Schedule a block of time periodically to take a big bite out of a major project.
  • Realize "energy begets energy." Act and energy will flow.
  • Time your routine activities such as telephone calls. Determine how you can "capture" some of the time and use it on other top priority activities.
  • Be a "doer" not a "sitter."
  • Sense the pride you will feel when you have completed a project.
  • "He who kills time buries opportunities."
  • Meditate according to your personal beliefs at the beginning of each day.
  • Create the right "mind set" for success by adjusting your attitude for the upcoming project.
  • Stay interested in what you are doing. Keep looking for what is interesting in your work. Change your perspective and look at it as someone outside your job would,
  • Do not get hung-up on trivial details or tangents. Stay focused and moving.
  • Always carry a pen or pencil and paper on which you can make notes.
  • Do not accept calls for the first 15 minutes of the day while you prepare your daily strategy.
  • Contemplating, meditating on, thinking about, or praying about the activities and success of the workday focuses energy toward that end result.
  • Nest activities to available waiting time. Take a bite out of your elephant-sized project.
  • Establish personal incentives and rewards to help maintain your own high enthusiasm and performance level.
  • Schedule formal planning meetings with your staff regularly.


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