It's a tough decision when your business is sinking fast: Should you wave the white flag or roll up your sleeves? In a recent post over at smallbizchicago.com, John Treace of consulting firm JR Treace & Associates offers a clear and concise checklist of strategies to implement if you're opting not to surrender in the face of devastating adversity.
First off, Treace identifies the most common reasons why companies start to slip: "ineffective management, poorly defined culture, a weak team, lack of vision and the absence of a strategic plan."
He then prescribes the necessary steps to reverse course on all these, but the core of it boils down to being honest with yourself about the weaknesses and problems that are causing you to lose traction. Are you able to be unflinchingly honest with yourself? Does your company have a clearly defined vision that can be stated honestly?
Essentially, Treace says, if you don't know where you are right now, there's no way you'll be able to wrap your mind around the future or how to get where you want to be. When it comes time to start drawing up plans, he recommends:
The strategic planning process should include the top management members who will be charged with implementing the plan. The planning sessions should not be held in secrecy, because when workers find out, they will become suspicious as to why the meeting was held. No one likes secret meetings that may define his or her future, and salespeople are especially sensitive to this. After the plan is finished, inform employees promptly as to the outcome and how the plan affects their future. Powerful companies have solid strategic plans, and they effectively gain employee buy-in.
Check out the full post over at smallbizchicago.com.