Part 46: Avoiding Disaster – How Small & Mid Sized Companies Grow

If you are losing money, are you looking at your options before you run out of cash? If you are in this situation, do you proactively deal with a crisis and try to turn things around before it’s too late? Do you look at your cash reserves, assets and borrowing capacity early enough to make changes while you still have time to do so? Do you know how much time you have left before you will face bankruptcy?

Hopefully you are looking at your performance on a regular basis to make sure you are not I or close to a crisis mode, but if you are there you must recognize reality, then act quickly and decisively to keep your company going.

How one gets into such a situation varies:it may be losing a major law suit, having write off a large receivable, a continuous string of losing months that add up, theft or embezzlement, a bank calling your loan, or it may be simply inattention to the slow erosion of the business over a period of time. Regardless of the cause, the sooner the situation is identified the more time you have to correct it before you run out of time and money. Then you are dealing with a crisis that requires emergency business triage to save the company from going under.

Assuming you have waited too long to take corrective action and now need emergency intervention to save your business here are a few things to consider doing ASAP.

  • The first one is obvious; get your staff to produce like their jobs depended upon it, then reduce your costs by getting rid of non performing assets and expenses from people to facilities that don’t contribute to your overhead immediately.
  • Next get more cash as quickly by providing a prompt payment discount and cutting prices if the incremental volume that will generate a lot more margin $.
  • Next try to get a loan or gift from whoever can tide you over.
  • After that you may have to make some really tough choices from non-traditional sources such as selling hard assets such as your home, liquidating pension plans, investments, selling off book of business, a facility or receivable, or liquidating the company. But if your operation is so depressed you may not have time to sell and are in a poor bargaining position anyway.

Assuming that you are in the process of turned the corner you have the option to rebuild your company, but the longer ones waits to make changes the lower the probability of rescue. For example if you are burning through $15,000 a month and have $60,000 in cash reserves, every week you wait reduces your chance of success by 25%, then 50%, etc. Making a decent triage type of decision now is better then making a really good decision 3 weeks later.

We welcome your questions as to the challenges you face in order to grow.

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Optimal Management is the premier management consulting company to the staffing industry. We act as mentors to owners and managers to maximize their sales, profits and value of their company. We become an extension of our clients operations and are there for all of their staffing and business needs, from sales, marketing and compensation plans, to finance, M&A, general management and everything in between.


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