LaBrea Tar Pits

10 things you must do NOW if you fear your company is in jeopardy.

You’re panicked. You are getting calls from your vendors for payment and you don’t have answers for them. You can’t get the current work done because vendors have begun to halt their work. The bank has begun to assess charges and make threats. Payroll is coming up. It feels like the whole world is closing in on you and you don’t know what the *$%&^ to do!

Your resources are exhausted and so are you. The recession has kept you so busy making up for reduced business and less cash that you’re ready to give up—don’t.

First and foremost, take a breath. Most businesses go through tough times. Bill Gates started Traf-O-Data, which most of us have never heard of; Disney got fired because he “lacked imagination”; Einstein was denied entry into Zurich Polytechnic School; and Michael Jordan was kicked off of his high school basketball team. Giving up was not an option to any of them, and it’s not an option for you.

The first steps required to revitalizing your company:

1. Take responsibility for the financial health of your company. When you take complete responsibility, and don’t fight it, the tasks required to eliminate danger become much easier. Each step you take will empower you for the next.

2. Create a cash flow projection and make sure that it represents the “real picture”.

3. Contact all of your creditors and negotiate payment for what you owe based on your cash flow projected.

4. Make the decision to spend only what you make. If necessary, adjust your salary to fit the needs of your company.

5. Let those close to you know your commitment to changing the course of your company and get their support including spouses, partners and key personnel.

6. Restructure your staff. Add to their roles and responsibilities. Cutbacks are absolutely necessary. Don’t fight it. Make the commitment to dig in and get the job done.

7. Review your personal expenses. If selling your home and downsizing will take unnecessary pressure off of you, do it.

8. Make an appointment with your CPA and the IRS. Get them on board with your new plans and make the necessary arrangements to get past due taxes paid.

9. Make apologies to the individuals that you feel you treated poorly before you became accountable for the health of your company.

10. Make a plan for new business that incorporates all of your customers and prospects.

However, if your problems run too deep and your fear has stifled you, seek help. Look for referrals from successful turnarounds. Only consider those people who have a vision to rebuild. Never entertain the end. Dedicate yourself to those professionals that can get your company back in line.

– Patrick Rettig

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