Turning a business around is a little like making a New Year's Resolution to get in shape. You can't just make the resolution and expect to lose weight and build muscles. You need a plan to achieve the goal and the drive to follow the plan.
The same is true for turning your business around. If you're not achieving the sales and profits you hoped for, you need to determine what changes are needed to get the success your business should reap. The first thing you need to do is learn to read your financials. Understanding where your money is being spent and where you can cut back is very important.
One area which is frequently overlooked by non-accountants is cash flow. Understanding when the money comes into a business and when it goes out is even more important than how it occurs. If your customers are paying you in 60 days, but you are paying your suppliers in 30 days, you are going to run out of money unless you have a line of credit or enough capital to keep the business afloat.
Hiring a consultant can be useful to provide an impartial, fresh perspective on your business. One key to the success of this relationship, is the owner's ability to take advise and implement it. If you don't want to make the hard changes, don't waste your money on a consultant.
Experts on achieving New Year's resolutions are big on writing down your goals. The same is true for business goals. Write down specific goals for your business and make sure you also determine the steps needed to achieve the goals. We will get more specific next week.