Book Review - 4.5 Stars
"Turning Your Business Around: How To Spot The Warning Signs And Keep Your Business Healthy" by Mark Blayney has been re-titled "Turning A Business Around" in the second edition but I'm reviewing my original purchase from 2002.
This is a very, very good book if you ever find yourself in the stressful situation of owning or managing a business in financial distress.
In the preface Mark Blayney sets two main purposes for the book:
- To act as a fire extinguisher for a business already in a crisis
- To act as a smoke detector to help identify the early warning signs while there is time to correct the problems.
The book does very well in meeting these objectives.
Turnaround All Depends On Management
Management makes the big difference when dealing with a business in financial difficulties.
Mark Blayney identifies four types of managers who won't succeed in "Turning Your Business Around":
- The goldfish who doesn't realise that there is a problem until it is too late
- The ostrich who refuses to accept that the problem is serious
- The rabbit caught in the headlights who is too scared to take any action in case it makes the situation worse
- The headless chicken who rushes around frantically making lots of noise but achieves very little.
In contrast you want to be the sheepdog - in control and focused on taking purposeful actions towards recovery.
Three Types Of Business Failure
Mark Blayney in "Turning Your Business Around" distinguishes between three different types of business failure:
- The start up that never reaches a viable mass - the entrepreneur starts the business but realises that it won't earn the fortune desired.
- The sudden collapse when the business is rocked by an unexpected problem e.g. the sudden bankruptcy of the biggest customer and the loss of a huge amount of receivables.
- The slow gradual decline of a normal failure.
It is this last cause of business failure which "Turning Your Business Around" addresses.
Included in the book are:
- Understanding why businesses fail
- Understanding your immediate financial position
- Managing a real cash crisis
- Understanding and controlling your financial performance
- Setting the strategy
- Managing marketing
- Managing change
- Managing the risks
Assessment of "Turning Your Business Around"
"Turning Your Business Around" by Mark Blayney is an excellent book for any owner of a business in trouble and it is good reading for any business owner.
This is information which it never hurts to know more about since the very management techniques used to turnaround your business can be used to stop it getting into financial distress in the first place.
It is short and succinct which can be a good thing but you may be left wanting to know more. There are plenty of other business books and websites like this which will go into more detail.
"Turning Your Business Around" sets the basics for business success in the frame of a business in difficulty.
I rate this book as 4.5 stars - a strong buy.
Considerations Of A Business Turnaround
In a business turnaround, the sooner you recognise the warning signs, assess the situation and take action the better because the longer you leave it, the deeper the problems and the fewer the resources you have available to help you to get out of trouble.
Act early and a 30 foot rope will get you out of a 6 foot deep hole. Leave it six months and the 15 foot rope is no use when the hole is now 20 foot deep.
Having a bigger bank loan or overdraft isn't the answer when there are fundamental problems in your business and most banks will see it as a sign of management weakness if you are not talking to them before the problems turn into a crisis.
Expect to see a lot more about business turnaround, business failure and business recovery in my blogs over the next eighteen months.
Business Recovery And Turnaround Is A Red Hot Issue
This is going to be a red hot issue and it is a topic I am interested in as my MBA dissertation was on "the role of the business advisor in promoting the rescue culture for SMEs in financial difficulty."
OK I admit, my dissertation didn't have the catchiest of titles but I'm sure you get the message.