Work to gain a sense of how long the disruption is likely to last and whether it will have a temporary or permanent impact on your market or business. This will help you decide whether to plan short- or long-term business changes. Also, determine whether certain aspects of your business are affected more than others and whether, as a result of the crisis, there are opportunities that you can build upon during the time of turmoil.In a story on how Gulf Coast businesses are adapting to the unprecedented oil spill, Associated Press writer Pauline Arrillaga describes a "balancing act between mourning and trying to move on." She writes of boat operators who now run "vessels of opportunity" captained by "watermen who know the areas and can choose the right type of skimmer for the situation," and boat chauffeurs who "shuttle reporters, politicians and government workers to and from the oil mop-up sites."Her examples illustrate how those who survive business crises do so by assessing the situation, weighing the strengths they bring to the turnaround task, seeking out opportunities, and adapting in order to avoid financial disaster.
When the Oregon Department of Transportation asked me to advise a group of businesses affected by a five-month bridge closure, the toughest step involved getting business owners to abandon their fight against the closure in favor of survival planning. Once they did so, they found untapped market opportunity in a nearby upscale residential area also affected by the closure. They also found strength in working collaboratively during the closure.The result was a 100 percent survival rate and a stronger business clientele and community. Other businesses have turned threats into opportunity by revamping their organizations, taking advantage of newly available talent pools, revising product strategies to capture emerging market interests, and expanding into markets abandoned by failed competitors.
When adapting to tough times, avoid across-the-board cuts that trim fat and muscle without distinction. Instead, determine which business capabilities give your companyits edge and protect those strengths as you cut costs and move forward.For example, shattered Gulf Coast fishing businesses are leveraging their strong operations -- their fleets and their knowledge -- to capture business from those who need to navigate the Gulf. They cut costs and redirected other efforts, no doubt, but in the wake of disaster they didn't sell their boats or release their captains. Follow suit: When cuts are necessary, take care to protect and build upon the strengths that underpin your business success.
Once you have a sense of what you're up against, where opportunity resides, and what capabilities you bring to the turnaround task, commit to taking your business in a new direction by creating a tactical plan that defines goals, tasks, deadlines, and who in your organization is responsible for each step.
Finally, and most important, take action. Talking and planning can't turn plummeting sales back to profitability, but action can.The turnaround success storiesof tomorrow will be written not by businesses that watch, wait and wish change away, but by those that ADAPT, responding to marketplace crises by implementing operational, product and marketing changes not only to survive, but also to change and thrive.
Adapt for Success Presentation
adapt for sales success<br />
Beyond the ravages of the recession, which has served as an equal opportunity offender, companies have weathered unanticipated factors ranging from environmental disasters to aggressive competition, soaring overhead, technology shifts, and come-from-nowhere events that have altered how people think and buy.<br />
Resisting change isn't an option.<br />When circumstances throw sales into a tailspin, business owners face two choices: spend unrecoverable time resisting -- waiting and hoping for the altered reality to "get back to normal" -- or face facts and change with the times.<br />ADAPTING TO CHANGE IS!<br />
A.D.A.P.T. to challenges or crises<br />A: Assess the situation.<br />D: Determine where opportunity hides.<br />A: Aim efforts in order to play to your strongest capabilities.<br />P: Plan your turnaround.<br />T: Take action.<br />
A: Assess the situation.<br />How long will the problem last?<br />Is it a temporary or permanent situation?<br />Does it require short, mid or long-term solution(s)?<br />What aspects of business has been affected?<br />Are there any potential opportunities as a result of the situation?<br />What are your strengths and weaknesses?<br />
D: Determine where opportunity hides.<br />How can bad be turned into good?<br />What resources are available to capitalize on opportunity?<br />Is it best to stay put or expand?<br />
A: Aim efforts in order to play to your strongest capabilities.<br />Are across the board changes necessary?<br />What are our strengths?<br />How can strengths be utilized to minimize cuts?<br />
P: Plan your turnaround.<br />Are the challenges understood? <br />Are the opportunities real?<br />Are you capable of turning the situation around?<br />Are you committed to the task?<br />