CFO Insight LLC
Finance expertise for mid-market companies
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Business Turnaround

One of the keys to successful turnaround of an "Underperforming Business" is to understand the source of discomfort... the source of the pain.  Work with the stakeholders to identify their expectations, and the reason for their 'underperforming' assessment.  And who are the stakeholders?  Well, they could include the equity owners, or major debt holders that have operating leverage.  Once clearly understood, define some objectives that satisfy their concerns.  For example, underperforming could be simply a dividend policy that is far too conservative.  Their observations may be based on the overall market, the industry, or specific competitors.  

Whatever the case, once identified, develop a high-level straw-man proposal that resolves their concerns.

Once the straw-man proposal is developed that satisfies the stakeholders concerns, review the proposal with key personnel in the organization.  I use the Executive Workshop format to embrace all the executives in the problem solving.  Ideally, there will be a presentation describing the challenge ahead, the stakeholders' concerns, and possible solutions.  And ideally, the attending executives will creatively challenge the straw-man proposal, create a consensus decision, and align the company resources to achieve the company goals.