20+ Years Experience

Specialist Insolvency Practitioners

Licensed Insolvency Practitioners

Insolvency Practitioners Nationwide

How Can I Turnaround a Failing Business

Picture this: You’ve poured your heart and soul into your business, but it’s struggling to stay afloat.

You and struggling businesses know something needs to change, but where do you start? Don’t worry – we’ve been there, and we can help. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through a comprehensive 7-step plan on “how can I turnaround a failing business”, tackling the root causes of business failure and setting your business on the path to success.

Short Summary

  • Identify the root cause of failure and assess financial situation to create a turnaround strategy.
  • Implement cost-cutting measures, explore new revenue streams & strengthen management team for successful execution.
  • Monitor progress & adjust strategies as needed by tracking KPIs and pivoting when necessary.

Identify the Root Cause of Failure

Before you can effectively turn around your struggling business, you must first identify the root cause of its failure. Many business owners fail to do this, and as a result, their attempts to revive their companies are often unsuccessful.

To avoid this, let’s dive into the three key areas you need to assess: your financial situation, your business model, and external factors that may be affecting your business.

Assess your financial situation

In many cases, the root of a failing business lies in financial distress, money and debt. As a business owner, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on your bank account, money, debt and cash flow, especially in times of trouble.

Review your balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement to determine your working capital ratio – a healthy range is between 1.2 and 2.0, while negative working capital can be a sign of a failing company.

By understanding your financial situation, you can identify cash flow issues and take necessary steps to get cash flow to address them.

Evaluate your business model

Another common reason for business failure is an ineffective business model. Many entrepreneurs fail to recognise the need for change, leading to stagnation and decline.

To evaluate your business model, consider its key components, such as products or services sold, expected expenses, target customers, value proposition, and revenue generation strategies.

Identifying weaknesses in your business model will help you make informed decisions on how to modify it for increased profitability and growth.

Investigate external factors

Lastly, external factors can also play a significant role in the decline of a business. These factors include economic, political, social, technological, legal, environmental, and competitive elements of most businesses.

In order to identify potential external influences that may be impacting your business, conduct market research and monitor industry trends.

Awareness of these factors can help you adapt your business strategy and stay competitive in the ever-changing market landscape.

Develop a Turnaround Strategy

Now that you’ve identified the root cause of your business’s failure, it’s time to develop a turnaround strategy. This will involve setting realistic goals, implementing cost-cutting measures, and exploring new revenue streams.

A well-defined turnaround strategy can make the huge difference between a successful turnaround and a continued downward spiral.

Let’s break down each of these components to give your struggling business the best chance of success.

Set realistic goals

Setting realistic goals is a crucial part of any turnaround strategy. Studies have shown a strong correlation between goal-setting and success, as well as increased motivation, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

To set achievable goals, start small and create a sequence of miniature objectives leading to a larger goal. This approach will help you maintain motivation and focus on your overall turnaround strategy.

Implement cost-cutting measures

To improve your business’s financial situation, implementing cost-cutting measures is essential. This can include reducing supply expenses, decreasing production costs, lowering insurance rates, and the expenses by transitioning marketing online.

Develop a comprehensive plan detailing the cost-cutting measures to be implemented, the timeline for implementation, and the anticipated savings. By reducing costs, you can free up cash flow and allocate your limited resources towards growth initiatives.

Explore new revenue streams

Exploring new ideas and revenue streams is a critical aspect of turning around a failing business. This can involve updating your products and services, tapping into new distribution channels, or even pivoting your company and entire business model to better meet the needs of the market.

By finding new ways to make money and generate revenue, you can increase your business’s profitability and cash flow, and lay the foundation for future growth.

Strengthen Your Management Team

A strong management team is the backbone of any successful turnaround. In fact, the primary factor behind most failing businesses is an ineffective management team.

To strengthen your management team, focus on addressing leadership gaps and fostering open communication.

Let’s take a closer look at how to achieve this.

Address leadership gaps

Leadership gaps, such as a lack of accountability, communication, or decision-making skills, can significantly hinder the success of your business. Identifying and addressing these gaps can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your management team.

This may involve offering training and development opportunities for employees, recruiting additional team members with complementary skills, or implementing performance management systems to hold leaders and employees accountable.

Foster open communication

Open communication is vital for a healthy management team. Encourage the exchange of feedback and the best ideas among team members to create a comfortable and interactive atmosphere.

This promotes team building and provides numerous advantages for your business, ultimately leading to better decision-making and a more successful turnaround.

Reevaluate Your Target Audience

Understanding and catering to your target audience is essential for any business, but it’s especially crucial when trying to turn around a failing company.

By reevaluating your target audience, you can identify new opportunities for growth and better serve the needs of your current customers.

Let’s explore how to conduct market research and refine your value proposition to better connect with your target audience.

Conduct market research

Market research is an invaluable tool for gaining insight into your target audience’s needs, preferences, and behaviors. By conducting surveys, interviews, focus groups, and customer observation, you can identify potential opportunities and formulate strategies to better serve your target audience.

Additionally, market research can help you stay informed on industry trends and adjust your business strategy accordingly.

Refine your value proposition

Your value proposition is a statement that outlines the benefits your company’s products and services provide to your target audience. To better connect with your customers, it is essential to refine your value proposition by clearly articulating what sets your business apart from competitors in the marketplace.

This may involve enhancing your products or services, adjusting pricing, or improving customer service to create a more compelling offering.

Optimise Your Marketing Efforts

Effective marketing is crucial for businesses both for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. Optimising your marketing and sales efforts can help your business stand out from the competition and drive sales and profit.

In this section, we’ll discuss how to leverage digital marketing channels and monitor marketing performance to ensure your marketing efforts are as effective as possible.

Leverage digital marketing channels

Digital marketing channels, such as search engines, social media, email, and websites, can help you reach a wide audience and build brand recognition.

By creating relevant and valuable content, running targeted advertisements, and engaging with customers on digital platforms, you and companies can effectively promote your products and services to your target audience.

As you leverage these channels, be sure to track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your digital marketing efforts.

Monitor marketing performance

Monitoring marketing performance is essential for ensuring your marketing efforts are yielding the desired results.

By tracking KPIs, such as website traffic, leads, and sales, you can identify areas for improvement and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

This may involve targeting more effective audiences, streamlining campaigns, and enhancing customer retention.

By continually monitoring and adjusting your marketing efforts, you can maximise the return on your marketing investment and drive business growth.

Improve Customer Retention

Customer retention is a vital aspect of turning around a failing business. By keeping existing customers satisfied and loyal, you can maintain a stable revenue stream and reduce the need for constant customer acquisition.

In this section, we’ll discuss the importance of gathering customer feedback and addressing customer concerns to improve customer retention.

Gather customer feedback

Customer feedback is invaluable for understanding how your products and services are meeting the needs of your customers and identifying areas for improvement.

By gathering feedback through surveys, focus groups, interviews, and online reviews, you can gain insight into customer satisfaction and make informed decisions about how to better serve your customers.

This proactive approach to understanding your customers and clients’ needs will help you keep them satisfied and loyal to your business.

Address customer concerns

Addressing customer concerns is critical for maintaining customer satisfaction and fostering loyalty.

To effectively address your customer base’ concerns, be sure to listen to their feedback, provide prompt responses, and take the necessary steps to resolve any issues.

Additionally, be transparent and honest with your customers, providing them with clear and accurate information about your products and services.

By actively addressing customer concerns, you can improve customer retention and ultimately contribute to the successful turnaround of your business.

Enhance Operational Efficiency

Efficient operations are key to reducing costs and maximising profits, which is crucial for any business, especially one that is struggling.

In this section, we will discuss how to review your business processes and systems and implement process improvements to enhance operational efficiency.

By optimising your operations, you can reduce waste, improve productivity, and ultimately have more working capital to contribute to the successful turnaround of your business.

Review processes and systems

To enhance operational efficiency, it’s extremely important to first review your business processes and systems. This involves examining your current performance, pinpointing areas of inefficiency, and comparing your results to industry standards.

Additionally, consider customer feedback and employee satisfaction when assessing your processes and systems. By identifying areas for improvement, you can make informed decisions about how to optimise your operations.

Implement process improvements

Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, it’s time to implement process improvements. This can include streamlining workflows, automating processes, and removing any unnecessary steps.

Additionally, consider implementing safety protocols and expediting approval times to further enhance efficiency.

By implementing process improvements, you can reduce waste, increase productivity, and ultimately contribute to the successful turnaround of your business.

Secure Additional Funding if Necessary

In some cases, securing additional funding may be necessary to support your business’s turnaround efforts.

This can be especially important for smaller companies if a lack of cash or working capital is hindering your ability to hire, replenish stock, build marketing campaigns, and develop new products for the market.

In this section, we will discuss how to research funding options and prepare a compelling pitch to secure the financial support your business needs.

Research funding options

Before seeking additional funding, it’s important to research the various options available to companies and small businesses all around you. This can include loans, grants, crowdfunding, venture capital, debt, personal savings, and funding from family and friends.

Each option to pay has its own advantages and disadvantages, as well as eligibility requirements, so be sure to carefully consider which option is best suited to pay for your business or company’s needs.

Prepare a compelling pitch

Once you’ve identified the most suitable funding option for your business, it’s time to prepare a compelling pitch.

A strong pitch should clearly articulate the problem your new business really solves, the unique value proposition of your product or service, the size of the market opportunity, and the traction and revenue your business has generated.

By crafting a persuasive pitch, you can increase your chances of securing the funding you need to support your business’s turnaround efforts.

Monitor Progress and Adjust Strategy as Needed

As you implement your turnaround plan, it’s vital to continually monitor your progress and adjust your strategy as needed.

This will help you stay on track towards your goals and ensure that your efforts are yielding the desired results.

In this section, we’ll discuss the importance of tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and being prepared to pivot if necessary.

Track key performance indicators (KPIs)

Tracking KPIs is essential for assessing the success of your turnaround plan and identifying areas for improvement. Common KPIs for a business can include sales, profit and loss, annual sales growth, inventory, accounts payable rate, cash flow forecast, and customer satisfaction.

By monitoring these KPIs, you can make informed decisions about how to modify your strategy to better achieve your objectives.

Be prepared to pivot

In some cases, a successful turnaround may require a fundamental shift in your business’s strategy or product offerings.

Being prepared to pivot allows your business to quickly adapt to changing market conditions and capitalise on new opportunities. This flexibility can give your business a competitive edge and help ensure the success of your turnaround efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you turn around failure?

By facing our fears, taking a break, setting goals, staying focused, and supporting each other, we can learn from our past mistakes and use failure as a stepping stone to success.

With determination and perseverance, failure can be used to take the challenges before us further than ever before.

How do you revive a dying business?

Reviving a failing business is possible with an honest assessment of the business person current situation, changes to your strategy and marketing approach, careful focus on customer needs, and a clear vision and objectives. Make sure you also look at ways to reduce costs and manage cash flow, while innovating and taking calculated risks. All these steps combined can help you turn around a struggling business.

What are you going to do if your business fails?

If my business fails, I will take a step back and review what went wrong and create an actionable plan to help turn the business person or it around. This could include assessing the current business operations, re-examining goals, making necessary changes, getting expert advice, or seeking financial assistance.

My overall goal is to make business money to make the necessary improvements to my business money ensure the success of my business in the future.

How do you conduct a business turnaround?

To conduct a successful business turnaround, you most companies must assess the situation, develop a plan, stabilise the business, increase sales and profitability, and ensure continued consistency. Once these steps are completed, you will be well on your way to achieving success.


In conclusion, turning around a failing business can be a challenging yet rewarding endeavor. By following the 7-step plan outlined in this blog post, you can identify the root cause of your business’s failure, develop a comprehensive turnaround strategy, and implement the necessary changes to set your business on the path to success.

Remember, no business is beyond saving if you’re willing to put in the hard work, adapt to change, and remain focused on your goals. Forge ahead with determination and perseverance, and you’ll be well on your way to a more successful business turnaround.

Information For Company Directors

Here are some other informative articles for company directors in the UK:

Areas We Cover

About Insolvency Practitioner

We are Insolvency Practitioners based in Barking who are dedicated to providing expert solutions for financial distress.

Contact Us