Let me admit upfront that every turnaround situation is unique. Having said that, it is equally true that common elements exist among all successful turnarounds. Once you know what you're dealing with, where the issues lie, the tell-tale signs, then you can set your mind to charting the course out of the storm.
And when charting that course, we've landed on 10 rules to govern how to do it.
The first is the most important one. It is also the most urgent one. It is also, in many ways the most difficult one.
Cash is the fuel that will power the turnaround. You have to make the best use of it you can. This means squeezing your receivables to get that cash in the door. This means stretching your payables to hang on to the cash you have as long as possible. This means increasing inventory turns – selling what you have not only in greater volume, but, not as obviously, faster too, to make sure that the cash you have isn't tied up in forms you can't access or use when you need it.
It also means making tough choices to get costs in the business in control. If you don't need it, don't spend on it; and if it doesn't result in net cash, don't do it.
It means doing whatever you can to get more runway for the turnaround to take hold. Because the more time you have, not only are your chances better of succeeding at all, but you will have [re]built an efficient operation that, if maintained, will benefit the company for rest of its existence.