In tough times, the news is full of businesses that are suffering and jobs being lost. Though at any time, turning around a poorly performing brand or business is an immense challenge. But how? Marketing can help, the Marketing Director should grasp the opportunity to transform an under-performing business. There are three steps to restoring business growth.
1. Understand the effect on your business
First, understand the effect on your business or portfolio. How significant or material is the effect to the business? If it is small then delegate responsibility to solve the problem, if large, then there is a case for you to invest more of your own time.
2. Diagnose the problem
Then diagnose the cause as quickly as possible. Ask questions and form your own opinion of the cause and the ability of your team to solve the problem.
- First, is the problem a one-off, recurring or ongoing?
- Second, is the problem caused by an internal operational issue or external market forces?
- Third, is the problem product, promotion or strategy related?
- Fourth, is it people or process related?
- Finally, what plans do we have to deal with the issue?
The scale, complexity, political sensitivities of the problem will affect the ability of your own team to develop a solution. Using consultants and conducting original customer research helps both remain objective and apolitical.
3. Drive change
When you fully understand the issues and then create a plan to drive change. However, the nature of your approach should depend on the effect of the business problem, and the ability of your team to solve the problem. If the problem is less significant, prefer a light touch approach. If the problem is significant or catostrophic, prefer a more directive and hands-on approach. First, check that the problem is understood. To check ask for a paper discussing the issue as well as recommending options to deal with it. Then drive action. If the problem reaches across departments, set-up a task force to deal with it and make sure clear access to relevant senior management. If the problem is beyond the ability or experience of your current managers, strengthen the team or replace the key people.
Read one of our restoring business growth success stories, then get in touch.