From the Red into the Black: How I Saved My Business
We are a small IT company, based in New Jersey, that provides solutions to web and Windows-based applications. Established in 2010, we had been witnessing growth, both in terms of business and employee strength, till we incurred huge losses in the financial year 2015–16. A more shocking fact for us was that this was the year when most small as well as big IT companies had been growing. According to a research report by CompTIA, the world’s leading tech association, the US IT field grew in 2015 by an annual rate of nearly 40%. Seeing others growing and doing well in the same business we were in, while we struggled to survive in the market, made us think something was definitely wrong.
While we did several internal audits and held sessions with employees, inviting suggestions to improve the business and its processes, an article by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing that labor productivity decreased at an annual rate of 0.6% during the first quarter of 2016, caught our attention. We realized we were not even measuring our productivity. So, we sought the services of a management consulting firm that helped us in doing so. Shockingly, the report said that our productivity stood at a dismal 40%. Although shocked, we now at least knew where the problem lay. So, we kick-started our business restructuring and renewal plan.
Our Business’ Turnaround Journey
We started the business turnaround process with crucial inputs already at hand; the internal audit and the productivity measurements helped us identify, define and analyze our problem areas and their direct impact on the financials.
Next, we did a SWOT analysis to define what internal and external factors could be leveraged in gaining a strategic advantage. After the analysis came the strategy devising and action plan development phases.
We created a timeline and distributed the action plans and tasks at set milestones through it. Timely checks on the milestones ensured that timely execution of tasks took place and no delays and or complacency set in at any point.
Efficient execution of tasks was ensured with proper training and coaching of the employees. To ensure that employee performance and productivity were aligned with the overall business goals, employees were entrusted with the management’s word on their professional and personal growth, and the trust was further reinforced via clear communication on the purpose of business restructuring.
With the turnaround happening at an organizational level, we thought that the workspace needed some change as well to boost employee morale and increase productivity. For this, we took help from a leading provider of business furniture, Extra Office Interiors. We are a young company and wanted the work space to reflect the 3 elements of our work culture: transparency, opportunities for growth and communication. The office design solutions team from Extra Office understood our requirements and expectations from the change in the workspace and suggested some good options by showing virtual images of the design and layout options.
It’s been six months since we have been continuously making efforts at successfully turning around the company, and they seem to have started paying off already. Not only is the lost enthusiasm of employees slowly coming back, their commitment at seeing themselves grow with the company can also be very well estimated from the slow but gradual increase in revenue.