Turnaround management is not a single task or event, it is a process that involves every aspect of a business. Businesses who find themselves in trouble as a result of decreased sales, increased debt, lender relations or any number of other life threatening circumstances, do not know how to react. Effective turnaround management is the ability to deal with all of the factors at the same time. To establish saneness in a time of chaos. As a turnaround consultant your job is to seize the reins of the company, and direct its owner on what to do and when. As you can imagine, this takes a great deal of trust on the part of the business owner. While they may not have many options, this does not mean they are going to give up control of their company, even if it is just temporary. There are several steps that must be completed quickly. First, total control of all financial documents must be achieved. Detailed cash flow projections are critical. In almost every case, the creditors must be dealt with. In many cased debt restructuring is required as relationships with existing lenders are strained. Many entrepreneurs were never trained to deal with all of these issues at the same time. Many owners find themselves believing they must do as their creditors insist, and usually make the wrong move. As the problems continue businesses stop selling and spend more time trying to reduce costs and satisfy their creditors demands. A good turnaround management consulting firm will quickly gain control of all aspects of the company. They will then craft a short term business plan, and a long term strategic plan for the troubled company. They will initiate a solid cash management system that sets the stage for recovery. By creating a "what if" scenario, turnaround consultants can determine how to proceed with the company. Should the company file Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy? Can an out of court restructuring be accomplished? How long will it take? What will be the financial condition of the company at the end of the restructuring period? What is the likelihood of success or failure? Since you are not in the turnaround industry, and do not have the relationships necessary to complete a successful turnaround and you only have one shot at success, you should find good professional. Your normal CPA or your corporate lawyer will not be able to help you in this situation. You should call and speak with several different firms, ask about rates, who would be working on your case, and what your next steps will be? A good turnaround management firm will be able to assess if a bankruptcy attorney is required and help you select one appropriate for your case. They will know which law firms represent which banks, and do they have a particular specialty that could be helpful. If you are on trouble please seek professional help.
The Z Score was developed in the late 60's. Its purpose was to predict the likelihood of a company going into bankruptcy within the next two years. It has been proven to be highly accurate and quite effective. The formulas take into account several different financial ratios of a company. To calculate this score you will need numbers for:
Earnings before interest and taxes
Value of your equity
This tool can be very useful in helping you make the tough decisions you must make in order to save your company. Healthy companies, as well as troubled companies, should be routinely calculating their Z Score to insure they are not slipping in overall performance. The formula varies from industry to industry. A low score in one industry may not be as bad as in other industries. The formula further varies between public and privately held companies. The results of this calculation can be very helpful in planning the future of your company.
If you are interested in learning your Z Score please contact me via email, and I will be happy to help you free of charge. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bankruptcy law firm of Thav, Gross, Steinway and Bennett hosts a regularly scheduled show on WDFN Sports Talk Radio on Saturday Mornings. Recently, I was a guest on this show. Discussion topics included: why companies would seek the help of a professional turnaround consultant, how they can find a consultant using the Turnaround Management Association web page, and what where the results of companies that did not seek help? We also went over how to determine a company's financial health.