My new adventure…I was a news reviewer on The Small Business Show with Kehlan Kirwan and Brian Cleary this past Saturday, September 15th (I’ll post the podcast link when it goes live). This radio show focuses on Irish SME’s by highlighting interesting companies as well as discussing news stories that affect small business all over Ireland.

Managing Out Of a CrisisOne story in particular caught my eye…

The Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD and the Minister of  State for Small Business John Perry TD announced that a guide titled, Managing Out of a Crisis. This guide is supposed to be something that struggling small business owners could use immediately. With the news remaining grim, it can feel overwhelming or even paralyzing trying to keep things going.

Where do you start?

The guide starts with the business owner first with the “7 Golden Rules for Successful Turnaround Management.” While rule 1 says to act early, a more necessary first step is to get one’s head clear.  While I’ve written before about the importance of managing your stress well, it bears repeating that you cannot manage your business while freaking out. It might be a day to day thing but keeping your head will make decision-making a lot easier.

One way of looking at getting your business stable is the concept of  a turnaround.Turnarounds have hope and optimism embedded in them. They are a lot of work, no doubt. (I can certainly attest to that.) Nonetheless, they do contain the idea that there is a way forward. Actions you take could add up into a positive change. There are no guarantees but it is reinforcing.

Which brings us to “act early”

This is all well and good to recommend but sometimes action is taken when it’s taken. In the years I’ve been coaching business owners, they act when they are confident enough to see their decision through. Who’s to say when it is early? This economic crisis has been going on for years. There are SME owners all over Ireland doing what they can. But the guide does have a point, albeit an obvious one, “The earlier you spot potential problems, the sooner you can fix them.”

The other golden rules have merit

There is a scene in the movie, The Princess Bride, where Inigo Montoya is down on his luck and talking about going back to the beginning. “So this is the beginning,” he says. Getting back to your roots, the basic driver of your business, clears the deck for useful retrospection, learning and seeing opportunities. This is a good time to ask yourself, “what do I know and what is it I don’t know?” Clarity of purpose, vision and choices allow for better defined actions.

Clear list of resources

So, say you’ve identified some problems and you’re anticipating a downward spiral for your business. You know there are resources for you. And while the guide encourages business owners to keep talking to creditors, bankers, business partners, government agencies, business representative organizations and other stakeholders, it’s may not be clear where to start. The guide, Managing Out Of a Crisis, has a clear list of who can help, what they do and how to find them. Not asking for help could be the death knell for something you’ve worked so hard to create. Give yourself and your business a chance for stability.

What is your overall view of this guide?

What do you believe Irish SME owners need most?

About the author:  I’m Elli St.George Godfrey, a small business coach and trainer who guides established small business owners to be comfortable in their own skin. I have a deep appreciation for learning and understanding my client’s business style and culture. Whether you are expanding in your own backyard or into another country, my 3 keys coaching process helps clients move from being excited about a new business opportunity to having the tools to make it actually happen. Curious? Schedule your complimentary coaching session here.