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Business Turnaround

Public-company lifespans are shrinking. Today, the chances of any given company ceasing to exist in its current form over the next five years are one in three. Fifty years ago, they were one in twenty. Our turnaround management consulting services help companies avoid an early exit by leading them through a business turnaround.

Companies grappling with a strategic crisis operate under immense pressure and face enormous disruption. If they ignore the warning signs, such as declining profitability or market share, the strategic crisis can morph into a profit crisis—with plummeting profits and stagnating or falling sales—that can force them to burn through cash reserves.

Only a business turnaround can help such a company stave off the next phase of decline: a liquidity crisis.

How BCG Helps Clients with Turnaround Management

BCG, through its Special Situations unit, helps companies orchestrate an effective business turnaround when all signs point to the need for fast, focused action and when companies are grappling with an urgent need to change amid great disruption. We deliver immediate impact to each client’s bottom line, cash flow, and top-line growth—all while concentrating on what the client must do to sustain successful change far into the future.

Key elements of our business turnaround approach

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Total shareholder return lens We focus turnaround projects on TSR--not just operational fixes.

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Topline growth and strategy are part of every program We emphasize our clients’ top-line growth and strategy execution over tactical cost-reduction.

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Rigorous methodology for rapid, sustainable impact We capture value faster, typically in 12-18 months, and provide dedicated senior leadership for the duration of the transformation.

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Highly experienced transformation and turnaround professionals Our team includes former CEOs, industry practitioners, and advisors with a strong track record of turnaround journeys delivered.

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Working shoulder-to-shoulder We have a full-time, on-site presence within your organization, work closely with company leaders, and build skills within the management team.

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Commitment to clients We measure our success by progress made and outcomes achieved, and by our clients’ satisfaction.

What Makes BCG’s Turnaround Management Approach Unique

BCG’s singular approach to turnaround management pays big dividends for our clients seeking to implement a business turnaround program and has been an important factor in us being named a market leader in the industry by independent research firm ALM Intelligence . We help our clients shape and accelerate their transformation program holistically. We start by initiating a response to performance issues, then swiftly define a transformation plan and mobilize the organization behind it. Finally, we execute improvement initiatives to deliver on the company’s strategic agenda.

To ensure rigor and discipline throughout the transformation process, we set up and run an activist transformation management office that plays three critical roles: driving implementation of the improvement initiatives, enabling the change, and ensuring that the program delivers the intended impact.

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Meet Our Turnaround Consulting Team

Our turnaround consultants have vast experience leading clients through successful business turnarounds. Meet some of our experts on the topic.

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Managing Director & Senior Partner; Global Leader, BCG Transform Practice

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Managing Director & Partner

Kristy Ellmer

Managing Director & Senior Partner

Our Business Turnaround Work with Clients

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ABM Industries Supercharges Stock Performance with Transformational Change

CEO Scott Salmirs explains why the company needed a partner with expertise in strategy, process, and execution. As a result of this collaboration, ABM’s stock value jumped 38% , putting it among the top performers on the New York Stock Exchange.

Lessons on Transformation from Element Fleet Management

A world-leading fleet-management company partnered with BCG to generate unprecedented new value for employees, clients, and shareholders. Discover the four practices the partners applied to achieve successful transformation.

Turning Around a Global Jewelry Giant

BCG worked shoulder-to-shoulder with leading jewelry company Pandora to launch a transformation program that reignited passion for the brand and helped Pandora get closer than ever to its customers.

Learn More About Business Turnarounds

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Three-quarters of all large-scale transformations fail to deliver the planned results. BCG’s Christian Gruß explains how transformation programs can both deliver rapid impact and enable the organization to sustain the impact.

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What Is A Business Turnaround?

A business turnaround is the process of executing survival measures, identifying strategic improvements, executing corrections, and moving back into a growth trajectory. If your small business is facing dwindling cash reserves or you are wondering how to turnaround an unprofitable business, read on.

How Does the Turnaround Process Work?

Most small business owners assume a turnaround is just calculating and implementing layoff large enough to achieve profitability. While reduction in force is one tool used in a turnaround, the actual turnaround process is more comprehensive and must be custom-designed to your business situation. This is why it is important to hire a turnaround professional to map your course and avoid unnecessary damage (or complete failure.) Here is a general turnaround process to follow:

  • Calculate and maximize cash runway. This is done using a 13-week cash forecast, negotiating with creditors such as your bank or suppliers, and pulling forward revenue.
  • Analyze the systemic cause of cash shortfall. The root cause of a crisis is never obvious (otherwise you probably would have fixed it by now!) Although we often blame economic downturns like Covid-19, true root causes are lurking problems like bad cost accounting, unhealthy working capital structure, bad quoting/pricing strategy, or even fraud.
  • Cutting/focusing products or services
  • Restructuring your teams
  • Reducing or increasing R&D investments
  • Reduction in force (layoffs, furloughs, or pay reductions)
  • Recapitalizing business debt and/or equity
  • Liquidating assets
  • Adjusting pricing strategy
  • Or other changes
  • Measure and adjust. Turnaround is rarely a “one-and-done” process. A business turnaround plan includes feedback systems to measure success and adjust strategy to changing conditions.

When do I Start a Business Turnaround?

If you are unsure if your business needs a turnaround, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my cash balance continually running lower?
  • Has the business suddenly and surprisingly become unprofitable?
  • Do my sales consistently miss goals?
  • Is it ever a challenge to make payroll?
  • Are suppliers and creditors calling me about past-due bills?

If you answered yes to one of the above questions, you may benefit from a business turnaround plan and should consult with a turnaround consultant to assess your situation.

What Does a Turnaround Consultant Do?

Most business owners and executives will face 2-3 downturns in their career which means they do not have adequate experience to successfully turnaround an unprofitable business. Is it any surprise then that so many small business owners struggle and fail in a downturn?

A turnaround consultant on the other hand will manage 2-3 downturns per year with clients across different industries. That’s 30x more downturn experience than the average executive, which means they quickly and accurately identify how to turnaround your unprofitable business.

How to Choose a Turnaround Consultant

Turnaround consultants come in many different flavors: from investment bankers to lawyers to fractional CFO’s and COO’s. The right specialty will depend on the diagnosis of your downturn, but only the CFO will have a global financial view of your company, so we recommend beginning there. The fractional CFO may then refer you to an attorney or COO as appropriate.

When choosing a turnaround consultant , look for the following qualities:

  • Listens to you and customizes their approach to your business. Be wary of salespeople pushing a packaged solution that may not fit your needs.
  • Has a plan but adjusts and evolves to new information. A turnaround is a dynamic process responsive to changing conditions and new data.
  • Does not work for commission. Professionals who take commissions on debt restructuring are have a myopic goal and do not have your best interests in mind.
  • Does not work for equity. Although equity is more available than cash, giving away equity to a consultant will cost you more in the long run.
  • Works primarily in turnarounds. Turnaround work is a specialized profession which means your CPA, board advisor, or small business attorney is not experienced enough to ensure success.

Contact a Turnaround Professional Now

If you are unsure whether your business would benefit from a turnaround professional, contact us now to learn about your options. Pete Kos, our Turnaround CFO, will listen to you, ask smart questions, and help you decide if you would benefit from professional services. Contact us here to schedule your free consultation.

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Turnaround Strategy: A Guide To Efficient Execution

Download our free Turnaround Strategy Template Download this template

When business throws you curveballs, your response time is the difference between a swing and a miss or a home run. The subtle art? Noticing the delicate wobble of change before the pitch even reaches you. 

In the intense world of business, those who anticipate and strategically recalibrate don't just stay in the game—they set the rules. Whether you're feeling the squeeze or just a gentle pinch, now's the time to rewrite your playbook.

In this article, we’ll show you how to execute an effective turnaround strategy and give examples of how other businesses have successfully executed theirs.

Free Template Download our free Turnaround Strategy Template Download this template

What Is A Business Turnaround Strategy?

A business turnaround strategy is a set of actions and initiatives to steer a company out of financial distress or prolonged challenges, leading it back to profitability and resilience. Some common challenges include: 

  • Persistent decrease in sales
  • Mounting losses
  • Cash flow problems
  • Poor management

Turnaround strategies have specific short-term strategic objectives that aim to increase revenue, cut expenses, and restore the business’ former viability after identifying the cause of the issues. 

💡A turnaround strategy is different from a change management strategy. Turnaround strategies are reactive and have a sense of urgency involved. Change management strategy , on the other hand, is a proactive approach that can be applied to situations like growth initiatives and process improvements.

When Is The Right Time For A Turnaround Strategy? 

The right time for intervention varies based on each business's unique situation. However, you'll have better chances of success with early intervention. Here are indicators that your business needs to pursue a turnaround strategy:

  • A consistent decline in financial performance over an extended period, evidenced by decreasing revenue, profitability, and cash flow.
  • Growing losses that impact financial stability and hinder the ability to meet financial obligations, such as paying bills, meeting payroll, and investing in necessary capital expenditures.
  • Increasing liabilities that become unsustainable, especially when servicing the debt becomes a significant burden.
  • Significant market disruptions that cause the existing business model to become less competitive or obsolete, leading existing products to lose market share. 
  • An underperforming management team that finds it challenging to make effective decisions or adjust to rapidly changing situations.
  • Operational inefficiencies from outdated processes, excessive costs, and declining competitiveness. 
  • External factors like recessions, economic downturns, regulatory changes, and natural disasters.

Types Of A Turnaround Recovery Strategy

There are several types of turnaround strategies based on the approach and focus:

  • Operational cost efficiency: This strategy focuses on improving internal processes, efficiency, and cost reduction. It often involves restructuring operations, optimizing supply chains , and eliminating waste.
  • Financial restructuring: This concentrates on improving the company’s financial health, with tactics like debt restructuring, cost-cutting, refinancing, and managing cash flow.
  • Strategic turnaround management: This entails re-evaluating and adjusting the company’s overarching business strategy . Actions include entering new markets, discontinuing unprofitable products or services, and diversifying product lines.
  • Market repositioning: This strategy concentrates on revitalizing the company’s marketing and sales tactics. It involves rebranding, pricing strategies, and sales force improvements.
  • Asset retrenchment strategy: This strategy emphasizes optimizing existing assets, such as real estate, equipment, and intellectual property. Actions include selling or leasing underutilized assets to boost cash flow and improve liquidity.
  • Senior management reorganization: This addresses leadership and management deficiencies and involves changes in top management, leadership training, and organizational reforms. 
  • Product and service innovation: This focuses on developing new products or services that improve existing ones. ‍
  • Crisis management : This strategy is executed during an acute crisis, such as a safety scandal, product recall, or PR disaster. It emphasizes reputation management, crisis communication, and taking corrective actions.

5 Steps Of A Turnaround Strategy

5 steps for a turnaround strategy diagram

While there may be different types of turnaround strategies, each follows the same basic steps below.

1. Analyze the data to pinpoint the problem

Take a deep dive into your core business metrics , from revenue and profit margins to customer satisfaction scores. 

Don't go at it alone, however. Engage with key stakeholders, including employees, investors, and customers to gain valuable insights and create a shared understanding of the challenge ahead. 

To collect and analyze data in minutes instead of weeks, use Cascade's Metrics Library to centralize all your key business metrics. This will give you better visibility into your business’s overall health and quickly identify areas of concern.

📽Watch this short and informative video giving you a walkthrough of the Metric Library. 

2. Apply decision-making models to identify the next steps

In times of crisis, you can't afford to suffer from decision paralysis. Delays can result in missed opportunities and deepen financial losses. Indecision also leads to inefficient resource use, with capital trapped in unviable projects.

Use decision-making models and tools to quickly assess your situation and determine the next steps. Tools like a decision matrix , cost-benefit analysis, and SWOT analysis can help you prioritize and choose the most critical focus areas. 

💡Speed is essential during a turnaround. Crises can evolve rapidly and what might have been an effective decision now, may not be the right move tomorrow.  

3. Build a turnaround plan

With a clear understanding of the problem and the critical actions needed, it's time to craft a detailed turnaround plan.  A detailed plan should work like a roadmap, providing a clear direction to get from point A to point B.

An effective plan should include:

  • Strategic objectives 
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) 
  • Specific actions, initiatives , or projects 
  • Assigned owners
  • Timeline with key milestones 
  • Dependencies, blockers, and risks

Timeline/roadmap view in Cascade

💡Use Cascade to translate complex strategies into simple, structured, and actionable plans so you can quickly move into the execution phase and track progress while including all the key elements above.

4. Align and execute your plan

Your turnaround plan is only as effective as your organization’s ability to execute it. Communicate the plan to all key stakeholders and prioritize organizational alignment . 

Ensure that everyone understands key strategic objectives and uses them to guide their daily decision-making. In doing so, your key stakeholders can start moving in sync toward achieving a common goal. This will help you achieve your turnaround plan in the fastest time possible. 

To achieve organizational alignment, you also need regular strategy review sessions, but more on that later.  

Example of Cascade's Alignment Map view

Use tools like Cascade's Alignment Map to visualize how different parts of the organization work together to achieve corporate objectives. You can also break down a company-wide goal into operational and functional plans that are easier for team members to follow.

5. Monitor and adapt your strategy 

Keep a close eye on key metrics , focusing on leading indicators that provide insights into future performance. Leading indicators will also help you measure what matters. Some examples of lead indicators include: 

  • Customer satisfaction 
  • Pipeline growth
  • Employee engagement 
  • % of strategic projects prioritized 
  • Supplier risk

business turnaround plan

Continuous strategy assessments will help you identify potential risks and vulnerabilities early on so you can take corrective actions before they become major threats to your business. Here are examples of things to cover in strategy review meetings depending on the cadence you set:

business performance review cascade

Plus, strong and ongoing strategic control will ensure accountability to maintain the execution momentum on the ground. 

Use Cascade's dashboards and reports to simplify monitoring, providing real-time insights into your company's performance.

Example of a financial dashboard in Cascade

You get an accurate picture of your business’s strategic performance so you can make quick impactful decisions. You can also easily share this information with key stakeholders in a format that is straightforward and provides context for each data point in your report or dashboard.

Case Studies Of Successful Business Turnarounds 

No business is exempt from drastic changes, not even huge companies. The following businesses recognized a turnaround situation when it happened and took the risk to pursue new strategies.

business turnaround plan

Chocolate was a luxury item for the wealthy before Hershey made it affordable for the ordinary household. This increased competition as other brands cashed in on the opportunity with their delicious treats. 

Hershey’s initial strategy to keep costs low was to focus on a few product lines and increase production capacity. However, the increased competition forced them to introduce new products and acquire new brands. 

They also pursued diversification strategies, such as acquiring the right to produce other consumer favorites like Cadbury and KitKat, which eventually kept them on the top. 

👉Get inspired by the Hershey Strategy Plan Template to put together your successful turnaround strategy.

business turnaround plan

In 2006, Ford was in danger of bankruptcy. The company experienced massive layoffs, billions of losses, and a lack of additional financing. 

Bill Ford, the current CEO, recognized that the company needed a new leader and appointed Alan Mulally, a person with little automotive industry knowledge. Despite the shocking move, it proved lifesaving as the company adopted new strategic management practices that eventually turned their financial standing. 

Alan Mulally created a culture of transparency that encouraged team members to seek support when they needed it. He replaced Ford’s pointless meetings with BPRs (Business Process Reviews) that helped leaders quickly identify areas that needed urgent attention using a streamlined prioritization method.

👉 Get inspired by the Ford Strategy Plan Template to put together your successful turnaround strategy.

business turnaround plan

By 2011, PC global sales had peaked and started a steady decline. Dell was severely impacted and even regarded as a dying company. As smartphones and tablets took center stage, Dell’s annual sales saw double-digit declines, and attempts to bounce back were embarrassingly unsuccessful. Dell’s Streak “phablet” and Venue smartphone were both failures. 

Michael Dell took the company private despite huge pushback from investors. This complex corporate strategy proved successful because Dell could take calculated risks and expand its services to include software solutions that more than doubled its enterprise value.

Before privatization, Dell had made key acquisitions in enterprise software and hardware solutions such as cloud storage and management. When the deal was completed, Dell went full force and offered not just its low-budget PCs but a whole portfolio of solutions, including data storage, systems management, cloud, cybersecurity, and cutting-edge software. 

Dell reinforced its existing salesforce and positioned itself as a trusted advisor for all things tech. In just eight years after privatization, Dell’s equity increased by 625% and enterprise value topped $100 billion. 

👉 Get inspired by the Dell Strategy Plan Template to put together your successful turnaround strategy. 

Execute Your Turnaround Strategy With Cascade 🚀

Challenges are inevitable in the business world, but with a well-executed turnaround strategy, you can transform adversity into an opportunity for growth and success. 

A strategy rooted in data and fast execution can make all the difference in your business rebound. 

Cascade’s powerful strategy execution platform unites your business information into a single view so you’ll know how the business performs at every level and make the right decisions at the right time. 

Start today for free or book a 1:1 product tour with Cascade’s in-house strategy expert.

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This is the second installment of a three-part series co-authored by Bill Patterson , CTP, CPA, CIRA, Erik White , CIRA and Greg Milligan , CTP of Harney Partners.

A practical guide to a business turnaround plan to pull your company back from the brink.

Now that you’ve made the tough decision to try to save your troubled company with a business turnaround plan, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. You’ll need to formulate clear goals for the turnaround, figure out what kind of cash flow will support those goals and map out a clear blueprint to follow. Taking these steps to develop a business turnaround plan will give your company the best possible shot at survival.

STEP 1. Paving The Way: Set Appropriate Goals

You’ve likely spent the better part of your time with your company focused on finding ways to build value for shareholders and owners. But when your responsibility shifts from creating a business to saving a business, your fiduciary duty must encompass the corporation as a whole. That means making it your primary goal to deliver value not just for equity holders, but also for bondholders, lien holders and other creditors.

Preserving as much value as possible for as many stakeholders as possible is a goal that requires a much more conservative strategy than strictly building value for owners. For example, what if the opportunity arises to make an acquisition that has the potential for a huge gain – but also poses the risk of losing everything? Keeping in mind the goal of preserving value for all players, your decision-making will need to take into account the adverse impact on your creditors if that bet doesn’t pay off.

Having committed to the overall goal of preserving value, your next step is to determine a course of action to achieve that goal. Should the company be sold to new owners, or is restructuring under current ownership a possibility? Either way, is a Chapter 11 bankruptcy a possibility? If you pursue a sale, Chapter 11 has the benefit of enabling you to sell assets free and clear of liens or other encumbrances. If you’re hoping to keep the current ownership and management in place, Chapter 11 can relieve pressure from creditors, giving you more maneuverability to develop and execute your business turnaround plan and strategy.

STEP 2. Paying The Way: Forecast Cash Flow

Regardless of how you decide to turn the company around – sell, or keep current ownership in place – you will have to enter an emergency action phase that’s focused on stopping the bleeding and moving into positive cash flow. A 13-week cash flow forecast is essentially a way of attaching real numbers to your turnaround plan. As such, it’s essential for determining 1) whether your turnaround plan can actually produce cash-positive operations and 2) how much cash you will need before you reach a cash-positive state.

This isn’t a theoretical exercise; it’s a practical tool that you’ll use every day to make decisions. It’s therefore important to be as accurate and realistic as possible about what you expect to collect and spend. It’s also important to make cash flow easy to track, with weekly comparisons of budget against actual performance.

And while it’s called a 13-week forecast, working with it successfully means updating and changing it weekly based on performance – so that, in a very real sense, you’re reinventing the 13-weeks-out window every week as events dictate. You have to keep in mind the many variables that can affect cash flow and be prepared to reevaluate based on a multitude of factors. What if cash you believed to be available for cash flow turns out to be restricted? What if there are new cash requirements you couldn’t have anticipated? What if you lose a major customer? You can’t plan for every eventuality, but you can accept that the only constant is change and you must be ready to respond quickly and effectively when things shift.

STEP 3. Proving The Way: Outline The Objectives And Process

The cash flow forecast is a critical element of your business turnaround plan, but it’s not the only element. Your business and all its stakeholders will be best served by a comprehensive, multi-component defined plan that can firmly guide your efforts during this critical and challenging time. The old adage that if you don’t know where you’re going, you may end up somewhere else is true – and doubly true in turnaround situations.

The defined turnaround plan should answer the critical questions: Who are we? How did we get into this situation? What are we going to do about it? How much will it cost? Harney can help with restructuring consulting .

Be sure yours includes all the following elements and focuses primarily on high-level salient points that doesn’t bog down in minutiae.

  • Company information. What does the company do? How long has it been in business? Who does it serve? Don’t worry that everyone already knows these things; redefining them will help ensure a clear understanding of the business on everyone’s part.
  • Financial history. Look back at what’s happened financially in the past to identify the causes of distress in the present. You need a clear understanding of the problems before you can address solutions.
  • Turnaround plan. Describe how you’re proposing to address the problems you’ve identified; go through the problems point by point, identifying opportunities as well as risks.
  • Financial snapshot. What does the cash flow forecast tell you? How much bridge financing will you need? What are you saving from actions you propose in the turnaround plan?
  • 13-week cash flow forecast. Be prepared to present your best expectations at the time but make it clear that this component of the plan is inevitably going to be subject to change and updates.
  • Supporting financial information. Evaluate corporate reporting and honestly determine if the data is useful and provides value to managing the business. If you don’t have the right data, it is difficult to execute, and you will end up repeating your mistakes of the past. Also evaluate the data available for your competitors and your industry and benchmark your company performance to your peers. Understanding your differences, as well as similarities, can help identify problem areas and potential improvements.

The business turnaround plan needs to focus on a handful of major objectives that can be clearly and easily articulated and accomplished in a compressed or expedited time frame. Too many objectives or too long a time period are likely to lead to failure, or an inability to achieve adequate success. A company needing to implement a turnaround needs speed to value, and realistic, executable near term goals and objectives.

Developing a business turnaround plan for your business may be one of the hardest things you ever do. But following the steps described here will provide you with a strong framework to support a successful outcome. If you’re looking for assistance to help you navigate through these unprecedented times, Harney Partners can help with our restructuring consulting . We are a national, corporate-advisory firm that provides independent, multi-disciplinary solutions for middle-market companies and their stakeholders to overcome financial and operational challenges, serving a wide array of industries. For more information, contact us at [email protected], or call any of our offices.


Bill has 35 years of experience providing financial advisory services to business stakeholders of organizations – including ten years with Big Four firms, plus experience as the CFO of both early-stage and middle-market companies. He has extensive experience navigating the complexities of recapitalization, bankruptcy, reorganization, and litigation issues. Additionally, Bill has broad experience in organizational and corporate governance and risk in the U.S and abroad. His industry expertise includes manufacturing; construction; consumer products; distribution and transportation; services; E&P; oil field services; retail; renewable energy; medical devices and equipment; and financial services.

At Harney Partners, Bill is an advisor to corporate stakeholders and companies experiencing a complex transition that are seeking financial and operational stabilization.


Erik has amassed more than 14 years of experience in corporate finance, business restructuring, forensic consulting and asset management. He provides strategic advisory services, both financial and operational, to companies experiencing a complex transition.  From Fortune 500 to lower middle-market companies, Erik has the depth and breadth of knowledge and experience to support clients in distressed situations.


For more than 25 years, and with engagements involving onsite advisory to clients in more than 25 states and multiple foreign countries, Greg has maintained a practice surrounding troubled situations or situations that require fiduciary oversight. He joined Harney Partners in 1998 and opened the Austin office in 2001. Since that time, he has both led and collaborated on engagements with highly successful outcomes, meriting multiple peer-review awards from the Turnaround Management Association and the M&A Advisor.

The Strategy Story

Turnaround Strategies: Explained with examples and case study

business turnaround plan

A turnaround strategy is a plan for reorganizing and revitalizing a struggling business or organization. The following steps can help in developing a turnaround strategy:

  • Identify the root cause of the problem: The first step in developing a turnaround strategy is identifying the underlying issues causing the business to struggle. This could be a decline in sales, poor management, a flawed business model, or external factors such as competition.
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis: A SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) can help you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business, as well as any opportunities or threats that exist in the market.
  • Develop a plan: Once you have identified the issues and conducted a SWOT analysis, you must develop a plan to address the problems. This plan should include specific actions and timelines for implementation.
  • Communicate the plan: It is important to communicate the turnaround plan to all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and investors. This will help to build support and commitment to the plan.
  • Implement the plan: The success of a turnaround strategy depends on the effective implementation of the plan. This requires strong leadership and the support of all stakeholders.
  • Monitor progress: Monitoring progress regularly and making adjustments as needed is important. This will help you stay on track and ensure the turnaround plan achieves its goals.
  • Evaluate and adapt: Finally, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of the turnaround strategy and make any necessary adaptations to ensure continued success. This may require ongoing market analysis, competition, and internal business operations.

Types of Turnaround strategies

Turnaround strategies are plans businesses implement to reverse a decline in performance and improve profitability. Several types of turnaround strategies can be used depending on the specific circumstances of the business:

  • Cost reduction involves reducing costs through measures such as layoffs, outsourcing, reducing operating expenses, and improving efficiency.
  • Revenue growth involves increasing revenue through product innovation, expanding the product line, increasing market share, and increasing sales.
  • Asset restructuring involves restructuring the company’s assets, such as divesting underperforming businesses, selling off assets, and merging with other companies.
  • Financial restructuring involves changing the company’s capital structure, such as issuing new debt or equity, refinancing existing debt, or renegotiating contracts with creditors.
  • Management restructuring involves changing the company’s leadership, such as replacing the CEO or other key executives and bringing in new management talent.
  • Turnaround through acquisition involves acquiring another company to improve profitability or enter new markets.
  • Bankruptcy or liquidation: As a last resort, a company may file for bankruptcy or liquidate its assets to settle debts and obligations.

Each of these turnaround strategies has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of strategy depends on the specific situation and needs of the business.

Examples of Turnaround Strategies

  • The cost-cutting strategy focuses on reducing expenses by cutting unnecessary costs, such as layoffs, reducing inventory, renegotiating contracts, and downsizing.
  • A diversification strategy involves expanding the business into new markets or products to reduce dependence on a single product or market.
  • The operational restructuring strategy aims to improve the efficiency of the business by streamlining processes, improving quality control, and optimizing the supply chain.
  • Brand repositioning strategy involves repositioning the brand to appeal to a new target market or changing consumer preferences.
  • A financial restructuring strategy involves restructuring the company’s finances by refinancing debt, raising capital, or selling assets to improve liquidity.
  • Innovation strategy focuses on developing new products or services to stay ahead of competitors and meet changing customer needs.
  • Marketing strategy aims to increase sales and market share by improving the company’s marketing efforts, such as advertising, promotions, and pricing.
  • Partnership or acquisition strategy involves partnering with or acquiring another company to expand the business’s capabilities, market share, or product line.

Case Study on Turnaround Strategy

Here is a case study on a turnaround strategy implemented by McDonald’s in the late 2000s:

Background:  McDonald’s is a fast-food restaurant chain founded in 1940. By the 1990s, the company had become a global icon with over 30,000 locations worldwide. However, by the mid-2000s, the company faced several challenges, including declining sales and negative publicity over its unhealthy menu.

Challenge:  McDonald’s was struggling to attract customers as it faced increased competition from other fast-food chains and changed consumer preferences towards healthier options. The company’s menu needed to be updated, and its image had become associated with unhealthy food.

Solution: In 2003, Jim Skinner was appointed as the CEO of McDonald’s, and he implemented a turnaround strategy called “Plan to Win.” The strategy focused on improving the brand’s quality, service, cleanliness, and value (QSCV).

Skinner realized that the company had to evolve to meet the changing consumer preferences and introduced several initiatives to address the challenges.

  • Menu Innovation: McDonald’s introduced healthier menu items like salads, fruits, and yogurt to cater to health-conscious customers. They also revamped their existing menu items by improving the quality of ingredients and removing trans fats.
  • Operational Efficiency: The company implemented a system called “Made for You,” which allowed customers to customize their orders, ensuring they received freshly prepared food—this reduced waste and improved efficiency, which allowed McDonald’s to serve food faster and more accurately.
  • Marketing and Branding: McDonald’s launched several marketing campaigns to change its image from a fast-food chain that only served burgers and fries to a brand that provided various healthy options. They also started using digital media platforms to connect with their customers.

Results:  The “Plan to Win” strategy successfully turned around the fortunes of McDonald’s. The company’s sales increased, and it regained market share from its competitors. In 2007, McDonald’s reported its highest-ever quarterly profits, and its stock price increased by over 50%.

McDonald’s has continued to innovate and adapt to changing consumer preferences, and today they are one of the largest fast-food chains globally, with over 38,000 locations in more than 100 countries.

Conclusion:  McDonald’s turnaround strategy was successful because it focused on improving the quality, service, cleanliness, and value of the brand. By innovating its menu, improving operational efficiency, and investing in marketing and branding, McDonald’s was able to attract more customers and regain market share from its competitors.

The “Plan to Win” strategy is an excellent example of how a turnaround strategy can help companies facing challenges to reinvent themselves and stay relevant in a rapidly changing market.

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Turnaround: Critical First Steps Checklist

Pre-Turnaround Checklist

  • Business Turnaround

This "Turnaround Checklist" was created with the intention to help business owners in analyzing their business position, and to be able to make the right choice regarding their business turnaround strategy .   Once you’ve completed the turnaround checklist, you will have a good idea of where your business stands at this point, and have the ability to choose the right turnaround strategy to adapt, adjust and return your business to its previous profitable state.

Business Turnaround Checklist

  • 1. Viability of The Business
  • 2. Determine Business Solvency
  • 3. Stages of Financial Distress and Strategy Option
  • 4. Determine Financial Health of a Business
  • 5. Evaluate Short-Term Cash Survival
  • 6. What Issues Need Attention Immediately
  • 7. Are Stakeholders Ready To Support The Business?  

Viability of The Business

While evaluating the business it is important to identify essential and important issues for the business’s survival.  You should identify the internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as the business’s external threats and opportunities

The main purpose of this initial evaluation is to establish the viability of the business for the medium to long term, and that the core product/service of the business has potential for future growth, expansion and profitability

If the business doesn’t have a viable core product or service, as the competitive position of the business is essential to the decision whether a business can be turned around or not.  Without a viable core product/service a turnaround in most cases is highly unlikely.  Is the product or service near the end of its life cycle?  For example, is the business still in the typewriter market, or is the business still pressing out seven singles, how viable or competitive is your product out in the market?

1. Is there a market for your product/service?

If the answer is no, go back to the drawing board. Start over. Because no matter how great you think your product is, if no one needs it/wants it/buys it, you don’t have a business.

2. Can you make a profit?

Have you done the number crunching to ensure profitability? If not, go back and work your numbers. Figure out what you need to charge to make your profit on each item or service you sell. See what the competition is charging. Be in line but don’t necessarily be the cheapest. Your products may command higher fees (better ingredients, exciting packaging, snob appeal). Or you may choose to be the low price leader — but you’ll need more volume than you would at the high end. In any event, do your homework.

3. Can you survive?

Do you have the resources to see you through until your business starts to show a profit? If not, you may need to keep your day job and do this on a part-time basis initially.

Determine Business Solvency

Before you start implementing your business strategy successfully you need to determine the business solvency .  It's important to know that you are legally required to present accounts to show a true and fair picture of the business, and if the business is insolvent you must act to maximize creditor’s interests. Here is a basic test that you can use to determine if the business is

Solvency, is a business ability to meet its debt obligations on a short term and long term basis.

The Balance sheet test :  Do you owe more than you own as a business or are the business’s assets exceeded by its liabilities? Do you or another partner owe more than you own personally? (It is important to know that it should include contingent or future liabilities.)

The Cash flow test:   Can the business pay its debts when payments become due? If your business can't pay expenses, employees, creditors, or Income Tax for example, then the business could be insolvent.

Solvency ratio, or Debt-to-Equity Ratio is generally a good indicator of a business long-term sustainability. It measures the long-term debt of a business in relation to its assets or equity. The Debt-to-Equity Ratio is calculated by dividing a business total liability by its equity. These numbers are available on the business balance sheet of the financial statements.

The formula to for Debt-to-Equity Ratio: Debt / Equity = Total Equity / Total Liabilities

Note: If a creditor has obtained a Judgment against either the business, partnership, or an individual, this may demonstrate the businesses, individual or partnership may be insolvent and the creditor may petition to issue bankruptcy proceedings.

Stages of Financial Distress and Turnaround Strategy Option

Now it is time to look at the different "stages" of financial distress your business may be in. This helps to choose the right turnaround strategy to enhance  your ability to adapt, adjust and execute. The good news is that most businesses in distress can be saved if the necessary corrective actions are implemented within a clear and defined business turnaround plan.

Early detection of financial distress 

Recommended  Turnaround Strategy: Stabilizing the business finance, maintain positive cash balance while optimizing performance & profitability.

Distress Signals:

  • Declining profitability
  • Decreasing market
  • Cash flow restrictions
  • Declining revenue/sales
  • Increasing costs/overheads
  • Increase in outstanding accounts payable
  • Loss of competitive edge
  • Declining stock levels

Medium to high financial distress

Recommended  Turnaround Strategy: Optimize performance & profitability,  asset reduction, working capital refinance, investors and effective out-of court workout settlements.

  • Optimize performance & profitability, and
  • Effective out-of court workout settlement.
  • And asset reduction, working capital refinance, investors
  • Struggling to pay long term debt
  • Debtors days extensions
  • Struggling to pay creditors/suppliers
  • Non-payment of tax returns
  • Behind on payments to the Landlord

Late critical  financial distress  – Business Rescue

Recommended  Turnaround Strategy: Business rescue and wind-down (Liquidation or Merge with another company)

  • Business rescue and wind-down (Liquidation or Merge with another company)
  • Pending litigation by creditors
  • Unable to meet obligations to debtor-holders

Determine Financial Health of a Business

No single metric can accurately determine the financial health and sustainability of a business. Therefore,  a number of financial ratios must be considered to gauge a business overall financial health. First was the business Solvency test, now we will look at the business Profitability and later at the short-term cash survival.

The best measurement of a business health is its profitability,  NOT profits, because profits can be deceiving. A business can survive for years without being profitable if it keeps operating on the goodwill of creditors and investors until it runs out of money.

To survive in the long run, a business must eventually become profitable. Profitability is a rather simple concept but not easy to accomplish. You don’t need to be an MBA or accountant to know to make more profit, you only have to increase sales and reduce cost. But if it was that easy, every business will be successful, no business will fail and every body will be making a fortune. But the reality is 60% not profitable and up to 80% fail in 5 years.

The two best methods to measure a business profitability is by measuring the Gross Margin Ratio, and the Net Margin Ratio. 

Gross Margin Ratio

Gross Margin Ratio also known as Return on Sales measures how much Gross Profit a business makes, measured in percent.  It also indicates how many gross profit a company makes on every dollar of sales, after paying for all variable costs related to the sales, production and services,  and before deducting any general Fixed Cost.

Formula for Gross Margin Ratio:  Gross Profit Margin  = Total Sales − COGS / Total Sales

Net Profit Margin

Net  Profit Margin is the key ratio of profitability. It measures what percentage of revenue earned by a business ends up as net profit. By comparing net profit to total sales, investors can see what percentage of revenues is available to pay shareholders or reinvest in the business.

Fo rmula for Net Margin Ratio:  Net Profit Margin = Net Profit / Total Revenue

It is crucial to measure profitability in percentage ratios and not in dollar amounts, because a dollar figure of profit is inadequate to evaluate the business profitability and financial health. The business might show thousands even millions in net dollar profits, but when these profits represent a net profit margin of only 1% or less, the business is at risk.

When a business net profit margins are that small, no matter how much the dollar amount, even the slightest increase in Fixed and Variable operating costs or a slight drop in total sales due to an increase in competition or down economy could plunge the business into large amounts of money lost.

A larger net profit margin on the other hand means greater financial security and health, and also the business ability to growth and scale operations. After you have determined the profitability of the business you can move to the next step - short-term cash survival.

Short-Term Cash Survival

Determine short-term cash survival whether the business has sufficient cash to see it through the next cycle (3 months), a survival plan where funds are generated internally for quick cash generation is needed:

  • Does the business have sufficient cash to see it through for the next few months?
  • Can stock be sold out or returned to suppliers?
  • Can collection from accounts receivable be improved?
  • Can payments to creditors be extended with the correct arrangements?
  • Can possible short-term financing be acquired?
  • Determine whether banks and other vested stakeholders will assist.

A good indicator to determine the business ability to pay its short-term obligations is to use the  Current Ratio formula.  The Current Ratio compare a business current asset to its current liabilities and show how well a business can maximize the current assets on its balance sheet to satisfy its current debt and other payables. 

Formula for Current Ratio:  Current Ratio = Current Assets / Current Liabilities

Another good indicator to determine the business ability to meet its short-term obligations with its most liquid assets is the Quick Ratio, also called Acid Test Ratio . The Quick Ratio  measures the business short-term Liquidity position, the business capacity to pay its current liabilities without the need to sell its inventory or get additional financing.

What Issues Need Attention Immediately?  

Once the short-term cash survival evaluation is complete, you need to decide:

What issues need to be attended too immediately?  For example, how can funds be generated immediately within the business? 

What issues need to be attended to in the short term?   For example, what possible short-term financing is required.

What issues will be attended to in the medium to long term?   For example, look for new outlets and markets for the products/services on offer, or develop/improve new products/services.

What components of the business should remain the same?  For example, all core profit-generating items to remain.  No large projects undertaken in the short-term.

Are Stakeholders Ready To Support The Business?  

Making sure that everybody fully understands the situation, and committed to solving the problem. This may include employees, suppliers, partners and everybody that are stakeholders in the business.

Team Support  –   Support from all key team members is necessary.   Get shared commitment to action between employees and owners/partners.   When a business is in crisis mode the owner and staff need to be in harmony and in step with the needs of the business. 

The right results come from the right people doing the right things at the right time in the right way for the right reasons." When all your team members are not committed to your business mission, vision, and values, they are also not committed to executing your goals. You not only need to show people what direction the company is headed in, but you need to get them to "buy into" this direction. Great success is almost always the result of great teams. An aligned team always out-performance an individual.

Commitment - Everybody should help play his/her part in saving the business, but this won’t help if the owner doesn’t lead by example. Commit to your new way of operating. It's easy to make plans to change but it's another thing to actually carry out those plans. Success is a result of action based on planning. It’s quite obvious that things need to change, but the question is do you ‘have to’ change?

Different Actions  -  Recognize that getting different results requires a different course of action. If you simply keep doing the same things, you’ll get the same results. To expect anything different without changing the way you operate is insanity.

About the Author Hans

Hans had 40 of his own businesses over the last 30 years and is famous for creating fast-growing businesses” He is an author, speaker, coach, and consultant and a specialist in business optimization and turnaround, helping smaller business owners eliminate business limitations, threats, and growth challenges in achieving their sales, profit, cash flow, and income goals with sniper precision.

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Top 10 Business Turnaround Plan & Strategy Templates with Samples and Examples

Top 10 Business Turnaround Plan & Strategy Templates with Samples and Examples

Sapna Singh


The phenomenal book, Zero To One , that PayPal founder Peter Thiel has co-authored, asks a fundamental question that no one in civilized human history has managed to answer: Is success in business a result of talent and skill or just pure luck?

As you mull this over, it will help to remember that even the most successful businesses have failed at some point. Apple’s ascent to prominence in the technology industry is the most well-known example of turnaround success .

‘ Apple went into a decade-long downward spiral after CEO Steve Jobs left the company in 1985 and lower-priced products from competitors, like Microsoft Windows, took over the personal computer market. For 12 years its innovation, popularity, and sales continued to plummet, almost reaching bankruptcy until Jobs rejoined the company in 1997. The company was able to turn itself around with a successful rebrand and new technology. Now, Apple is one of the most well-known and valuable companies in the world, raking in almost $300 billion in revenue each year’.

There are countless other success stories of businesses that have navigated the crisis with a strong turnaround plan and made it to shore.  If handled properly, reaching rock bottom might be the first stepping stone a business needs to start climbing its way back to the top.

What is Business Turnaround Strategy?

The tactical actions necessary to restore the viability and stability of a business undergoing financial distress is referred to as a business turnaround strategy.

It is imperative to have a turnaround strategy in place to try to foster business continuity, manage to stay afloat in extraordinary circumstances, and prepare for any collateral damage.

This blog provides a deep insight into Business Turnaround Plans and Strategies to help you to stay on top of distressing, even hopeless situations, and still make the correct decision. We, at SlideTeam, have combined deep knowledge with a tried-and-trusted method to get the right evaluation of any company’s situation.

The blog also offers a list of best-in-class Top 10 Business Turnaround Plan & Strategy Templates to give you a foresight of the current framework, help you ask difficult questions and take a realistic view of available options. These top-notch templates have been curated and compiled after extensive research of clients from all over the world through situations that could be uncannily similar to scenarios you might be facing.

With the help of these ready-to-use templates, you can implement a sustainable turnaround plan, accomplish specific objectives, and benefit from the transformation of your business with an understanding of the advantages and risks of a significant turnaround.

Check out our blog on Digital Transformation to help in bringing the digital evolution drive into your business and help it reach greater heights.

Rough seas ahead? The time has come to seize the initiative, regain equilibrium, and plot a course based on long-term goals with SlideTeam’s Business Turnaround Plan PPT Templates.

Template 1: Business Turnaround Plan PPT

Stabilize your cash, viability, and liquidity positions with strategic processes to transform your business. Use our PPT Template to determine turnaround strategies such as a change in management, and financial reconstruction. The PowerPoint Presentation helps you ask the right questions: Is there really a money crisis? How can things calm down? Is there a chance of refinancing or turnaround? What are the best options currently available to the business? This ready-to-use deck helps you probe the current concerns faced by your firm that lead to a corporate failure, analysis of ownership patterns of shareholders, and the firm’s debt-equity ratio. These premium sets of slides are an informative tool to conduct department-wise employee training to help them understand the company's turnaround plans and strategies.

Business Turnaround Plan

Download Now!

Template 2: Business Turnaround Plan Template 

Get the resources you need to evaluate and ascertain your company's financial health and efficiency via this PowerPoint Presentation. Transformations and future growth can be difficult, but with the right plans, you can improve your company's efficiency, adaptability, and competitiveness. This fantastic design is perfect for expert discussions, team meetings, and stakeholder gatherings. This well-designed template is best suited for SWOT analysis and to create an excellent turnaround plan.

Business Turnaround Plan

Template 3: Agenda of Business Turnaround Plan PPT Layout

Your business must concentrate on the key stakeholders and act in the creditors' best interests in order to implement effective turnaround recovery strategies. Use this Business Agenda PPT Template to outline the purpose and process of getting back on track. This slide will help you establish effective communication with stakeholders. Use the PowerPoint Presentation to brainstorm and strategize the new path to the company's success. This template will set the motion for the coming months and help you navigate the crisis. Download, modify, and present the framework for further efforts.

Agenda of Business Turnaround Plan

Template 4: Different Stages of Business Turnaround Plan PPT

Use this PPT Template to understand how turnaround management works. This template is a vital tool to assess insolvency, liquidation, and strategic objectives. This professional slide includes five stages of the Business Turnaround Plan: Management Change, Evaluation, Emergency, Stabilization, and Return-to-Normal Growth. Employ the slide to learn a step-by-step proven process that will turn around your business, so you can survive the temporary short-term "crises", regain your profitability, boost confidence, and save your business.

Different Stages of Turnaround

Template 5: Determining Turnaround Restructuring Path PPT Infographics

A turnaround aims to save a company and keeps it from going out of business. This pre-built PPT Template offers a thorough setup that enables businesses to analyze their financial position over time to decide when to implement turnaround strategies. A turnaround restructuring path is included in this infographic to appeal to viewers. Use the PowerPoint presentation to get a clear, succinct report on crisis management . Check on the ineffective business strategies with this download.

Determining Turnaround Restructuring Path

Template 6: Four Phases of Business Turnaround and Financial Restructuring PPT

A turnaround is disruptive, like any significant transition, but it has advantages. A well-executed restructuring event can ultimately contribute to future growth and revitalize a company.  Use this PPT Template to increase sales and profitability while avoiding insolvency. It has sections on managing cash as well as ones that offer fast data analysis, opportunities, and rewards for managing cash. Employ the template to conduct hard-nosed review and revision of financial, operational, and managerial strategies.  Start working on a preemptive restructuring model with this download.

Four Phases of Business Turnaround Plan and Execution for Financial Restructuring

Template 7: Implementing Turnaround Plan Timeline PPT

Use this pre-made PPT Template to emphasize the strategic processes, the requirement for adequate financing, and timing. It is essential to reassure stakeholders that the turnaround is on track in order to defend their prior investments and maintain their ongoing support for the company. This slide provides details on a turnaround plan's implementation, including its strategies, governance, etc. Employ the PowerPoint Presentation to present a visual timeline for revitalizing your business. Use it as a discussion and navigation tool when putting the turnaround plan into action.

Implementing Turnaround Plan Timeline

Template 8: Business Turnaround Structuring Plan for Performance Analysis Template

A business's financial health declines as a result of mismanagement or ineffective business strategies. To gain a competitive edge, use this PowerPoint Presentation to comprehend your company's situation. This template includes well-researched turnaround restructuring plan content that can be modified to fit the needs of your business. The PPT includes six stages, including rehabilitation plan, related party coordination, turnaround plan execution, and turnaround plan monitoring, as well as three essential turnaround strategy components. Follow these logical, step-by-step proven turnaround strategy steps to improve performance and increase your chance of surviving a crisis.

Business Turnaround Structuring Plan for Performance Analysis

Template 9: Business Turnaround Plan for Pandemic and Crisis Management PPT

Many companies were on the verge of liquidation with the onset of the pandemic. It became difficult to maintain viability and financial health. Therefore, it is crucial that companies act quickly to address problems and are proactive in assessing their risk and vulnerability from both an operational and financial standpoint. Use this well-structured PPT Template to chalk out a pandemic or crisis management plan for business continuity. It includes five stages along with key focus areas, health impact, scenario planning, cut costs, stakeholder management, financial and liquidity impact. Become well-equipped to support the management and assist in the financial restructuring with this download.

Business Turnaround Plan for Pandemic and Crisis Management

Template 10: Strategic Business Turnaround Plan with Value Enhance Capabilities PPT Slide

The two most common methods for determining insolvency are cash flow and balance sheet tests. Use this PPT Template to assess the company's financial health and create a restructuring strategy for future growth. This slide offers advice on how to enhance wireless, cut operating costs, increase manufacturing productivity, and put a new ERP (Enterprise resource planning) system in place. Use the template to expand your company's capabilities.

Strategic Business Turnaround Plan with Clear Value Enhance Capabilities

Everything needs fixing

Turnarounds signify a return to stability and profitability following an extended period of financial hardship, poor business decisions, or poor management. A company may take strategic measures to maintain the viability of its businesses and avoid potential insolvency or liquidation. It is not necessary to wait until things get too bad before beginning a turnaround strategy. In fact, starting the process sooner rather than later is preferable. Use SlideTeam’s PPT Templates to create effective management strategies that will aid your business to recover and resume its upward performance trends.

PS: Check out our blog on Business Strategies for the Post-Covid Era  to begin your post-pandemic recovery journey and enter into the next normal - a normal that looks nothing like the ordinary!


How to conduct a business turnaround.

A business turnaround occurs when it pivots around financially after a slump in performance. Turnarounds signify a return to stability and profitability following an extended period of financial hardship, poor business decisions, or poor management. If your business is struggling, then your number one goal is to get to a point where your business is stabilized. As soon as you get to this stage, you can begin considering opportunities for growth. A strategy is established to swiftly triage and stabilize the business.

The steps to business turnaround:

A). An initial rapid assessment of the current status of a business is crucial in considering the time that is available and the key factors that would enable a turnaround strategy to be developed and implemented. This will entail creating accurate cash and trading projections and taking into account how well the current funding structure works.

B). Create a turnaround strategy that addresses the problems the company is currently experiencing and supports enhancements to operational performance and financial stability.

C). Implement the turnaround along with running the business’s day-to-day.

What are the main types of turnaround strategies?

A turnaround strategy involves restructuring or turning the company's current strategy on its head.

A). Restructuring and Leadership Change

Changing the company's current leadership structure is the first step in restructuring and improving the company's overall health. This will necessitate the implementation of temporary structures or adjustments to the current organizational structure and hierarchy of the company.

B). Cost Reduction

The majority of businesses use a cost-cutting or cost-efficiency strategy to control spending, lower expenses, and boost margins. Cost cutting directly affects profitability and aids the business in getting back on track. The company's cash flow will be stabilized and gradually improved as a result of the cost cutting strategy.

C). Redeployment of Assets

After implementing their cost-cutting turnaround strategy, businesses redistribute their assets. They can sell off assets that have reached the end of their useful lifecycle and are now regularly incurring repair and maintenance costs at a loss. They can make investments in brand-new assets to either replace or enhance the existing ones. By doing this, it may be possible to increase daily productivity.

Check out Enterprise Asset Management PPT Template to track and manage your business tools.

D). Change in the Focus Area and Repositioning

Altering the company's focus area or market and leaving some unprofitable areas is another turnaround strategy. It needs to recognize its best qualities and concentrate on those areas.  This would give the business a competitive edge. In order to get the most out of these endeavors, it should set aside more money for marketing its flagship products and targeted markets.

What are the tips for a business turnaround?

Building a turnaround strategy needs skills and expertise.

Here are some pointers to help you carry out a successful turnaround:

A). Communicate in an effective and open manner with the leadership team, stakeholders, creditors, and employees. Developing goals and implementing strategy can be easier when everyone understands the situation and their role in its solution.

B). Businesses can stay relevant in developing industries by abandoning or moving away from projects that aren't bringing in money. A successful business turnaround requires adaptability, lightning-fast reflexes, and in-depth, unbiased analysis. It's acceptable to stop and start again.

C). During turnarounds, businesses are vulnerable, so it's critical to spot and stop any negative trends before they become a problem. Leadership teams for early intervention must be flexible and open about processes or developments that need improvement.

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Turnaround: Definition in Business and Finance, Examples

business turnaround plan

What Is a Turnaround?

When a company that has experienced a period of poor performance moves into a period of a financial recovery, it's called a turnaround. A turnaround may also refer to the recovery of a nation or region's economy after a period of recession or stagnation . Similarly, it can refer to the recovery of an individual whose personal financial situation improves after some time.

Key Takeaways

  • A turnaround is the financial recovery of a poorly performing company, economy, or individual.
  • Turnarounds are important as they mark a period of improvement while bringing stability to an entity's future.
  • To create a turnaround, an entity must acknowledge problems, consider changes, and develop and implement a problem-solving strategy.

How to Affect a Turnaround

Turnarounds are important because they mark an upward shift or improvement for an entity after it experiences a significant period of negativity. The turnaround is akin to a restructuring process where the entity converts the period of loss into one of profitability and success while stabilizing its future. In investing, the term can mean the amount of elapsed time between the placing and fulfilling of an order.

Turnarounds may happen on many levels from the individual to a country's economy or even be a global event. The term indicates a phase when an entity begins to experience steady and positive financial or performance recovery after a time of decline.

In most cases, the first step in moving into a turnaround phase is to acknowledge the problems creating a downturn. In the case of a business, they may examine changes in management or problem identification and solving strategies. In dire situations, the best action may be to liquidate the company.

Special Considerations

There are specific features that will usually identify an entity in need of a turnaround. For a business, these may include declines in the price of its stock, the need to layoff employees, and revenues that do not cover requirements to pay creditors .

Changes in a firm's competitive advantage and outdated products or service may also be indicative of a business that needs to investigate turnaround strategies. Also, bad management of resources such as labor and capital may put pressure on the company. 

A stock speculator may profit from a turnaround if they accurately anticipate the improvement of a poorly performing company.

Catalysts for a Turnaround

Seldom do turnarounds happen in isolation but instead are the result of internal and external forces. Internally, more attention may be paid to the problems in processes, spending, management, and other factors that created a situation of decline.

Externally, the business may find new regulations that have provided them with a lower cost of production materials that can lead to higher profits. A turnaround management team will review the primary causes of the company’s failure and devise a strategic plan that may include restructuring or repositioning the business.

Example of a Turnaround

The U.S. economy experienced a recession in 2009 after the subprime mortgage crisis led to the collapse of the U.S. housing bubble. The crisis led to the collapse of some of the country's—and the world's—biggest banks. The economy began experiencing a turnaround about a year later after the federal government responded with a series of bailouts and a stimulus package.

Declining sales leading up to the financial crisis followed by a tightened lending environment for auto sales were two factors that significantly slowed revenue and earnings for U.S. automakers. In the late 2000s, the auto industry suffered troubled times.

In 2009, General Motors (GM) declared bankruptcy as a result of the crisis, and its stock was delisted from trading.   Bailout funds and its bankruptcy helped the company restore its manufacturing production and sales. In 2010, after a complete reorganization, GM’s stock began trading again with increased production and sales.  

General Motors. " GM Agreement with U.S. Treasury and Canadian Governments Providing Fast Track to Competitive Future for 'New GM' ." Accessed Sept. 3, 2020.

General Motors. " GM to Launch Largest U.S. Initial Public Offering of 2010 at the NYSE ." Accessed Sept. 3, 2020.

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December 1, 4, 6, 8, 11,13, 2023 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM (GMT+08) on all dates

PROGRAM FORMAT Delivered online via live virtual interactive sessions in Zoom

PROGRAM FEE PHP 30,990.00 or USD 564.00* *The prevailing exchange rate at the date of payment may apply. Let us know if you are interested to avail of early bird/group discount or discuss payment terms.

Program Overview

Even the most successful businesses have failed at some point in time in their corporate history.   A Business Turnaround Strategy is essential as a revival measure for overcoming the problem of severe financial distress for any organization. It involves various approaches to convert a loss-making business into a profitable entity. A systematic investigation of the root causes of business failures and long-term programs is essential to revitalize the organization. Excellence in planning and execution also plays a vital role in turnaround management. The turnaround strategy’s success depends on the top-level management’s commitment and robust strategic planning.

Successful corporate turnaround success stories include popular companies such as Apple, FedEx, AirBnB, General Motors, Starbucks, and Netflix. They have implemented a business and financial turnaround plan to overcome those business challenges.

A Business Turnaround Strategy refers to the strategic processes needed to restore a current struggling business under financial distress to its former financial health and viability. A business turnaround strategy involves a reversal process to prevent a financially struggling or poorly performing business from insolvency and liquidation by returning it back to profitability, healthy assets and debt levels.

The Business and Financial Turnaround Strategy Planning Program is designed for senior management teams, financial advisers, and management consultants tasked with developing the Business and Financial Turnaround Plan for the company experiencing financial distress. The program will help participants develop a business turnaround plan whose key elements include a strategic business plan, financing plan, restructuring of the company’s bank debt, and, if necessary, the capital raising program needed to turn around the business.

Program Objectives

  • Develop an integrated (inter-department) recovery program that includes: the strategic business plan, the operations plan, and the financing plan.
  • Understand the viewpoints of the various stakeholders in the recovery of your business.
  • Apply management tools to analyze the business environment, plan and organize limited resources to manage the business, and possibly raise fund from alternative sources.
  • Monitor, track and calibrate progress of the business recovery plan over the course of the restructuring program.
  • Participants will also learn to take an active role in the recovery of their business which requires a comprehensive program with a workable debt restructuring plan.

What You Will Learn

“Stop the Bleeding”

  • Quick assessment of the situation
  • Prioritize the immediate items the need to be addressed
  • Conduct crisis management with your stakeholders
  • Preserve your available resources
  • Bring on board outside experts you may need
  • Begin brainstorming strategies that will turnaround the situation

Making the Plan (Part 1)

  • The “Nothing to see here, this is just a hiccup!” plan vs. “We need to change!” plan
  • Review the current business model of the Company, identify areas that are contributing to the current “crisis”.
  • Rethink your business model.
  • Plan accordingly

Making the Plan (Part 2)

  • The Financial Model – a key analytical tool
  • Building Up Your Revenues
  • Accounting for all Expenses
  • What is the resulting Cash Generation

Making the Plan (Part 3)

  • Key considerations when formulating the financing plan
  • Stress testing your financial plan

Presenting the Plan (Managing the Pain)

  • Remember your stakeholders. What are their pain points?
  • Negotiating the Plan.
  • Monitor progress of the Plan.
  • Use the tools to create your own strategic turnaround plan and present said plan.

Key Benefits

Participants should be able to build the foundations for a turnaround plan and avoid a second debt restructuring down the line.

Who Should Attend

This program will benefit CEOs, CFOs and other members of senior management. Senior finance managers will find the tools most useful as they are the likely heaviest users of the tools taught during the program.


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Turnaround Management Every Day

  • John O. Whitney

Turnarounds are superb management schools. Everything needs fixing. Nothing is sure except the need to recover. The learning experience is intense. Never again will the turnaround leader assume that customers always buy, vendors always ship, bankers always lend. But turnaround lessons aren’t limited to troubled companies. Turnaround opportunities exist everywhere—in retail stores, in product lines, […]

Turnarounds are superb management schools. Everything needs fixing. Nothing is sure except the need to recover. The learning experience is intense. Never again will the turnaround leader assume that customers always buy, vendors always ship, bankers always lend.

  • JW John O. Whitney is a professor of management and the executive director of the Deming Center for Quality Management at Columbia University’s School of Business in New York City. He has been the CEO of several turnaround companies and is the author of The Trust Factor (McGraw-Hill, 1993), reprinted in 1995 as The Economics of Trust .

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Estée Lauder CFO Defends Company’s Turnaround After Stock Plunge

Estee Lauder display in China

Estée Lauder Cos.’ chief financial officer, Tracey Travis, defended the beauty company’s plans to turn around its business on Wednesday and cited “unprecedented volatility” as executives cut the outlook for the fourth time in the last 12 months.

The company’s decision to slash its full-year forecast — again — caught Wall Street off guard as it became clear the company hasn’t been able to get a handle on plunging sales at its duty-free shops across Asia.

Shares plunged by as much as 21 percent on Wednesday, hitting their lowest point since August 2017. The stock had already fallen 48 percent this year through Tuesday, as investors and analysts grow impatient with management’s promises to get its beauty business back on track.

“I can understand that,” Travis said, when asked about those concerns in an interview with Bloomberg News. “This is highly unusual for us.”

Travis said sales in the Americas and elsewhere were starting to pick up and that “progressively improving consumption” is giving executives “encouragement that we will continue on this path to recovery, at least at the pace that we guided to today.”

Floundering Sales

The owner of the MAC and Tom Ford brands has been floundering as customers aren’t spending as much as they were pre-pandemic in the travel shops that sell its fragrances, makeup and skin care products across Asia. Consumers in mainland China have come back to the brands more slowly than expected and, now, added pain from the Israel-Hamas war stands to hit its Middle East business.

Estée Lauder on Wednesday was among the first consumer businesses in the US to quantify the impact of the immediate Israel-Hamas war on consumption, predicting a slight drop in revenue in the current quarter attributable to the conflict. While Europe, the Middle East and Africa account for 40 percent of the company’s overall revenue, Israel and the Middle East generate only a little over 2 percent, Travis said. The company’s stores in some malls in Israel are beginning to reopen this week, but the company expects softer sales across the region.

In the past 12 months, Estée Lauder has lowered its full-year outlook four times — in November 2022, February, May and then again on Wednesday. In August, the company issued new guidance for its current fiscal year that was well below analysts’ estimates, including a decline in net sales of between 10% to 12% for the three-month period through the end of September.

Freda Responds

In response to the weakness in the business, chief executive officer Fabrizio Freda on Wednesday said the company would accelerate and expand a previously announced recovery plan to rebuild its margins, including boosting its offering of luxury skin care and fragrances. “We expect calendar year 2023 to be the final and, frankly, painful post-Covid reset period for the company,” Freda said.

Still, some analysts remain skeptical.

“The big question, like last quarter, and the one before it, will be: ‘Is this the final cut?’” Bernstein analysts led by Callum Elliott wrote in a research note.

While Estée Lauder’s recovery plan provides some helpful details on how the company intends to bounce back from its current weakness, “there are still a lot of open questions,” Barclays analyst Lauren Lieberman said in an interview. “The questions on top-line growth are going to nag,” she added, including the magnitude of the recovery in duty-free sales in Asia.

Lieberman said she welcomed the company’s efforts to cut production in the short term and its plans to reset the amount of inventory it holds by using better forecasting tools and building out regional supply chains to deliver goods more quickly. “That’s a positive and a ‘finally.’”

Turnaround Plan

As Estée Lauder attempts to convince investors and analysts that it can return to its pre-pandemic growth trajectory, Travis said the company’s turnaround plan was focused on two avenues: launching new luxury products, and cutting items and reducing other costs that have bogged down the business. Meanwhile, the company will continue to raise prices to partially offset high inflation, she added.

Estée Lauder’s namesake brand and its La Mer brand are preparing “big launches” of luxury products in the second half of the current fiscal year, Travis said, which are typically more profitable than those geared to the mass market. The company is also preparing a new fragrance line with high-end fashion house Balmain for the middle of next year.

At the same time, the New York-based beauty company is planning to cut the variety of existing products, as a way to streamline its offering and as one way to reduce production.

Travis told analysts on an earnings call that the company’s production units are down about one-quarter compared with a year earlier. Those production cuts, she said in the interview, are aimed at aligning sluggish travel-retail demand in Asia with supply that’s still too high. “The pullback in production is really to allow us to draw down that inventory,” she said.

The company is also re-evaluating items that aren’t yet for sale. “We are aggressively looking at our three-year innovation pipeline and cutting some of that innovation before it comes to market,” Travis said.

Estée Lauder is also slowing the pace of existing hiring, she said, given the company’s recent performance. Travis said the company will have a “fuller plan” in February, detailing the changes for analysts and investors. The greatest financial impact from the measures will be seen in the company’s fiscal years 2025 and 2026, she added.

By Jeannette Neumann

Learn more:

What’s Behind Estée Lauder’s Continued Slide?

Travel retail’s slow rebound drove the beauty conglomerate to its fifth straight quarter of declines.

  • Estée Lauder

© 2023 The Business of Fashion. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions

The Business of Beauty’s Haul of Fame: Red Hot Chilli Lip Gloss Makes Shoppers Feel the Burn

The Business of Beauty’s Haul of Fame: Red Hot Chilli Lip Gloss Makes Shoppers Feel the Burn

Welcome to Haul of Fame, a roundup of the biggest beauty moments of the week, what hype is actually helping, and what trends are likely to fade faster than a DIY spray tan.

Baby, You Smell Good

Baby, You Smell Good

Dior’s $230 ‘eau de senteur’ for infants recently went viral, touching off a fierce debate online about whether babies need a signature fragrance. But the idea of marketing perfume to the youngest customers is nothing new.

Thousands of Black Women Claim Hair Relaxers Gave Them Cancer

Thousands of Black Women Claim Hair Relaxers Gave Them Cancer

Following a study by the US National Institutes of Health associating hair relaxer use with uterine cancer, over 7000 lawsuits have been filed against companies like L’Oreal and Revlon.

The Brands Driving the Post-Pandemic At-Home Nail Boom

The Brands Driving the Post-Pandemic At-Home Nail Boom

The shuttering of nail salons during the pandemic birthed a new sector of digitally-native brands selling at-home manicure kits. Three years later, category leaders are more than doubling sales as economic challenges permanently alter consumers’ nail care habits.

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Fresenius Medical Care continues to execute on turnaround plan and raises 2023 earnings outlook due to strong operational performance in first nine months and solid business outlook for the fourth quarter

Nov 01, 2023, 5:33 pm EDT

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Kepco implements turnaround plan with price increase, job cuts

Korea Electric Power Corporation's CEO Kim Dong-cheol speaks at a press briefing at the Sejong government complex on Wednesday. [YONHAP]

Korea Electric Power Corporation's CEO Kim Dong-cheol speaks at a press briefing at the Sejong government complex on Wednesday. [YONHAP]


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Vans and North Face owner gets slammed. But Jim Cramer likes new CEO's turnaround plan

In this article

Cramer’s Stop Trading: VF Corp.

CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday that the company behind Vans, The North Face and Timberland has a promising blueprint to turn around its fortunes.

Shares of troubled VF Corp (VFC) sank 9.5%, the morning after management withdrew its fiscal year revenue and profit forecasts. The stock resumed a sell-off that began with Friday's more than 5% decline.

If you like this story, sign up for Jim Cramer's Top 10 Morning Thoughts on the Market email newsletter for free .

While acknowledging the near-term challenges due to a more cost-conscious consumer, Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street" that new CEO Bracken Darrell's plan to overhaul the company should lift the stock down the road.

Cramer cited Darrell's long track record in leadership roles at Procter & Gamble (PG) and Logitech (LOGI) as a reason to give him the benefit of the doubt. The executive previously led P&G's recovery plans for the consumer product giant's Old Spice brand.

Cramer's Charitable Trust does not hold VF, but owns shares of another off-price retailer TJX Companies (TJX) whose T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores carry name brands for less. P&G is also a Trust name.

Here's a full list of the stocks in Jim's Charitable Trust , the portfolio used by the CNBC Investing Club.


The Motley Fool

The Motley Fool

Why Virgin Galactic Stock Jumped 33% Today

Posted: November 9, 2023 | Last updated: November 9, 2023

Shares of space tourism company Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE) got a massive boost on Thursday after management announced earnings and some cost cuts to the business. Investors reacted by pushing shares as much as 33.3% higher, and the gains have held at 26.9% as of 11:00 a.m. ET.

Virgin Galactic's turnaround plan

Virgin Galactic isn't generating much revenue from its single spacecraft, so investor focus has been on the company's cash runway and development of the Delta Class spacecraft that will be able to fly multiple times per week and carry six passengers, up from four today. And the announcement gave some very positive news on both fronts.

Virgin Galactic ended the quarter with $1.1 billion in cash and had a negative free cash flow of just $105 million, as management controlled costs well. It also announced the end of flights with the current spacecraft in mid-2024 and cuts that would eliminate a lot of the spending for those operations. The goal is to put 100% of the company's focus on the Delta spacecraft.

Management also discussed when Delta spacecraft would be flying and what returns would look like. It said Delta testing will start in 2025 and commercial flights in 2026. It also thinks two Delta spacecraft will be enough to get to free-cash-flow positive: "Our $1.1 billion balance of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, is expected to be sufficient to achieve positive free cash flow."

Does a rocket stock emerge?

Some questions about Virgin Galactic's future were answered in the third-quarter earnings report and the conference call. Cost-cutting measures are in full force in order to focus on getting Delta launched and the company to positive free cash flow, which likely means no more dilutive stock or debt offerings for the time being.

That was enough to send the stock higher, but it will be years before we know if this is a company that can really execute a turnaround.

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Travis Hoium has positions in Virgin Galactic. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

Why Virgin Galactic Stock Jumped 33% Today

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