This is a very good book if you ever find yourself in the scary and stressful situation of owning or managing a business in financial distress or you fear that the business is heading that way.
In the preface Mark Blayney sets two main purposes for the book:
1. To act as a fire extinguisher for a business already in a crisis 2. To act as a smoke detector to help identify the early warning signs while there is time to correct the problems.
Management makes the big difference when dealing with a business in financial difficulties. The author identifies four types of managers who won't succeed: 1 - The goldfish who doesn't realise that there is a problem until it is too late 2 - The ostrich who knows there is a problem but refuses to accept that it is serious 3 - The rabbit caught in the headlights who is too scared to take any action in case it makes the situation worse 4 - The headless chicken who rushes around frantically making lots of noise but achieving very little.
In contrast you want to be the sheepdog - in control and focused on taking purposeful actions towards recovery.
He distinguishes between three different types of business failure: 1 - The start up that never reaches a viable mass. 2 - The sudden collapse when the business is rocked by an unexpected problem. 3 - The slow, gradual decline of a normal failure.
It is this last cause of business failure which the book focuses on.
This is an excellent book for any business owner with a business in trouble. It's also a good read for any business owner or manager who wants to take a more strategic view of their business rather than chasing after the latest quick fix/magic bullet. It is easy to read and this is information which it never hurts to know more about since the very management techniques used to turnaround your business can be used to stop it getting into financial distress in the first place.
It is short and succinct which can be a good thing but you may be left wanting to know more. There are other books but if your business is heading for insolvency, you need to take professional advice sooner rather than later. There are serious consequences for directors if they continue trading past the point of no return and the veil of limited liability can be lifted.
About my book reviews - I aim to be a tough reviewer because the main cost of a book is not the money to buy it but the time needed to read it and absorb the key messages. 5 stars means that I think that overall it has some vital messages in it.
Paul Simister, a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck.