Like it or not, companies don’t always last. Sometimes they fail. But what should you do if you are the owner of a struggling company? What if you are an employee? Should you close shop? Should you jump ship?
“As a business strategist, when I see my companies dipping, I redo all my research. I look at my products, I look at the market and also look at how well my competitors are doing. If my competitors are failing as well, that’s when I know I need to do a company revamp,” explains business owner Jazmin Truesdale, CEO, Mino Enterprises, whose firm encompasses three businesses–Jazmin Fitness; AZA, a comics and games company; and Jazmin Angels and Consulting, a branding/marketing consultancy. She adds, “Whether it be a product change or company direction shift, I do whatever to get my customers coming back and purchasing my products. Sometimes a new technology could be the reason and partnering with those companies or creating new products around that new technology can be what saves you. In business, you have to be on your toes and willing to change with the market.”
Truesdale revamps her companies when there is a decrease and sticks it out until she lifts her companies up again. But often times business owners don’t want to see their companies fail even where there may be no way to turn the business around. They may have a difficult time deciding to close down. Employees, too, face a dilemma. Some employees leave companies at the first sign of problems while others use this downturn in their favor.
“If employed at a failing company and all signs indicate that the end is near, there are a few options that could allow for a manageable, if not profitable, transition. Depending on the company’s size, personal influence and circumstance, if you’re in a situation where you possess a unique skill set you may want to consider negotiating what is often referred to as a ‘completion bonus.’ This is a strategic move where you offer to stay on board and assist with the closing, often in exchange for financial considerations or the continuation of insurance benefits,” says Kenneth L. Johnson, Diversity Recruiter and President of East Coast Executives.
He adds, “When the news is out that a company is failing…people often abandon ship. This move may allow you to leverage that situation for professional and financial gain. As with any transition, it is extremely important that you immediately begin the process of rounding-up your network to support you in your pending career search. If you combine a robust network with the assistance of a few good recruitment professionals that are dedicated to your industry, you’ll find yourself on the right path to a new career.”
But not every employee can leverage the situation in their favor; it truly depends on your level within the company. “I believe that depends on your position in the company. If you are a worker bee on the front lines, then I would quit before the end comes. If you are management, sticking it out with the company can work to your benefit and also be a great boost on your resume for being loyal. It shows that you are dependable and a trooper during hard times,” explains Truesdale.