“In the case of do or die, always do.” At least, that’s the advice you’ll get from TSheets CEO Matt Rissell.
In other words, if you suddenly find yourself on the fast track for failure, do whatever you can to turn things around — no matter what that do might be. In our case, TSheets was rumbling down the tarmac like it always had been, but we were quickly running out of runway. “The end was near,” said Matt, “I could sense it … But I also knew I could prevent it.”
By doing something drastic: leaving the company.
“As much as it pained me then — and still does, just thinking about it, to this day,” he said, “taking myself off the payroll was the only way I could think to keep my company alive.” Read the full story on Forbes >
One year later, he was back, and he was determined to do whatever it took to get TSheets in the air. This time, do meant “restructure the company.”
Change is never easy, and this change was no exception. While the restructure was ultimately very successful, we lost a few customers, and yes, even a few employees, along the way. But it was worth it. “For the first time,” said Matt, “our company had a steady heartbeat.” Read the full story on Forbes >
If you’re reading this and wondering, “Is my company in need of a restructure?” We’ve got a few questions that just might give you the answer.
Are you still making a profit?
In our case, TSheets’ profit margins grew pretty steadily for the first few years … then came to a screeching halt. Suddenly, we were growing as a company faster than we were growing in revenue — we blew right past “breaking even” and landed somewhere in the “tech debt” category.
The solution, as you might have guessed, was a restructuring. When Matt returned to TSheets less than one year after his departure, he made the difficult decision to up the pricing plan. “It was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make,” he said. But it worked. While we lost about 13 percent of our customers after the increase (losses we seriously mourned), the restructure ensured we had more than enough runway to finally take off. Read the full story on Forbes >
Are you experiencing high turnover?
If your clients are dropping like flies, it’s a good sign you’re in need of a big change. When your clients leave en mass, it’s usually an indication that your product or service is no longer satisfying their needs — and that you need to look into restructuring your company. The best solution here is to listen to your customers. Ask them what they want, what they need, and why they would ever consider leaving. Then, do what it takes to make them stay.
But it’s not just your customers you need to worry about. If your employees seem to be leaving just as quickly as you can bring them in, it’s a good sign that your company culture is in need of a restructure. You could have morale issues on your hands, you could have an imbalance (more on this in a bit), or you could be competing with another company that offers better compensation. Whatever the reason, it’s important to listen to your employees, gather feedback, and do whatever it takes to turn their frowns upside down. Investing in employee happiness is one of the most important investments you can make for your business.
Are your old, reliable systems still working?
The systems and processes you had in place when you first started your business won’t work forever. As your company grows and changes, your systems should evolve too. How can you tell if it’s time for an update? There’s a few ways: Check for inefficiencies, imbalances, and bottlenecks (these are telltale signs of broken processes). Evaluate each system and ask yourself “Why do we do this?” If the only answer is “Because we always have,” it’s a good sign that system or process is probably broken, unnecessary, or outdated.
Is there an imbalance within your company?
Are some of your team members working themselves to the bones … while others are feeling underutilized? Are you overstaffed in one area but understaffed in another? This is a sign of imbalance within your company — and an even bigger sign that you’re in need of a restructure. Evaluate your company on a regular basis to maintain balance and avoid having to undergo a total overhaul.
Are you noticing more mistakes than usual?
To err is human, but to err so frequently that it’s starting to take a toll on your company? That’s a sign you need to restructure. If you notice that important tasks are constantly slipping through the cracks, employees are dropping the ball more often than not, or inefficiencies are popping up left and right, it’s time to take a step back and consider where you went wrong. Chances are, one of these questions can help you pinpoint the problem — now it’s time to nip that problem in the bud.
Don’t forget to check out Matt Rissell’s restructuring story on Forbes! In our case, the restructure spelled success for TSheets, and, when done correctly, it can spell success for you too.