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Best Business Turnaround Books

Your business is struggling, profits down, cash flow difficult. The business needs a turnaround, the best business turnaround books can help but don’t take too long thinking.

If your business is disappointing you and growth has stalled but you’re not at the emergency measures stage, my Getting Unstuck or Profit Improvement categories are more appropriate for you.

Stop Bleeding Cash

In a turnaround situation, the priority is to stop the bleeding away of money in profit and especially cash.

The business has a limited time to live unless something is done. It’s limited by the amount of spare cash available. Borrowers won’t be prepared to lend until they believe the business is stable or can be stabilised quickly.

You may need professional advice. If things are really bad, you may have gone past the point of no return and you will need to talk to an insolvency practitioner.

Otherwise, there are expert turnaround professionals who may be able to help but this will probably be too costly for the smaller businesses. It is worth asking and look for people who specialise in your industry. If you are worried about making next month’s payroll, you don’t have time for someone to learn your industry.

Just be aware that a professional turnaround manager will want full control or close to it since his reputation is on the line.

In the smaller businesses who can’t afford much professional support, the business owner needs to take responsibility and act by making difficult decisions. You won’t be alone if you can find someone to give you an independent perspective.

The Best Business Turnaround Books

You will only see the books I’ve rated at Four Stars (meaning good and well worth reading) and Five Stars (excellent and very highly recommended). Reviews of lower rated books appear on Amazon.co.uk but I haven’t brought the reviews across to my own website.

If you read my reviews, you’ll see I try to explain why I like them but also to identify any weaknesses. My job as a reviewer is to help you to find the most appropriate books rather than to help sell more books.

On that note, if you do decide to buy, I’d appreciate it if you could click through to Amazon on my links as (hopefully) I’ll earn a small referral commission.

Some of these books can be very expensive so, if you’re happy with a hard back or paperback book, take a look at the second hand options on Amazon. Personally I only buy if the condition is described as “As New” or “Very Good” unless I’m really keen and forced to drop down to “Good”.

My Five Star Business Turnaround Books

I want to bring these books in particular to your attention although these and the four star books are listed further down the page.

Hope Won’t Pay the Wages: How to deal with the personal impact of a struggling business by Andrew R Miller

This is the first book I’ve seen that looks at what it’s like for the business owner to be in the middle of a crisis for a business as distinct from what to do IN the business.

Turning a Business Around: How to Spot the Warning Signs and Ensure a Business Stays Healthy by Mark Blayney

A book that explains how businesses get into the difficult situation and what to do to get out of it. This is very much written to business owners rather than turnaround professionals.

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt & Jeff Cox

A book that tells the fictional story of a troubled manufacturing plant in the USA given weeks to turn it self around or face closure. It was saved by introducing ideas based on the Theory of Constraints.

My Four Star Business Turnaround Books

Face It & Fix It: How to Avoid Disaster and Turn Around Your Small Business by Mac Attram

The Bankruptcy Alternative: Close Your Business Your Way, Without Bankruptcy. Save Time, Save Money, Save Your Sanity! by Bruce Bowler

The Business Doctor: How to Turn Your Headache Business Into a Debt-Free Money Machine by Arnold Goldstein

PACE: A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Complete Cash Flow Clarity by Jesse Mecham

Business Turnaround: How to do it: A guide for advisers and managers by Henry Moore – I felt this book was written more for turnaround advisors rather than business owners who need to turnaround the business. Still useful.

Turnaround Guidelines for Businesses in Decline or Distress by Hendrik S. Palm

The Turnaround Experience: Saving Troubled Companies by Thomas F Schopflocher

Turn Around Your Business by 5 PM by Maurice Stein

Is Your Business Worth Saving?: A Step-by-Step Guide to Rescuing Your Business and Your Sanity by Stacy Tuschl

Other Categories of Business Books That May Interest You

Business PlanningBusiness StrategyDifferentiation StrategyFinanceGetting UnstuckInner GameKPI & Performance MeasurementLeading Your TeamMarketingPricingProfit ImprovementProject ManagementRecessionRetail BusinessTheory Of Constraints

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free Business SOS consultation with me to help you get unstuck.

Turnaround by Arnold Goldstein

The full title of this book by Arnold Goldstein is

Turnaround: How To Turn Your Business Into A Debt-Free Money Machine

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a 4 Stars rating. This means it is Good To Very Good.

Here is my book review.

An excellent American turnaround book

First a warning about the book, it is written by an American lawyer so references to legal issues apply to the USA and not the UK.

Just be aware of anything in here that touches on legislation. Be ready to ask your lawyers whether there is any equivalent in UK law, and if there are other UK specific requirements. If the survival of your business is under threat, you need to understand the legal situation. There are ideas in here that will sound very helpful but you must make sure they are legal or you could get yourself into serious trouble.

After that legal health warning, this is a terrific book that is absolutely stacked from top to bottom with ideas and issues for you to consider in turning around your business.

Of course it focuses on what you can do in these difficult situations but first it asks you to consider what you should do.

It’s very easy to assume that any business owner will want to save the business but it might not be true.

Right from the start the book forces you to answer whether
1) You enjoy running the business. Is it something you’re passionate about?
2) Does the business suit your skills?

If either of those is a No, the chances of turnaround are low and prospects going forward aren’t good.

I’m wary of recommending too many books on turnaround because there is so much thinking and planning you need to do and you need to get into action in what can be a very limited time before the money runs out. I really like the Mark Blayney book, Turning Around Your Business which is British and is shorter than this one. You should probably read that first.

I see this very much as a book of ideas. You might not be able to do what it says, the way it says to do it because of differences in the legal system but there might be other ways to achieve the same objective. I’m not an insolvency expert and whenever a business owner contacts me who is in serious trouble, I always advise talking to someone who is.

Turnaround is an area of keen interest but my target clients haven’t dipped deeply into the red but they need some aspects of turnaround thinking. The bigger companies where I’ve been involved in debt workouts have always had professional advisors in place. The ideas in the book show the value of talking to experienced professionals because their ideas can make a huge difference to the future of your business.

If I was writing this review for an American audience, and assuming what it says is legally correct, I’d give it a five star rating. As I’m writing mainly for a British audience on Amazon and my blog, I’ve deducted one star because of the legal uncertainties. There is too much that either does not apply or may not apply.

You can buy the book from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister (Please click). I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (Please click).

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Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck or struggling, to get unstuck. You can then start attracting, converting and keeping more customers. If your business is based in the UK and you feel stuck, get a Business SOS consultation (please click) with me to get you unstuck.

Don't forget to download and read my FREE Report - The SIX Steps PROFIT Formula: The Simple Rules That Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know available to download at Six Steps Report (Please click).
in Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes

Crunch Point by Brian Tracy

The full title of this book by Brain Tracy is

Crunch Point: The Secret to Succeeding When It Matters Most

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a 5 Stars rating. This means it is Excellent.

Here is my book review.

An excellent book to help business owners and managers through difficult times

I’m a fan of the author. He’s a great synthesiser of ideas and advice across a wide range of subjects. He and his team clearly research very carefully before they put together his books and audio recordings. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes

The full title of this book by Sandy Steinman is

The Small Business Turnaround Guide: Take Your Business from Troubled to Triumphant

In my review of posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it Five Stars. This means it is Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my review.

A very good book for helping under performing businesses

I feel this book gets off to a bad start by trying to be funny about a bad situation. It doesn’t create the right impression. It immediately corrects itself by saying there is nothing funny about a failing business.

Many turnaround books are written about big businesses but this one is aimed at owner managed businesses. It starts by giving you a pep talk. It’s going to be tough to turnaround your business but you can do it. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes

Corporate Turnaround by Michael Teng

The full title of this book by Michael Teng is

Corporate Turnaround: Nursing a sick company back to health

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 4 Stars. This means it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my review.

A proper book about business turnarounds

This is a proper book about business turnarounds.

It compares business health to personal health and shows how the turnaround process is similar to the medical process of diagnosis, prescription of a treatment plan and cure. This is a useful analogy but the author pushes it too far and it becomes tiresome. The three stages used in the book are surgery, resuscitation and nursing. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

PACE …Complete Cash Flow Clarity by Jesse Mecham

The full title of this book by Jesse Mecham is

PACE: A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Complete Cash Flow Clarity

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Four Stars. This means it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Interesting way to think through cash flow management.

A young CPA (accountant) with a software business selling budgeting software has developed a way of managing his cash flow.

As he tells his story about his uncertainties regarding cash flow, he seems remarkably absent minded ideas like a short term cash flow forecast let alone a longer term one. Yes you have to make assumptions and they can be wrong but it’s the way people normally work in bigger organisations as well as startups requiring funding. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

Is Your Business Worth Saving? by Stacy Tuschl

The full title of this book by Stacy Tuschl is

Is Your Business Worth Saving?: A Step-by-Step Guide to Rescuing Your Business and Your Sanity

In my review posted to Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Four Stars. This means it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

A female view on managing a business

The book starts with a charming story of how the author accidentally found herself in business.

After reading a few badly written books recently, it’s a pleasure to find one that is well organised and flows, making it easy to read. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

The Business Doctor by Arnold Goldstein

The full title of this book by Arnold S Goldstein is

The Business Doctor: How to Turn Your Headache Business Into a Debt-Free Money Machine

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Four Stars. This means it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Old and American but plenty of practical advice

This book starts with some solutions to serious business problems which I think are illegal in the UK because directors of a struggling company have a duty to protect the interests of creditors and other stakeholders.

This is because it’s American and was published in the early 1990s.

If you think that means there is no reason to read the book, that would be a mistake. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

The Bankruptcy Alternative by Bruce Bowler

The full title of this book by Bruce Bowler is

The Bankruptcy Alternative: Close Your Business Your Way, Without Bankruptcy. Save Time, Save Money, Save Your Sanity!

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the FOUR stars level which means I consider to be good to very good.

Here is what I posted.

Thoughtful ideas for any business owner heading into difficulty

No one starts a business expecting to have it shut down in a few years yet statistics indicate that this happens far too often.

There are two types of closure: [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes

The Turnaround Experience by Thomas F Schopflocher

The full title of this book by Thomas Schopflocher is

The Turnaround Experience: Saving Troubled Companies“.

In my review at Amazon.co.,uk, I rated the book at the Four Stars level. This means I consider it to be in the good to very good range.

Here is my review.

A practical book on turnarounds

I’ve been critical of quite a few turnaround books I’ve read recently but this is one of the better ones.

I liked the analogy that the business is in a race. Can the turnaround manager create a profitable business before the bank decides to pull the plug? This gives a sense of the urgency involved and shows that, once the business has big debts, it’s no longer in control but can influence it.

[continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

Hope Won’t Pay the Wages by Andrew R Miller – 5 Stars

The full title of this book by Andrew Miller is

Hope Won’t Pay the Wages: How to deal with the personal impact of a struggling business“.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I gave it the full FIVE Stars, meaning I consider the book to be excellent.

Here it is.

A great help for struggling business owners

There are plenty of books about how a business in trouble can be turned around but this is the first book I’ve seen that focuses on the business owner. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books, Business Problems And Mistakes