Starting up a business from scratch is the vision for the majority of entrepreneurs. Having your own company, which you have seen expand from the ground up, produces a feeling that is hard to match. Yet equally rewarding is coming in and saving a struggling business--particularly one that once thrived but has now fallen on hard times.

Usually there is a reason--or even a few reasons--any company struggles, so saving it is never going to be simple. However, reviving a flagging company also has benefits over starting up something totally new. For one, there is already an existing customer base and brand awareness, however small it is. There is at least something to work with. Here is how you can turn it all around.

1. Arrive to the source of the issue.

The initial thing any new owner ought to do while taking over a business is see where it is going awry. It might be bad performance from staff in important positions, low morale inside the business, or a defective business model. What is important is that you get down to the root of the problem.

2. Tackle the problem head on.

Similar to the way a dental professional would take out a rotten tooth, once you have discovered the problem areas of your company, it is essential that you completely eradicate them. This may mean making a couple of difficult decisions and letting a few team members go, but in business there is no room for sentiment.

3. Build up alliances.

If you have come into a business and instantly made changes that have affected the team, it is likely you aren't going to be the most popular person in the office. But it is critical to be certain that everyone in the company is on the same page and working toward the same goals. Get the key staff members on one side and explain the importance of what you are attempting to do to save the company, then permit those details to filter down to everybody.

4. Become available.

A handful of your team members will eventually express concerns in regard to the direction the company is headed and your intentions. They might be afraid that their jobs are at risk or concerned that you are going to not pay a bonus this year. That is why it is crucial to be available and to hear all of the concerns the staff has and take their points to heart. This way, the entire workforce will spend less time panicking and more time being productive.

5. Be informed.

It is simple to become disconnected from clients and customers and feel as if you have no option but to guess what they want. However, to bury your head in the sand is an awful idea. The communication lines must remain open all the time. If you aren't certain what individuals want, just ask, either using a formal survey for more quantitative information or just an informal discussion for something a bit more qualitative.

6. Don't use the economy as an excuse.

No matter if we are in a recession or a time of plenty, the economy shouldn't force an organization out of business. It is vital that you pay close attention to how changes within the economy affect your business, yet the simple truth is that if you are selling something worth purchasing, people will continue to buy it.

7. Search for alternatives.

Product demand has crashed, so the obvious solution includes lowering your prices to revive sales, right? However, the obvious solution is not always the correct one. Reducing your prices is going to devalue the product, so a much wiser move includes adding value by offering something different or extra. There always is an alternative, and if this alternative can save the company and keep your workers in their jobs, it has to be worth the effort.

Published on: Jan 30, 2015
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