Becoming more profitable 

Assessing business performance: are you ready for 'take-off'?

The next time you’re sitting on the tarmac, about to jet off on that next business trip or well-deserved break, make the most of those rare few minutes without emails, phone calls or colleagues interrupting you. Take a step back from the day-to-day to review your business performance.

You might consider

  • What are your greatest challenges?

  • Are these ‘challenges’ opportunities? What other opportunities do you have? 

  • Do you have the right people in place to capitalise on these? 

  • Do you have the operational cash flow for the next month, three months, or six months it may take to address these challenges?

These leading questions will then enable you to consider if you have enough cash flow and resources to conquer your challenges. 


When to call in the ‘A-Team’

When any of the above questions raise more questions, then perhaps it’s time to consider contributions from business advisors. How can they best compliment your internal staff to assist with reviewing your business and making recommendations? 

The seven stages of reviewing your business

These progressive stages frame the potential flight of your business. To continue with the flight analogy, they begin with a pre-flight check or diagnostic review, then lay robust foundations for many more successful flights. Take a step back from the day-to-day to review your business performance.

The seven stages are

What’s the maintenance been like? A diagnostic review and business health check can assist.

If there is a storm on the horizon, or unusual turbulence ahead, does this require changes to the flight path or cancellation of the flight? This is known as the crisis stabilisation stage.

When considering the flight path, will your aircraft need to make a couple of domestic stop-offs prior to making the long overseas haul? Is your pilot appropriate for the early domestic stopovers, but less skilled on the long haul international legs. This stage reviews your leadership and its capabilities to match these stages of the business. 

Does the airline meet the needs of its passengers? Is the airline looking to lead domestic business traveller market? How will it compete with overseas carriers who have a differing cost basis? Is a partnership or alliance appropriate? A strategic focus will ensure your product or service is capable of fulfilling the needs of your clients and future clients.


Is the seating layout of the plane right? Do you have the right ratio of seats between first, business and economy classes? Does the first-class flight crew have the skills, capacity and culture to assist with potential challenges from economy class passengers? This stage looks at your organisational structure to ensure it can support the business.


Think about the last time both the front and rear doors were used to board and exit a flight. Think about the passenger and business benefits of doing so? What critical process improvements can make the business run more efficiently?

Was the airline ticket value for money, and did it, like your business, deliver value that can be realised with the next ticket purchase? Are you covering aircraft leasing and operational costs and making enough profit to keep flying? Do you need to consider a financial restructure?

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Campbell McKay

Principal, Turnaround Taskmaster

Campbell offers his clients a complete turnaround consulting service from planning and strategy, through to working with an existing management team to execute change.

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