Small Business Turnaround Book Bonus Resources

  • Small Business Turnaround Plan Book

    Amazon Buy Now Button to Purchase Small Business Turnaround Book

  • The Turnaround Podcast

    Hosted by Byron Walker, the Turnaround Podcast gives real life turnaround experiences, interviews and packed full of different turnaround strategies.

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  • Fractional Accounting, CFO Firms

    If managed well, an Accounting firm can be instrumental in a successful turnaround. Get your books cleaned up and streamlined quickly, while also getting expert advice from CFO level experts.

  • Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Being an entrepreneur is a balancing act of skills and sanity. EO can give you that level headed stability you need. This nonprofit, membership lead, organization supports business owners with events, forums, education and resources. And its super cool to hang out with like-minded entrepreneur that “get you”. There are qualifications and its not cheap, but it is worth it.

  • Operating System

    Every business that has made it over the $1m in annual revenue level can benefit greatly by using an operating system to help run the business.

    What is a business operating system?

    It’s running your business with a set of proven processes that give it a weekly and monthly cadence. Its having productive meetings (fewer meetings, not more) and establishing the KPI data points you can measure your company’s health and to track goals. It is how you become a better leader and build a better company that is growth oriented.

    The first step is to read one of the books below. If it makes sense then you can self-implement the concepts, or hire an implementor to help you.

    * Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business – Gino Wickman (book) – Implementing EOS: EOSWorldwide.com – This is the operating system Byron uses to run Survival Frog.

    Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make it…and Why the Rest Don’t – Rockefeller Habits 2.0, Verne Harnish (book) – Another type of operating system, highly recommended.

    The E-Myth Revisited – Michael Gerber (book) – This is a great introduction to the concept of operating systems, told in a story format so it is easier to read. E-Myth also has implementors and coaches.

  • Recommended Books

    • WHO: The A Method for Hiring – Geoff Smart and Randy Street
    • Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!: 4 Keys to Unlock Your Business Potential – Greg Crabtree
    • Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making – Mike Michalowicz
    • Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business – Gino Wickman
    • Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make it…and Why the Rest Don’t – Verne Harnish
    • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t – Jim Collins
    • The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results – Gary Keller
    • High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way – Brendon Burchard
    • Rock the Recession: How Successful Leaders Prepare for, Thrive During, and Create Wealth After Downturns – Paul Belair
    • No Man’s Land: Where Growing Companies Fail – Doug Tatum

    Turnaround Books:

    • Rock the Recession
    • No Man’s Land
    • other turnaround books
  • Financial Reports

    Key Reports (Coming Soon)

    • CF forecast template
    • P&L historic
    • Simple P&L (1 page summary)
    • P&L forecasting
    • Expense color coded spreadsheet
    • P&L by revenue sources
    • Balance sheet
    • Labor Efficiency Ratio (LER) sheet

Below are the book’s promises


It Takes A Village

To navigate a successful turnaround you’ll need to seek the help from others. Fellow entrepreneurs can provide a wealth of knowledge, resources and experience shares to help guide you. When meeting with other entrepreneurs, you should approach the meeting with a plan of action. The more you are prepared before the meeting, the more you will get from it.

Best Practices:

  • Have a clear and concise summary of your business situation. Your ability to summarize your situation in a few minutes will show how well you know the issues at hand. If you need more than 5 minutes to explain the troubles your business is in, then you don’t yet have a clear picture of what’s going on.
  • Going into any meeting with a list of goals and expectations will always produce better results in the end. Take notes on what you hope to take away from the meeting, what resources or introductions would help you the most? What experience shares would help you the most? What topics would you like to hear honest feedback on?
  • What specific skills or experiences does your friend have that could shed some light on your business situation? They want to help you but may not know the best way they can contribute to your turnaround. You should come to the meeting with a list of needs, potential introductions or resources.
  • How can you provide value back to your fellow entrepreneur? The conversation will most likely be 90% on you, but how can you add a little value back? Maybe an introduction, or resource that could help their business. If nothing else, you could follow up later to thank them. And be sure to give them an update after you have successfully turnaround around your business to give them good news.
  • Look for the “little things” that could help your business. If you are only looking for the one big idea, you may be disappointed. However if you are looking for the little ideas, you may start to find the solutions to your challenges. Connect the dots and look for common themes from the various people you meet with.
  • How many meetings with other business owners or experts do you plan to have each week? Strive for at least 1 face to face meeting per week with someone that provide some feedback on your business turnaround. The more often you can step away from the daily chaos of your business turnaround and reflect with another business owner, the faster you’ll start seeing the big picture.

Meditation Tips

Meditation is a great way to disconnect from your business (or personal) problems, even if it is just for 10 minutes. With meditation, you’ll find yourself less reactive to daily problems and you may start to see the “big picture” by connecting the dots. Sometimes you need to step away from the problem to really see the best solutions.

Best Practices:

  • Phone apps: With a quick search in the app store you’ll find dozens of popular meditation apps for your phone. Headspace, Calm, and Breethe are just a few. Find the one that you like best, most are free to use. Meditation apps are a great way to get started with “guided meditations”.
  • Book: Stress Less Accomplish More, by Emily Fletcher isn’t just another book on meditation, this one is specifically for fast paced business owners.
  • Muse Headband: I just recently found and started using the Muse Headband ( It is not cheap but I found it to be a good way to learn how to calm your mind (and your body, heart, etc). I’d only recommend this once you have already seen benefits of meditation and want to take it to the next level.

Questions Lead To Answers

Often when faced with a challenge people look for answers, when in reality the best thing you can do is start to ask the right questions. Questions open your mind to new possibilities and a new way of thinking. Below are a few questions to consider, but don’t stop here.

Questions to ask:

  • What is the core problem in the business right now?
  • How could the core problem actually work in your favor at some point in the future?
  • What 3 steps can I take today to start fixing the challenges at hand?
  • How did we get into this situation (what mistakes or oversights were made)?
  • How can we avoid these same mistakes in the future?
  • Describe the ideal person to talk with about your turnaround? (now go find them)
  • How could this downturn become a good thing in a few years?
  • What can I learn from this situation?
  • What is the story I am telling myself about this downturn?
  • What questions are you not asking? (but that you should, and would open up new doors)
  • What if we…?

Restructure Accounting Dept And Save $$$

It is common for companies that have been in business for over 5 years to have inefficient and oftentimes inaccurate accounting departments. If your small business (under $20m annual) is spending more than $5,000 a month on Accounting/Finance Department functions then you have a big opportunity to save money. When you restructure your Accounting Department, you not only save money but you benefit from the improved accuracy, faster close times and better reporting. Byron’s company, Survival Frog, once had an oversized, bloated accounting department, spending over $20k a month on labor. However, it wasn’t obvious the department was too big or inefficient. Since the end of month accounting was already coming in later and inaccurate, the thought of reducing the size of the department was hard to grasp. With recent changes in accounting software and outsourced services, there is now a way to run your Accounting Department in under 20 hours a week (half a full time person). With the added benefit of on time monthly closings and better reporting. The restructuring process isn’t easy and will require the business owner to become more involved in the financial side of the business. The results, however, is a highly efficient and more accurate Accounting Department.

The process:

  • Start over. This is harsh, but in reality the person currently managing your Accounting Department won’t be the one who can fix things. Getting new and fresh eyes on the situation is critical. Often times the current manager gets hung up on past decisions and defending inaccuracies, when what you really need is to start over and find a better way forward.
  • Every situation is different, but if your company is over $5m in annual sales the best solution is to bring in a factional accounting firm to clean things up. Turn everything over to them and trust the process – while you watch what they are doing like a hawk. You are the new Accounting Manager and you manage the fractional accounting firm.  Once the fractional accounting firm gets everything running smoothly (give them at least 6 months), then you can consider hiring a book keeper in house.
  • There may be additional savings found by replacing the fractional accounting firm with a part time in-house book keeper. Once the fractional firm has cleaned up the books and put automations in place, the Accounting Department will be easier to run with a mid-level book keeper.


  • The biggest cost savings in restructuring the Accounting Department comes from inefficient labor costs. Byron’s company had 3 full time employees but still struggled with closing the monthly books on time (or accurately). Once automation was put into place there was almost no manual accounting work being done. By using an accounting software such as Quickbooks Online with connections to your sales and inventory platforms most automations are easy to set up. For those more challenging connections, consider setting up workflows with a system like Zapier.
  • Once all the data is automatically pulling into your accounting software, now you need to make sure its going into the right categories. This is where a fractional Controller or CFO is worth their weight in gold. Setting up your books so they are accurate and easy to read will set you up for success in the future.
  • When referring to inaccurate books, its usually less about missing an invoice and more about wrong classifications or possibly doubling up on expenses. All financial books are wrong to some degree, so your job is to fix the biggest issues and get to accurate reporting. If your reports are wrong it makes it much harder to find the solutions.

Pro Tip:

  • Don’t wait for your books to be perfect before you start to forecast your turnaround. Your financial books may never “perfect” so jump in now and work with what you have. Make your fixes and work towards more accurate books but acknowledge that your books may never be 100% accurate. Don’t wait to start creating your forecasted P&L turnaround scenarios. One of my favorite sayings:  Even with bad data, as long as its “consistently wrong”, it may be data that you can use.”

Reporting is the way forward

  • Weekly and monthly reporting will show you what is working and what needs to be fixed. Cash is king, so start with having a weekly Cashflow forecast sheet, and then watch it closely.
  • Historic Profit & Loss statements will help you see previous cause and effect – what changed between now and when you were profitable a few years ago?
  • Forecasted Profit & Loss statements is where your turnaround starts to take shape. This is where the business owner or CEO must be intimately involved with the process.
  • Balance sheet: it often takes a big hit during a downturn, but track the process and have goals of future improvements.

Additional Reporting:

  • Simple P&L: simplify your P&L to just 10 line items, then stack each month next to each other on a spreadsheet. Use percentages for each category to track the changes over time. This one page view can be very enlightening and help you see trends.
  • LER: the Labor Efficiency Ratio can help show the health of your labor efficiency. Compare your current ratios to a few years ago when you were most profitable. What changed? Having an upper and lower ratio limit will help you objectively decide when to let employees go, or when to bring on new team members.

Get help! You need fresh eyes from someone who isn’t attached to all the history within your company. You may think your accounting manager has too much knowledge in their head and a new person won’t be able to figure everything out. That’s simply not true and just a story in your head. Hire some financial help (fractional firm or a new Accounting Manager) and start cleaning up the mess. I promise you, there is a mess in there. The fractional accounting firm Byron Walker uses is