I think they are both met with their own sets of challenges.
A startup is about creation, sometimes something out of nothing, into a new industry, market, a new idea. It's fresh, a bit of a blank canvas upon which the founders can add their own spin. There may be education of clients and all that, but its a different form of education.
A turnaround has history, depending on how long they have been in business they have clients. There is a different kind of education that has to take place in a turn around situation and that is generally educating the clients as well as the team that is in place.
I find turnarounds fascinating myself. But you have to be careful not to jump onboard the Titanic and take over just because you think you are a better captain. The Iceberg still won.
Good day Bill
Both are challenging ventures to undertake but I believe turning around a failing/ struggling business is more challenging for several reasons key among them being:
1. Culture - for a new business, you will be forming a culture without having to struggle with existing hang ups from previous management. I have had exeprience with trying to turn one around and it is now more than an year but the turn is still too slow
2. Flexibility - for a struggling entity, you can't change too many things at one go and there are risks you can't take because they might be rejected and the company collapses all together. The same risks in a new enterprise will teach you invaluable lessons but you will still be able to stand on the platform of laying a foundation and sometimes, you learn how not to do something by doing it and failing then doing it differently.
3. Systems and Processes - In a new entity, you will be designing the systems, operating procedures, management guidelines etc. For a struggling outfit, you spend more time in historical issues and having to balance out the changes you are implementing
NB: Please let me know if this information is helpful to you
I have assisted both & basically it boils down to who you dealing with.
1. Start ups can be seeking advice & ready to take it in & act on it or be so unrealistically enthusiastic they miss the pointers you're giving them
2. Established businesses can be desperate to try anything to save their business & will take notes & advice & act on it straight away or be so entrenched in their ways its hard to change anything they do.
Marketing & advertising aren't based on trying something once. They are based on trying lots of things & concentrating on the most successful. Those receptive to this can improve their bottom line quickly, especially with sound advice.
I believe turning around a failing/struggling organisation is more challenging than setting up a start up for obvious reasons like poor market standing, flawed operational model and costing structure,
So the number of variables and biases that one has to deal with to transition and turn around a struggling business entity is relative more than growing a new startup.
Ofcours it's open to many interpretations.
It depends on your business and marketing plan. If you have a good and realistic plan, both can succeed , and if your plans are not realistic, both will face serious issues.
Both, they are pretty similar, sometimes re-branding a failing business can be more difficult, it depends on the business and why it is failing, but to be honest there is nothing harder than trying to create a successful startup.
I like to tell a joke to answer this question when I'm asked this in person/meetings.
"Don't laugh at the choices your wife makes, you are one of them!"
As a manager/leader inside a company, you could tell the joke like this...
"Don't laugh at the choices your company makes, you help make them!"
Failure of a business is ALWAYS due to the failures of the leadership. Even if the front-line worker did something catastrophic to your inventory - you were the one that empowered them with the task that allowed that to happen. If sales have dried up, it was the leadership that lacked the foresight to prevent that from happening.
To turn around a struggling/failing business you need great leadership.
To start a great company you need great leadership.
Starting from scratch doesn't yield the same financial potential that an existing entity would. But replacing/re-educating the leadership of a failing organization can often times be near impossible.
This is hard to answer. There are too many variables to make a call judgement, in additional, I think the most difficult is not any of the above. To maintain a successful business is the most difficult from my observation so far.
I agree with all of the 7 answers so far.
Instead of turning around the business or starting over (startup) it is well worth the time and money to consider REBRANDING.
This is tough to do on your own ...
You can use your internal team to discuss this option but I would highly recommend that you go outside to a strategic marketing firm.
As you know, both a startup and reversing a failing/struggling business have pros and cons.
Consider these points (listed randomly): Do you have the requisite experience and expertise for the type of business you want to pursue? Are you passionate about the type of business you want to pursue? Why is the business failing/struggling, and is it in an industry that is sustainable for the foreseeable future? How about financing (cash-flow, etc.)? Do you have a business plan that details the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of either types of business?
An alternative to consider is a franchise with an already defined and proven concept, group purchasing power, and brand recognition. However, franchise ownership requires careful research, may be cost-prohibitive, including fees to the franchisor, and may limit the creativity that is associated with someone with entrepreneurial tendencies.
My advice is to arrange a no-cost consultation with a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) professional in your area who can give you unbiased opinions to assist you in your decision-making. Both organizations are supported by US Small Business Administration (SBA).
Honestly, it all depends on the business model. If your business model allows you to pivot then you will be fine in either situation. If your business does not allow you to pivot then it will definitely be a struggle for both.