10 guaranteed ways of destroying your business
If you’re a business owner, obviously you’ll be looking to make your business as successful as it can possibly be, which, as you know, is much easier said than done.
Sometimes, for reasons unbeknownst to us, or due to situations outside of our control, sadly, the exact opposite happens, and we find our businesses starting to sink and starting to go under. In these situations, simply keeping your head above water is tough enough, never mind turning things around and turning your business into a financial success once again. Whilst tough, it can be done, and it has been done, thanks in part, to us. We have worked in countless turnaround situations over the years, and have seen virtually every scenario imaginable. Despite having the odds stacked firmly against us and our clients however, a vast majority of the time, we have achieved what many people had said would be impossible, and have saved countless businesses and helped them go on to become financial juggernauts. Prevention as they say, is the best possible cure, so for that reason, here’s a look at 10 guaranteed ways of destroying your business, and what you can do to prevent them from rearing their ugly heads.
Failing to listen: A common problem amongst business owners is that they are too pig-headed and too stubborn to listen to anybody else, as they seem to think that their way is the only way. No matter how talented or educated a person is, there is never the right time to stop learning, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with hearing other people out and hearing what they have to say. Your employees are arguably your most vital asset, so if they make suggestions, complaints, or raise genuine concerns, you should always hear what they have to say and, if necessary, try to come up with a solution to any problems they may have reported.
Having no direction: A life without goals is like a ship lost on the ocean with no map, and if you have no clear direction, how can you plan where you want to go? Ideally you want employees, customers, investors, directors, and everybody else involved in your business, to see where you want to go, and where you are currently heading. By not having any clear direction, targets can be missed, investors may get cold feet, you may lose custom, and employees may get fed up and may jump ship.
Poor professional relationships: We know all too well that certain people, for various reasons, do not always get on with one another, and personalities can clash, and sometimes, bitter rivalries can form. In the workplace however, there is no time for that kind of nonsense as you should all work together as a well oiled machine. You don’t need to like every single member of your team, but you should treat them with respect, treat them as you would wish to be treated, and you should work with them and be willing to put personal and professional differences aside. If your senior management team do not get on, this can have a ripple effect on employees lower down on the spectrum, and when those knock on effects take place, that is where problems really arise.
Your employees not knowing their roles: If your employees are not actually sure what their roles are, and what is expected from them, how can they do a job if they aren’t exactly sure what job it is they are supposed to be doing? Though it may sound bizarre, this is actually very common, and the good news is that when an effective turnaround strategy and plan is implemented, things can easily and quickly be improved.
Making things harder than they need to be: Another guaranteed way of destroying your business is making things harder than they need to be. In order to function correctly and efficiently, every single task should be taken and made as simple and as easy to understand as is humanly possible. In these cases, having a fresh new perspective on things, and a new train of thought, is very useful, which again, is where business turnaround experts prove so useful, because they see things black and white, as they need to be seen, without over thinking things and making them tougher than they need to be.
Not performing management review: In order to ensure that you, as well as your other managerial team members are performing effectively, you should ideally perform management reviews and meetings, in which you can provide your managers with constructive feedback about what they are doing right, and what they are doing wrong, before looking at ways of putting things right. You needn’t take hours, but you should get the messages across as clearly and as concisely as possible, so that new goals can be set, and weaknesses can be worked on to become strengths.
Missing out on the basic: Any effective business will have the same qualities and tendencies in place, which are: driven, educated, and motivated employees, a well managed team, well managed costs and expenses, and of course, healthy sales margins. In an ideal world, each aspect of your business should focus on these key points, so if you are focussing on the wrong things, and missing out on the basics, you should turn your attention to the right things.
Not managing cash: Cash flow is essential for any business, and it all basically bubbles down to money coming versus money going out. If then, you are spending way more money than you have to, and are spending more than you are making, obviously you are going to go under, and go under quick. You shouldn’t cut corners or ignore essentials, but when budgeting, if you can get certain services and products for better prices than you are currently paying, then of course you should get them for the best price possible.
Taking heed of bad advice: Opinions, as they say, are like eyeballs — everybody has them. Just because you read something online, or are told something by somebody, that does not necessarily make it factual, or effective for that matter. Not all “experts” can provide you with tried and tested advice so the best thing you can do is follow your heart, trust your gut, and perhaps seek a second opinion from another reputable source.
Managing your accounts poorly: Finally, if your accounts aren’t in order, well, you run the risk of all kinds of problems in the near future, including expensive fines, or even the possibility of legal action being taken against you. Ideally you should have a professional accountant handle your books for you, as even small business owners can struggle to balance their books and manage their accounts properly, especially when they are busy trying to run a business. If you are making money, you need to know where your money is going, and whether or not it needs to go anywhere else. An accountant will certainly make life much easier for you, so the best advice would be to find a good one.