A rolling stone gathers no moss. A business that gets caught up in this downward spiral needs a radical transformation in order to stop itself. See the following signs as you evaluate yourself and your business.
Fire-fighting consistently will distract you from the consistently building your operations – you won’t have the time to establish yourself correctly. Fire-fighting leads you to rush the execution of work and portrays sloppiness. #DeathToRepeatBusiness #WhyAlwaysMe?
The business may be demanding and time intensive; but having no personal time is detrimental. If there is nothing of yourself to put into the business any longer, then how will it take off? A whole person needs to delicately balance their personal life and career. #BurnOut #NeedATherapist.
As necessary as it may seem, this song shouldn’t be on replay. The soundtrack title is “Debt! Debt! Debt!” Its lyrics are composed of cash flows eating into your capital. No matter how good it may sound, you will not thrive with it being on the top of your playlists continually. #CreditBlacklist.
The uncertainty of closing down at anytime ushers in insecurity, which you may be able to handle well, but if your staff cannot take, will spell trouble as they seek security. #SecretJobApplication #Here’sMyResume.
Perpetual fear of regulators and compliance officers is another invitation of harmful uncertainty. The lines are clear: you will either comply and thrive or take shortcuts and be cut short. #BehindBars #LegalFees #Penalties.
The risk of severe stress related illnesses will kill both energy and focus. Don’t allow the work ethic to kill your body slowly. #WritingWills.
Major discouragement may arise when you compare your personal lifestyle to that of employed friends. You have to come to terms with the lifestyle of entrepreneurs. It involves a lot of discipline and sacrifice. Such comparisons will dissuade and sidetrack you; beware of it.
Is it possible to avoid the vicious cycle?
Invest in high quality staff aligned to your values. Redefine your recruitment and training to suit your vision and core principles. Aim for self-driven people, but once you get them, you must invest in the people you work with.
Separate yourself and the family/friends from the business. Dragging your family into this arena only introduces needless competition. Think about this: would you hire yourself? Do you have what it takes to run the business with all that it requires? Separate personal finances from your business finances.
Put a vision for the business towards which everyone is working. Let it be clear, tangible and simple to understand so that no one is left out.
Put in the necessary systems and controls by pre-defining how everything is done in the business. Don’t wait for crisis to change; be proactive! To achieve these outcomes, see the above steps above.
Ensure all compliance requirements are religiously met. The opportunity cost of compliance is far more beneficial than that of lacking the same. Compliance is what will enable you as a plane to take off; all systems go.
Don’t rely on one key customer or few clients. Spread your reliance and ease the burden on each of your clients so that you are able to keep track of present and potential (out of the existing) networks.
The writer of this article, Mr. Isaac Kingori Mwangi, is a Senior Manager, Corporate Banking and Trade Finance at Credit Bank.