The Boogieman of Small Business - Part III
During the first two parts of this story we have been hearing the story of a successful business. They grew their sales, but somehow their business got out of control. In this segment we understand what happened, and how to correct it.
Who is spending time with our customers?
Our sales started to decrease. Customer complaints were at an all-time high. It suddenly dawned on me that I had not spent any quality time with my customers in months. I had been trying to ignore some of them because I did not have the energy to listen to their complaints. Deep down inside my gut, I knew that our company did not have the resources to solve the complaints even if I was able to spend time listening.
I started to lose sleep at night when I realized that my competitors were spending more time with my customers than we were. I then began to feel significant stress when I realized that there was no time, money or energy to focus on new markets, new customers, and new ideas to help grow the company.
Does any of this seem familiar? If it does, then your company is in what is called "The Danger Zone." These problems are all too common with owners of closely-held companies. Basically, you have outgrown the infrastructure you initially created for your company. The processes, policies, and systems no longer can handle the volume your business is producing.
Think of creating a business like you would build a house. If you plan to build a single story house, you put in systems that will handle that single story house. You build a foundation that handles one story, you put in an air conditioner that will cool the capacity of one floor, and electrical systems that can manage that house. Now let's say you decide you need a second story. If you add a second story without improving the foundation and the capacity of the air and electrical systems, the change in the structure of your house will not work. Your business is similar. If you have added volume beyond what your structure can handle, you have problems. And these problems show up as cash flow problems, customer issues, employee dissatisfaction, higher costs, etc. Change how your business is structured, and these problems will be resolved.
It's not impossible to do, but can take a lot of hard work.
The only reason I am in business as a B2B CFO® partner is to help business owners with their concerns. I have the experience to help you with all of the above issues, and more.
Getting the right systems in place can save your business, and your love for your business. If you don't know where to start, get professional help. Then, you will be able to sleep at night and not worry about the small business boogieman.
Make it a great week!