It’s no gain saying that many businesses have among objectives to meet a need, create means of livelihood, recoup the capital, make profit, create employment opportunities, create a brand/name, help others, and leave behind a legacy among others. However, these desires can be fulfilled or unfulfilled depending on many factors.
Meanwhile, the way we handle a business will go a long way to determine how far the business can go. For instance, I have seen businesses which were set up, got nurtured and which yielded excellent returns on investment, and also became household names and recognizable in the global scene, while many others became extinct. Nevertheless, this piece explains some of the things, habits or behaviours which can kill businesses and how we can avoid them:
Lack of personal Commitment: Treating your business like no one’s business will leave it in the hands of ‘the devil may care’, and before long, it dies a natural death, due to lack of personal commitment, like the proverbial goat owned by everyone which died of hunger because no one took responsibility to feed it or take care of it. Everyone assumed somebody else would feed it, but no one actually fed it until it died. You must be personally committed to your business so it can flourish. Delegation is good but we should be interested in our investments.
Inadequate capital / bad debt: Businesses can be of various sizes: small, medium and large as the case may be. But in all cases, capital is required to run a business, separate from the personal expenditure. By so doing, the business returns can be measured. But when there is no clear cut-separation between personal expenditure and business finance, the business is starved of funds and eventually folds up. Borrowing and owing debt without a good business purpose, will kill the business, this should be avoided.
Managerial Incompetence: It’s often said, it takes a lion to beget a lion but a different mix will breed different species. Like minds with like vision and initiative will be well knit for good teamwork. But putting one’s investments in the wrong hands will spell doom for the business. However, we can train and retrain once we notice things are not right with our choice of management, or even advise to step aside, if unable to take corrections. Leaving the situation unattended means postponement of the inevitable doom’s day, business failure and final extinct, and we must avoid this.
Wrong business location: To a large extent, every business has its best location with its right customers. Locating a business in an awkward environment (out-of-need) spells failure for the business. For instance, siting an expensive school in a local environment will mean wastage of the expensive facility because those in the environment may not be able to afford the price, except if it’s for charity or it will wait until future development. We must locate the right environment, target customers, area of need, for our businesses to flourish.
Lack of needed energy or drive: Every business requires some kind of energy: physical, mental, psychological, intellect, drive, smartness, and strategy among others. Not measuring up in these will kill the present day business in no distant time.
Wrong tools: Not being up to date with right tools, skills and right information will lead to loss in a dynamic world. Right updates, technology upgrade and skills acquisition are important, to avoid killing the business.
Lack of business trust: Being transparent and fair to all helps to establish business trust, and strengthens business relationship which brings about growth. But where no trust is established, the customers gradually disappear, and the business eventually fades away.
Indiscipline: Good behaviour, discipline is central in life’s endeavors and will remind you when to get ready for work, how to manage your business, relationship, finance, among others, while indiscipline makes one live a reckless and unfruitful life. For instance, bad temperament can lead to bad business negotiation, which can be very costly, but the quality of good temperament, self-control can never be overemphasized. Bringing in familiarity into business will kill the business. We should learn to keep to terms of agreement, love and respect one another in life and in business.
Lack of organizational culture (Anyhow-goes-attitude): Every good business will define its culture, brand posture, outfit, dos and don’ts; even though firm but with some flexibility. The lack of these will lead to anyhow attitude, which can kill the business.
Non Evaluation (Not taking stock as at when due): Taking stock at the recommended period or occasional surprises (random sampling) will avoid heavy losses in case of pilfering, materials damage, poor quality storage, processes, among others. We must evaluate the progress of our business, be proactive rather than wait until things get worse. A good business person (shopkeeper) checks his stocks and replenishes his items to meet customers’ needs. Not doing so will give room for non-availability of stuff when needed, resulting in non-supply of customers’ needs. And before long, it becomes a culture of not having needed items, leading to loss of customers for any available alternative.
Absence of right marketing strategy, good customer care, will lead to loss of customers and prospects, and gradual business foldup; we need to avoid these. Occasional market research for competitive intelligence will help.
Lateness, absenteeism, procrastination: Reporting late to work or important events, being absent when one’s presence will make a positive difference or delaying and shifting important decisions of today for the future without good justification can be costly, dangerous and sometimes irredeemable and should be avoided. Laziness does not pay anyone but right attitude and hard work pays. We should endeavour to be at the right place at the right time and for the right purpose.
Perhaps, we never thought of some of these business killers before today, but now we know and it’s up to us to effect the changes, so our businesses can flourish. The time to think and act is now; these are life and business essentials, so let’s keep thinking clearly. Thank you for reading and do have a beautiful day!
Your suggestions, comments or contributions are highly appreciated.
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