Picture an Emergency Room (ER). Staff rushing around everyone, blood leaking out and colouring the floor red, general chaos, panic, mostly reactive, not proactive. Somewhere out in the hallway are loved ones saying their prayers. You might lose the patient on the table any minute. Is your business like an emergency room?
The blood is your money leaking here, there and everywhere, painting the floor red. The doctors and nurses are your staff – worried, doing the best they can but at the same time, they are just having to respond to what is given to them. The patient is the business. The loved ones are those around your business – your customers, your suppliers and even yourself. Standing by, often helpless, watching and waiting and praying everything will turn out ok.
Now in all fairness, an ER is actually a very well-oiled machine; there is systematic approach, they are not panicked and they follow a set process with total professionalism. But they are still reactive, they still have to deal with whatever is thrown at them and do the best job possible. Sometimes patients are lost.
Cashflow is the blood of your business. Poor financial management may find it leaking here, there and everywhere. Your debt collecting practices may be virtually non-existent and you rarely, if at all (like 75% of other business owners) you do not pick up the phone and ask to be paid. Many business owners do not know how to read their financial reports, or do not receive reports on a consistent and timely basis.
Staff, you may well have great staff, however they are always in ‘rescue’ mode and constantly having to fix problems, deal with emergencies and be always reacting to what is thrown at them, rather than being able to be pro-active and get on with their job. Few business owners have done a SWOT analysis, even less have a current business plan and many staff receive no training, don’t know the direction of the business (sometimes because the owner does not) and are generally just trying to keep afloat.
The Business (and yourself) have little direction, clarity or purpose. You know you want to succeed, but how the heck will you do that? You know you want more clients, more sales and more profit. Again, do you have written down and clear goals? Do you know how to achieve those goals? So many business owners start out as great ‘technicians’ (they know how to provide a product or service really well) but lack entrepreneurship, business skills and often leadership skills. They have many great intentions and will often do the best they can in every aspect of their business, frequently wearing many hats, and may master some skills. They attempt to do their own bookkeeping, their own marketing, their own recruitment and even turn their hand at being solicitors and draw up their own contracts or agreements. Honestly, how many balls are YOU juggling at present?
Spectators. These are your customers, your suppliers and yes, even your prospects. They stand back, watching to see what will happen. Some prospects will keep their distance, sensing things are not well in the ER room. Some clients may even start looking elsewhere and even staff may begin to feel that they want a job less stressful than the ER room, where they can put their skills and experience to helping a business flourish and grow, not prop up a business that could be in the morgue sometime soon.
This blog and analogy might be a little macabre, but only this week I heard of a business I had known which was over 5 years old, has simply closed down. The business owner is now working for someone else. I know the owner quite well. This business owner had worked very hard in the business; they had great aspirations for the business but over 5 years on is now one of a large growing number of statistics.
As a business coach, my objective is to keep you out of the ER. My 30+ years’ experience means that I’ll be giving you guidance and advice because I’ve seen an awful lot in my time. I ran my own businesses for decades and I know what it takes to give the ER a real wide berth. I will ask you sometimes very challenging questions. I will hold you accountable and I will be there, standing next to you, as someone who truly wants to see you do well. I don’t take on every client and I don’t service every industry; my areas of expertise are:
- Professional Services (including other coaches and consultants)
- Medical & Allied Health
- Building Industry Tradies.
Call me today on 0411 622 666 for your complimentary consult – usually 30 minutes where I give you a sampler of what I do. This is not 30 minutes of me doing the hard sell, but rather, giving you some great advice and a demo of how I can help you. Spots are limited so take action today.
Make a spectacular day!