Friday, December 19, 2008

It’s Not The Economy, Stupid. It’s You!




I’m going to let you in on a secret. Your accountant won’t tell you, your lawyer won’t tell you. This may not sit well with some readers, but the dirty little secret that advisors to business don’t say in public, and certainly don’t tell you... is that the biggest problem in many businesses, is not the staff, not the economy, not the landlord, not the blah, blah, blah. The single biggest problem issue in many, many a business is you, the owner.


Some examples to illustrate.

You have deadbeat clients owing you money 30, 60, 90 or even more days after the service?

It’s not them. It’s you.


The person whose job it is to contact late payers but hasn’t done it because they don’t like to pick up the phone?

It’s not them. It’s you.


Employees who consistently underachieve or fail to maintain a standard that you’re happy with?

It’s not them. It’s you.


Lack of money in the business to do the things the business needs?

That’s you.


Employees who aren’t as good as you?

You.


A business which falls in a heap if you aren’t there?

You got it.


You suppliers are cutting you off your stock purchases or giving you no special terms?

You again.


Customers complaining about their orders not being fulfilled, on time or correctly.

Yup. You again.


Staff who are doing work but you don’t really know what they do, or why they do it, or if it serves any purpose?

You know who.


Marketing that delivers a result that you don’t really understand what are the returns on investment?

Well, you get the picture.


There are more examples that I could list here, but by now, you get the idea. If you have things in your business that aren’t working at peak efficiency, then walk to the bathroom and look in the mirror, because that’s the culprit to blame. Just in these few (and common) issues above, we see lack of discipline, lack of systems, lack of courage, lack of policy, lack of proper procedure, and certainly lack of a vision and overall direction to the business, and goals for the stakeholders in the business to work toward. Poor management, in other words.


On the positive side (thank goodness there is a remedy to this!) you are also the key to correcting this situation. Only you can do it. It is your business, and your decisions, are what put you where you are... and only your decisions that you make from here on out, will improve (or exacerbate) your current position.
There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. We are all human, we can all do that. Where it becomes shameful – and stupid – is to keep doing what doesn’t work, and not attend to fixing the problem, while it can still be corrected. Allowing ego to get in the way of getting the help you need... the help THE BUSINESS needs to prosper... Now that would be stupid.






Thinking Of Getting A Business Coach?
Lindy Asimus
Design Business Engineering


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6 comments:

Kylie Smiley said...

Absolutely! Couldn't agree with you more Lindy. It's all about choices. We decide what is going to stay in our heads and effect our actions. We can control our own minds and not let the negative, pesamistic, ridicule in. This is how dreams come true!

Teddy Towncrier said...

BINGO! Right again!

Its so easy to become busy taking care of the urgent that we ignore the necessary.

A contractor came to me hurting really bad.

His challenge was cash flow and had 1.2 Million in accounts receivable.

I knew many of his clients since we'd "Grown up" together and knew their accounts people.

I didn't envisage a problem in collecting a quarter of it with 2 weeks and another quarter within 45 days.

That's 600K in pocket within a couple of months.

I wanted $1,000/Week. They thought it was too much.

The leasing company took their trucks back & I believe they went out of business.

Bestest.

Ted.

Tony Logue said...

Great stuff. That's the problem today. People not taking responsibility.

It's our responsibility to know and do. If we don't know...learn...then take action.

Great stuff...

Tony & Robin Logue

Lindy said...

Well of course, the economy is going to cause some real hardship and the current difficulties there make it all the more important for business owners to upskill and take stock of their own personal inventory ... not just that of the business. Opportunity abounds there.

Heidi Caswell said...

Great article, yes in a down economy, no room for sloppy business practices. Those who build their business wisely will come out ahead, especially when the upturn hits.

Teddy, I knew a company quite like that, the outstanding accounts were because he was too busy and had no system in place to send out the bills. So he had piles and piles of bills to go out and hesitated to send them, because he could not easily weed out the handful who came in and said I know I owe you, and paid.

Lindy said...

So true Heidi. Indeed I know of an accountant who was in the same position. Accounts way behind being billed because he was too busy seeing clients (he was too busy to bill) and rushing from one client meeting to the next... You see the problem. And of course, it is much better to get a bill at the time when you remember WHY it was necessary to have that meeting! ;-)

Of course it is much harder to see the patterns of our behaviour when we are in the middle of them. Advisors who are at the top of their game, know that they need help too.


Lindy