This post is titled “Where To Start?” because in our last post we covered a broad range of items that need to be covered. Now we are going to drill down and start getting into each one.
Our last post was titled “What Your Business Needs!” and the first two items we discussed were cutting costs and increasing your income. Of course everyone knows this but how do you do both of these items while building your business and without losing your sanity (assuming that hasn’t already happened). In order to do this you will need a place to start so let’s dive in.
The very first thing you must do is be honest. I know this may seem like a strange place to get started but with all of the businesses that we work with, this is the biggest issue.
Many business owners are not being honest with themselves, their situation and their thoughts about their employees. It’s as if they don’t want to admit they were wrong or they may have to make decisions they don’t want to face. Let me give you a dose of reality:
If you don’t start making the right decisions the toughest decision of all will be made for you and you will be looking for a job!
I can’t make it any clearer than that. If you are in a tough spot financially start cutting costs right now – do not wait! Be honest about everything:
- Do you need to lease that expensive car?
- Do all of your employees need smart phones?
- Do you have to go out to lunch every day?
- Can you cut your insurance costs (make sure you are shopping insurance yearly)?
- Are all of your employees pulling their weight?
- Can you cut your phone service costs (there are plenty that are nearly free)?
- Can you lower your rent?
- Can you lower your utilities?
- The list goes on, go over everything in your business like your life depends on it; because it does!
Now let’s get to the toughest part of this – your employees. I cannot stress to you enough the importance of this. I have worked with so many businesses where the owner or managers believe that given just a little more time, their problem employees will turn it around. Some of these people they can “save” everyone. They can’t and you can’t and some don’t want to turn it around as they believe they are just fine.
If it hasn’t happened in a relatively short period of time, it isn’t going to happen, cut your losses and move on now!
Having said this, I never want anyone to lose their job but if you don’t step up and make the cuts you need to, no one will have a job, including you!
I am not telling you this to be mean, I am telling you this to save your business. I have worked with owners that were willing to lose everything because they couldn’t bring themselves to do what they needed to do.
Some of these employees were literally arguing with the owner about everything, nasty, lazy, etc., and they still wouldn’t let them go. I even watched a VP of a company steal from the owner and his customers. When I went to the owner about it he told me to ignore it. I told him if he didn’t do anything about it he would go out of business and he laughed at me – he laughed about theft!
To make a very long and painful story short, after being in business for 27 years, within one year of me telling him what he was facing, he was out of business. 27 years of hard work down the drain, 27 years of finally getting to where they would be financially set – all gone because of not facing the truth. This is really sad and wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t see it happen over and over.
So start with being honest about everything. Be honest about your abilities, your employees, your location, your future, your costs, in short – everything! Once you are you will be able to begin to map out a plan to get you back on track and profitable quickly.
It will be tough at first but once you do it your business will flourish and your life will be much easier and happier.
Stay tuned for our next posts as we dig into each issue to get you back on track in detail.
If you would like help with this or any other business, sales, marketing, social media issues and more, contact us at:
Until our next post – we wish you all success!