You are in business to succeed, to make your mark in the world and make some money along the way. Here are some areas that could sidetrack your dream. Don’t become sidetracked on a track that leads to nowhere or that derails you totally. Think about each point and then write down the ideas that come to you as you read. It may just surprise you.
- A Lack of working capital – “Cash is king” and you cannot keep the doors open with accounts receivable. You must turn your sales into cash.
- Failure to control costs – You must know the cost of doing business. How much does it cost to make your product or provide your service. Don’t give away the store. Know your costs.
- Lack of sales and poor customer relations – Know your clients and customers. Give them what they want, at a price you both can afford. Be the best in your market.
- Poor employee relations and training – Create a team work environment that keeps staff motivated and happy. Employee involvement in the business, training and increased education promotes a feeling of ownership. You will be surprised how much they know and how much they want to help.
- Inadequate financial record keeping – This is cash control and cost control. If you do not write it down you will never know. I must know where you are at all times.
- Improper record keeping – Don’t “cook the books” to fool a banker or the IRS. This will catch up to you soon enough. It can totally destroy a company. Tell like it is.
- Lack of internal controls – Don’t let employees, suppliers or customers steal from you. You must have control of cash, inventory, accounts receivable and all your expenses.
- Track key business matrices. – Develop a dashboard of all the key drivers in your company. Have it in front of you at all times. Know what these numbers are and what they mean.
- Not having proper insurance coverage – This can be insurance of all kinds. From long term disability to key man life insurance and everything in between. In some areas of the country and in some industries you need to have specialized insurance like flood insurance or other specialty coverage.
- Improper strategic planning. – Have an ongoing business plan, goals and projections in your strategic plan. Do not forget the employees, your suppliers and your customers.
This all seems like a lot to swallow but if you will take one of the above, preferable the one that sticks out the most, and work on it until you feel good about it. Start with the ideas that you wrote down as you were reading the article and that will be a good place to begin. Get you business advisers involved. People like your CPA, lawyer, insurance agent, certain employees and others that may be of assistance and make it happen. Good luck.