Fix these three things and your business will thrive again
Jesse sat in my office shaking his head. His business was grossing millions of dollars in sales, yet his bottom line was miserable. Not only was he discouraged about his results, he felt he had lost control of his employees, and it was difficult for him to continue going to work each day. Burned out and overwhelmed, Jesse reached out for help.
When times are good, it is easy for most leaders to feel that their company is manageable. When the business is making money, and work and customers continue to flow in, there is a tendency to overlook the blatant challenges the company is facing internally.
If you are facing hard times, here are the three most probable reasons why your business is struggling right now.
When times are good, your team tends to get lazy; we feel that the good times will continue to roll, and we don’t have to pay attention to the details. These details include taking care of your customers, looking after your premises, and sloppiness in your processes, including your financial management, meetings, and hiring and firing. “Good enough” creeps into employee culture, and before we know it, as economic times change, “good enough” doesn’t cut it anymore. Complacency in the workplace and the boardroom of your business is one of the top reasons businesses fail and competition thrives.
- Lack of Accountability:
If there is one thing that can sink a company faster than a cryptocurrency hedge fund on the stock market, it is a lack of accountability. When you don’t hold yourself and your employees accountable for results, your company is heading for trouble. If your employees are disengaged, your productivity and performance are poor. If your staff is skipping work on a regular basis and not getting their jobs completed on time and on budget, or you have drama, conflict, theft, disorder, or dysfunction in the workplace, you probably have a problem with accountability. By keeping your teams and everyone who is part of those teams accountable for doing their jobs and the tasks that are associated with those responsibilities, your business will tend to thrive. Fail to keep just a few people accountable and your whole team will suffer.
- Lack of Consistency
I might be overstepping by saying that most entrepreneurs have trouble focusing. However, many leaders struggle with consistency in their organization for several reasons, including lack of planning, lack of focus and too many interruptions. When we fail to have consistency with our employees, with delivery of our product or service, with our communications, we are headed for trouble.
Recently I worked with a successful business that forgot it needed to advertise. It had been consistent for years but lost focus and lost customers. To get their phones ringing again, all we had to do was come up with a consistent program of communication with their clients. Businesses, employees and their customers all need consistency to succeed. Lack consistency, and you will lack stability in the company.
You may not believe that, by changing these three areas, you can turn around a business. However, I have seen multiple times where leaders have put some effort into making changes in one or more of these areas with incredible results. When times are difficult we need to make difficult decisions and get our people to step up or step out. Most of your team will step up and, by engaging your people in a process that changes your company’s culture, your company will thrive again.
Dave Fuller, MBA, is an award-winning business coach and a partner with Pivotleader Inc.
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