In business, there are some basic factors you always play up to, find a need and service that need. A business has greater chances for success if it so manages to identify a most pressing need and can craft a well-suited solution as efficiently as possible. In meeting the said need, entrepreneurs would either produce the required goods or enter into buying and selling the needed goods or even offer service and all is done for profits. Now, in doing all of this, there often comes a time when you notice some stagnation and then subsequent declines in your profit takings or even the general growth of your business. If you find yourself in such a situation, rest assured that you ignored a series of events that were taking place in your business` activities which would have warned you of the forthcoming stagnation. In this article, therefore, I attempt to have a look at some of the signs in events that take place in your business which serve to warn you that improvements are needed in your business as a matter of urgency.
Owners Not Taking A Paycheque
Well, this is pretty obvious and perhaps most important, if you find yourself in business and you are not taking a paycheque then ask yourself, what are you doing? Isn`t it that the purpose of going into business is to ensure for a rather regular income, now imagine, you have been operating for quite some time and you have not received the slightest of a paycheque from your business. Some would argue that as a business owner, paying yourself should be the last thing you think of, I am well in favour of that. But as a business owner, you should not go dry because your business is not generating enough cash flow to pay you back and bask in the glory of the idea that entrepreneurs are not concerned that much about paying themselves. In some instances, a business owner is forced to find him/herself sourcing extra funds to cater for costs of operation. Some would go to the extent of taking a job just to get the extra income with which to support their business. This is a warning sign, otherwise, your business could be milking your funds instead of the other way round.
Short Changing Employees
Quite often, when a business is not generating enough cash flow to even pay its owners, founders start to cut corners and employees fall victim. In rare cases, employees find themselves having to meet their employer halfway in meeting a business’s expenditure. Such cases involve making an employee foot such costs as damages made to goods while in transit from suppliers. It is expected that a business owner should have some form of insurance cover catering virtually for every process and activity of a business. Where a business owner knows that his/her business lacks insurance cover and possible damages lead to losses, he/she often punishes employees for accidents which would otherwise be unavoidable.
Employees Have No Sense Of Urgency When Serving Customers
There is no such encounter as terrifying as being served by a customer assistant who genuinely shows lack of interest in what they are doing. It leaves you with the feeling that perhaps you were more of an intruder than a client to them. Now, being Zimbabwean means you have at some point in time encountered a situation where you felt the retail personnel did not respond well to your concerns. Now, as to the causing factors, a lot could be at play. In a failing retail business, employees could feel unappreciated by the business owner and at best think they are being paid less than they deserve. Under such circumstances, to the employee, it becomes reasonable to adopt a go-slow attitude while in service. After all, there is nothing much to loose
Constantly Extinguishing Problems
Being in business is a demanding occupation which requires that founders stay focused on the functionality and profitability of a given venture. Now, if you are start-up founder and you find yourself involved in unending business problems to a degree that you can’t even afford to focus on growing your business then rest assured that something is just but not right. I am not saying start-up founders do not encounter problems, no, being an entrepreneur means you constantly have to face challenges. I am for the idea that once problems continue surfacing in your business operations, there might as well be a deeper underlying problem which needs your serious attention. In this instance, the incessant problems you face can be seen as more of symptoms to a much bigger problem needing your attention or you risk watching your business sliding to a halt.
Constantly Declining Sales
In a retail business, profit margins are rather slim hence the need to push volumes in the shortest time possible if a business is to remain viable. However, in business, sales volumes are always fluctuating and that’s just how things work anyway, but what you need to be concerned about is a prolonged period of declined sales which could be a year-round slow season. If you look closely you will also notice a general decline trend in customer traffic to your outlet during the period in question. For such an issue, founders are encouraged to begin to engage with their clientele base to gather insights as to what the business could be missing. It could be a situation where a business owner fails to provide goods which are needed by the market, instead uses, his/her ow imaginations as to which goods to stock.
Hence, from the above, you should now be aware of other factors to keep an eye on as you operate and grow your business.