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Edition 315 – Getting Slammed

Business is good for plenty at the moment – almost too good.

One business owner remarked to me recently that he has too much work. Consequently, there’s little time to think, plan and forecast.

Another business owner mentioned that he’s had to funnel six months worth of work into four as a result of shutdowns during Sydney’s long COVID lockdown last year. Staff are fatigued, stress levels are rising and, generally, there’s dissension in the ranks.

In each of these situations, the business owners have completely switched their mentality. They’ve gone from saying “how high” when their clients have demanded “jump”, to changing the pace of how they’re doing things. For these business owners, they’re trying to slow things down and run at the pace that best suits their business, not that of their client.

In each of these businesses, it’s a smart move. Rather than letting your clients dictate their terms to you and thus always feeling out of control, they’ve starting saying:

  1. No; or,
  2. Not right now.

when clients make demands on them.

Whilst this approach is, potentially, fraught with danger, I see it completely differently. Businesses that experience rapid growth invariably experience problems that are sometimes temporary, but more often permanent.

Whilst as business owners and managers, we like to see revenue on an upward trajectory, the fact remains our expenses rarely replicate that same trajectory. That’s because as a business grows, it morphs into a new beast and expenses tend to grow in “leaps” rather than at a steady pace.

All of this means that rather than keeping your nose to the grindstone, you should stop and consider:

  1. Are our systems right now able to accommodate a growth in revenue of 20%?
  2. Are the clients that we’re working with now the clients we want to work with in the future?
  3. Are we profitable on all elements of what we do?
  4. Do we have the right people in place to help propel our business to the next level?
  5. Are we, as business owners and managers, equipped with the right mindset, mentality and expertise to run a business that is 50% bigger (or more) than what it is today?
  6. Do we have the right funding in place from our banks and other financiers in order to grow our business into the future?

Slowing down the pace helps you to strategically think about where you’re at now and where you’re heading for in the future. Unfortunately, too few small and family businesses don’t consider the strategic elements of their business, instead merely “going for it” when another new client or inquiry comes in the door.

To grow profits and capital value successfully in a business, you have to do it in a planned way. In my 30 plus years of working with business owners and managers, I’m yet to see a single business that has consistently grown profits and value whilst letting their clients dictate the pace of what is happening in their business.

It’s mid March 2022. We’re still early in the new calendar year. That’s plenty of time to stop and reflect. So, who’s pushing the accelerator in your business? Is it you and are you in control? Or is it your clients and, in essence, you’ve handed over the steering wheel of your business to someone else?

This Week’s Tip

A message to the large corporates – one size does not fit all!