In the Fall 2015 issue of the Illinois CPA Society’s Insight Magazine, Kristine Blenkhorn Rodriguez’s article “5 Reason Your Business is Doomed” listed 5 reasons most businesses fail. While this is incredibly insightful, the opposite is also true (and is a bit more optimistic). By inverting her reasons for your business’s demise, we find 5 concepts to help your business survive and grow.
Focusing on these 5 concepts will support your business’s continued survival:
- Core is king. We’ve all heard various versions of this phrase over the years, but the most direct analog is “Stick to your knitting.” As business climate continues to change, your business must continue to evolve. However, it is crucial to make sure you are expanding efficiently and in the right directions. By putting processes in place to help evaluate and implement new ideas while not redirecting resources from your critical core, you can find the “sweet spot”.
- You forgot customers also reign. The customer will always be at the center of any successful enterprise. I like to point my clients to the first line of their income statement, revenue, reflects this. With this in mind, it is important to make sure that your processes are also the most efficient for them (i.e. the least amount of clicks, etc).
- You went cheap and cheerful. This concept is an update on the old “penny wise and pound foolish.” Be careful to not cut anything that sets your business apart when cutting costs.
- You lost respect for debt & liquidity. You do not want the entities financing your business to redefine your strategies and financial priorities. A CFO, internal or outsourced, becomes critical to develop: cash flow projections; cash flow needed for growth; key reassessment points.
- You do not know your next leaders. Continuing education of your entire staff is critical to creative thinking, productivity etc. You cannot predict the future and keeping your staff up-to-date keeps them nimble and able to adapt quickly to the changing market.