This year, many entrepreneurs are looking forward to scale their businesses to the next level. It’s a good idea but what I have realized being the major problem of many enterprises is that there are far too many loose ends which are not tied. Unfortunately, these untied loose ends become monsters that suck serious resources from the business. There are a couple of loose ends I will recommend for us to take a look at this year.
- Cash Flow Management
Many businesses are just a Cedi away from bankruptcy. I believe there are more business failures due to cash flow management problems than other factors combined. Many of us fail to forecast demands for the coming week, month, quarter, or year. So we spend money on one thing or the other and run out of cash to see to other equally important things. If you will have a business running and doing very well, then you need to study much on how to manage your cash flow. For example, if you have employees you pay monthly, you need to halt the purchase of certain things until you pay salaries.
Don’t bank your hopes on a customer’s promise to pay and use all the money you have, and when the customer doesn’t live up to his or her promise, you end up unable to pay your staff. This year, make the payment of salaries on time a priority. You make your staff happy. Even you won’t be happy if your salary is delayed, will you?
- Records Keeping
I admit it took me a bit of time to tie the loose end in our records keeping, and we still have a few more to tie to have a nearly full-proof system. But I can tell you the least effort put into having a reliable record system is so worth it. With this lesson learnt in Hetura Books, we have record books that help us trace the whereabouts of every drop of yoghurt in Hetura Foods. I want to know everything. It’s not that I don’t trust them; I so do trust them, and they know it. In fact, it’s in my trusting them that we establish these record systems in place for the sake of transparency.
If you have a van, how much fuel do you buy weekly? How much do you spend on maintenance? Many don’t know these and yet they run after one contract or the other. If you don’t have reliable record-keeping systems in place, take time this year to establish it… It will go a long way to help you.
- Rate of Customer Retention
Many entities run after new customers without caring about how many of those they previously won are still working with them. If you don’t take time to study this, you won’t have a huge number of them to serve. In Hetura Books, for example, we do a quarterly customer satisfaction survey to unearth how well we have served our customers, and how better they will want us to serve them. Many changes we brought on board were due to suggestions from customers. This way, they feel a part of the operations of the company and will come again and again. We also compile the number of customers and see which keep coming. You don’t only need to run after new customers; you need to see to the present ones well so as to retain them for the long haul while reaching out for more.
This year, be determined to tie the loose ends. If you use cash anyhow, stop it. Be disciplined with the company’s money. If you have no records, kindly have them in place. And most importantly, do well to reach out to those who are your customers so as to have them on board. Aside from your staff, your customers make the business.
What are some of the Loose Ends in Business Every Entrepreneur Should Tie? Have you identified the loose ends in your business? Share your experience with us.