Contributor: Mr. Panache
No Excuses, But Pure Lesson.
This article, I write it based on personal experiences with business recently. There is often trouble in managing operation in a business and such trouble starts sneaking in when you’re having problem paying your vendors because the company is not bringing in enough revenue to cover expenses.
On February 25, 2019, we had to close doors to one of our shared ICT Service branches because we had figured out what was broken in the business, and made some serious commitment to amend that.
The failure we experienced was not necessarily the result of lack of management skills or proper capitalisation. Slowly and steadily the branch was growing and we were realising the shared vision until we could not improve results that would benefit everyone in both the short term and long term.
We had systems in place, however, in the end there was no control whatsoever and we could not inspire dedication from our employees. Though there was growth, yes perhaps in terms of mindshare from potential clientele and those converted into sales, could not be well monitored. In this period of potential failure on our part, we had the objective to track the company’s performance and get timely information to provide proper analysis on regular forecasts.
The company usually undertakes on projects, depending on their feasibility and the viability of the concept. We did not have the attitude that we must have hands-on control of all aspects of the business, but we entrusted it with the people we had high hopes would do well. Little were we around to concentrate on the most important problems facing the business at the time.
We knew where we wanted the company to go, we shared responsibility and gave the people authority. But, there just was not any control, especially with us not there all the time and profits not monitored. Significant costs started mounting and complementary plans by those we entrusted with authority were not as well informed. In that period, the company was spread too thin because of the need to optimise the minimum resources remaining. We understood that success in business was never automatic and we had the experience with foresight to steer the ship. Starting a business is always risky and we have been taking the plunge for the past 5 years, testing out the different concepts.
Best lessons we learnt were that business is not meant to scare, but to prepare entrepreneurs for the rocky paths ahead. Warrior mentality is one of the best tools entrepreneurs can develop and embrace, not shrinking away at failure. First thing you would find when searching Google about failures of businesses are many articles such as one from successharbor.com on why businesses fail while others succeed. It is even regarded as a mystery in entrepreneurship that businesses are continuing to fail with most in the last stages with no chances of being salvaged.
I personally take away from the article a thoughtful quote “It’s not the plan that is important, it’s the planning.” Dr. Graeme Edwards.
While others may be getting the planning right, they often get the control of things wrong. Much like our case with the closed business, we lacked control and only invested in plans which we entrusted with others to understand.