The 3 dreaded days of a business owner

Hamish Mexted Business Strategy & Planning, Managing Cash, Odds & Ends

The 3 dreaded days of a business owner

Being a business owner is tough – really tough! We’ve identified that we’ve been really lacking in identifying what’s going on for clients outside of the numbers.

An important addition of our new process when meeting with clients are:

  • Ensuring that they have a group of engaged advisors (Lawyers, Accountants, Financial Advisors, Bookkeepers)
  • Checking if the client has a “sounding board”.
  • Asking what their intentions of business are and not assuming that it’s to grow to a multi-zillion dollar business who runs the world.

We’ve recently been asking clients what the toughest days in business have been for them. Sadly, they’ve mostly been issues that the three points above could have prevented.

Going through the points, we’ve come up with the Top 3 answers:

Not having the cash available for Payroll

While a business can be performing well on the books, it’s the bank balance that really matters – and unfortunately you can’t pay staff on a credit card!

Most business owners actually enjoy pay day. Knowing that they’re providing jobs, paying mortgages, supporting families – it must be a great feeling. Obviously with employing staff, comes a great responsibility.

Sadly, all too often, successful businesses have to close the doors as they don’t have the cash available to pay staff. A large reason for this is not having a supportive and engaged group of advisors who can assist prevent issues like this.

Telling a potential client you can’t do the work

This, again, is a common occurrence. When a business has reached full capacity with the resources they have, there will be missed opportunities.

This seems to be a question that still stumps a lot of people. “We’re at 100% capacity, but I don’t have any cash to pay for more resources. Why?” This is a big question, and is very face dependant. However the likely causes are:

  • Tight working capital reserves
  • Low margin on jobs
  • Debtor days

Having to let go of staff

 Workplaces are, 9 times out of 10, a tight knit team. It’s important to protect this environment and the productivity that comes with it.

When there is a treat to this whether it be through a staff member not pulling their weight, personality clashes or incompetency, the decision – let alone the discussion – is a hard one.

This is where a sounding board is important. You’ll be second guessing your decisions and you could potentially make a decision that’s not best for your business.  Having someone to work through the situation with you and “check” your though process to. The sounding board may even be someone to vent to, stopping you making rushed and uninformed decisions.

We don’t often beg, but we will be on our hands and knees asking – please talk to us to see how we can help you to ensure the good days in business far outweigh the bad! We’d love to help. If we can’t, we’ll put you on to the someone who can.