Surviving in business is more difficult than starting a business. Many start businesses but very few accompany it to fruition. This is primarily because businesses are like ships, things are good when there are no rocks or obstacles but when the ship hits a rock, things turn out very bad.
The current situation of things in the African Economy, especially Nigeria, makes it very difficult for businesses to survive or thrive. Everyday, businesses crumble because many business owners are very quick to throw in the towel when faced with the slightest hardtime. As regards business in Africa, many run in, yet, many run out!
This article is aimed at helping up dying businesses and businessmen who are tired of running their companies and just want to quit. Here are four things you can do to draw your business out from the mud of shame and the pit of failure.
REVISIT YOUR BUDGET.
The first action many business owners take when things begin to swing in the wrong direction is to lay off (sack) some of their staff. This might be necessary but it should only come after a budget revisit. Sometime ago, I worked in a company where any loss at all always took its toll on the workers. If a business deal went wrong or profits were lesser than expected, the business owner fires a staff!
In four(4) months, 3 workers were laid off. Despite this, profits did not go up neither did business deals divinely begin to go right. Things were the same as it was before the laying off of any staff. That’s a big mistake business owners make. Don’t fire anyone yet, revisit your budget!
When you check your income and expenditure,there is a high probability that you find out that either you are spending more to produce less, or there are cheaper means of production than the ones you are using , or there is a leak somewhere that you have to seal off. Solve those problems first before anything else.
INVEST IN YOUR PRODUCT.
When the quality of your product/service is below standard, it is natural for people (even your customers) to look elsewhere for a better product. When they do, they neglect you and move on to a better plane. So, it is important that you are constantly promoting and improving on your product. Stagnancy is another form of backwardness. Even in Athletics, everyone moves, yet some are overtaken by others. Think about that.
Invest in research, find better ways, increase productivity and quality, make sure your product gets better. In the case of a service provider, work on improving your customer service skills. Just make sure you are doing something to make sure that your product or service gets better per time. If your product is better than others, users will publicize your product more than you can, so invest in it!
REVIVE BUSINESS THROUGH INNOVATION.
I have a friend who had this amazing business idea. At inception of his business, sales rose, profits were really high, everything was fine but after some time, sales began to diminish, and debts started to set in. He saw me some weeks ago and told me of his grace to grass story of how things have turned out really bad.
I asked out of curiosity what he was doing different from others who were operating similar businesses, his answer was straightforward,”Nothing”. Then I told him, “If you don’t in-nov-ate, you will soon be out-of-it”. Everyone loves a company that does things different from the norm,thinks out of the box (or even create their own box), explores uncharted planes and surpasses the statusquo. If you are not that company, another is. Your job is to make your company that company.
This is not for start-ups(diversification can be a form of distraction for startups). This is for businesses that are currently making it. If your company has gained grounds or built good reputation, this is for you. Don’t be too comfortable with your current state of success, there is always more. Think of other businesses you can venture into to expand your coasts and enlarge your boundaries. Don’t think too far, think within.
If your company produces one form of waste or the other, can it be recycled? or Do you think you can partner with a company that relies on your product/service/waste to survive? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, Diversify. Make sure you are not wasting your waste, recycle it!