In one way, business is simple. You have goods and/or services that other people want. You then look at how much it costs you to produce those goods and/or service. You then sell them on to a consumer at a profit. Easy. Except for the fact that 97% of businesses fail. It’s an oft-quoted fact, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Companies go wrong all the time, so it’s not easy. It’s just the ones who are good at it make it look like it is.
If you find your business is struggling, then there’s a few sensible areas to investigate. These are the ones that trade journals will tell you to focus on. They’re tell you to look at your costs, your budgeting, your marketing and your staffing levels. All eminently sensible places to look for answers.
So you fix all of the above and you’re still having issues. Whether it’s with low productivity, poor staff morale or just a lack of cold hard cash – here’s a few of the unusual things that might be affecting your business performance.
- You Don’t Talk To The People Who Do The Job
If there are several management levels between you and the front line, it only takes a few weeks for you to become distanced from them. It’s inevitable, but it’s also necessary – you can’t do everything.
The problem comes when you make decisions that impact frontline staff. Decisions that, on paper, look like good ideas but practically are going to be a nightmare. Only you don’t know it’s a nightmare, because you don’t perform the role you’re impacting.
Talk to the people who will do the job you’re making changes to. They know best every single time.
- Your Offices Aren’t Set Out As They Should Be
There has been a trend in recent years for open-plan offices. These look great and are the fodder for many a design feature, but practically, they’re not so great.
People like privacy. They want to be able to have their own space where they don’t constantly feel monitored. Of course, you have to monitor them in some regards as sadly not all employees can be trusted – but they need some private spaces.
You also need to ensure that your office flows. You want people walking around as little as possible, so departments that work together should be close together. At the very least, have a minor office refurbishment to use the space better and arrange relevant departments closer together.
And remember the first point: talk to the people who work in the office about what might work for them. If they’re not happening, productivity is going to sink like a stone – and your bottom line is going to take the hit.
- Pure Bad Luck
Sometimes, there isn’t a reason for a business failing. You can have the right product, the right time and the right staff and premises – and it still won’t happen.
The only solution here is to persevere. Some people we now think of as successful dealt with businesses failing and bankruptcies, including the President-Elect of America. Sometimes, as Churchill put it, if you’re going through hell, keep going. You’ll get there in the end.