This morning I was invited to coffee by an acquaintance who was seeking business advice for his business. This business has been in operation for approximately four years and has not generated a profit.
Like many small business owners who envision a very bright future, all the efforts have been put forth in marketing the firm on a nationwide basis to achieve a hoped for, rapid and profitable growth. The issues I saw were typical, a lack of startup capital and a lack of manpower to support the anticipated growth.
Most business owners, when starting a business, wear all the “hats” and perform all the duties that are critical to the growth and sustainability of a business. Until financing and manpower are not a factor, I hold to the principal of being a “big fish” in a small pond. In other words, grow your business and establish a solid foundation upon which to take your business to the next level in an area where you have control and can minimize expenses.
Bruised egos and fear of repercussions from over-promising and under delivering are symptoms of growing too fast. Sometimes the best course of action is to learn from the mistakes, go back to the drawing board, correct all the mistakes and start over.
I am sure that my advice was not well received. There is no magic wand that I or any other consultant can produce that will quickly rectify the current problem. The fundamentals for growing a business are well defined. How the business plan is developed and implemented may vary, but small, measurable steps will forever be the basis for solid future growth.
If the business concept is feasible; if there is a need for the product/service and there is not any direct competition then there is the chance to succeed, even if it means eating some humble pie and starting again.
Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy. Saadi
Nick J. Petra CFP www.strategicduck.com My job is to hold you up during the difficult times.