Four enemies of business progress

Every day, businesses are springing up with the intention to grow and make a lot of strives in the marketplace but most of them, struggle to survive.

This kept me thinking of why these businesses are not able to stand the test of time. We must understand that getting the idea and starting the business alone doesn’t make the business survive but continued and dedicated management does. There are a lot of enemies who fight the business from the start to the end which needs to be combated for future growth of your business.

 Let’s talk about some of the enemies and how we can combat them.

1. Business owners

One may ask, how can the owner of the business be the enemy to his own business? Interestingly, many owners of start-up businesses find it difficult to separate their personal lives from the business. So, they mix their personal spending with that of the business operating expenses with no measure which ends up stressing the business cash flows and in no time put the business in a cash trap zone. As a business owner, learn to sacrifice, allocate to yourself a reasonable remuneration and live within it whilst you allow the business to run separately. Doing this will allow the business grow organically to achieve its goal.

2. Family and friends of business owners

These groups of people can make and unmake your business, because they are mostly the first point of call in most of the things you do as a business owner. You should however analyse their thoughts well before you act. Some may kill the business at the planning stage before it comes into reality. Some may wait for the business to start, then subsequently try to gain favour to take goods or services for free. These things will kill your business. Never give services for free rather give discounts if you still want to show appreciation. Even if you want to gift them with your business goods and services pay for it and you will see the business always up and running.

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3. Management and other employees

These are the most common enemies. Most owners of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) especially, blame their management and employees for dishonesty in terms of usage of company resources. This doesn’t only happen in SMEs but big organizations as well, just that the impact on a small business may be huge. Per my experience, most of these people may complain of job dissatisfaction meanwhile finds it difficult to address to the appropriate office. Interestingly, for a big organization, people believe there are enough resources, so they then misuse them to satisfy their selfish desires. This is totally wrong! If you think your compensation for work done is not enough, go back to the negotiation table. Don’t forget the misuse of these resources may cause your company to wind up or cease to grow in the long-term which means you are gradually creating unemployment for yourself and the generation to come. Be an employee of integrity.

4. Government officials

Every country has laws and regulations that regulate businesses to do the right thing. These laws are to be well understood by both the business and the official of government. In most developing and underdeveloped countries, the officials of the regulatory authority may know more than the representative of the business due to insufficient education and ineffective communication.

So, this will end up meaning that one party may know the law than the other and may use it to intimidate the offenders. At the end of the day, the offender will be made to know that ignorance of the Law is no excuse. Keeping the laws in the drawer of the regulator and slapping it on the offender who has less knowledge but can’t afford professionals may cost the business to wind up since some penalties and punishment may end business operations.

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I think we should focus more on education at all levels and guide businesses to comply than waiting to punish offenders. Business owners should be deliberate about researching into tax laws, operating permits and other legal issues in their business or intended business.

I believe you may fall in any of these groups one ways or the other. Do you feel guilty of these issues discussed? There is always room for change of mind. When businesses grow sustainably, owners, family and friends, management, and employees as well as governments grow. Don’t be an enemy to the progress of businesses, be a game changer to make a positive impact on others.

Author: Daniel Arthur-Mensah,CA

(Email: [email protected])