Don’t Wait Until It Is Too Late
About two months ago, I had a client ask me to reduce my services. I asked him what they were trying to accomplish. He said business has been down and needed to cut back on expenses. I told him the economy is currently okay and his suggested changes would significantly increase their risks.
They are in a generally recession-proof business.
I’ve worked with this group about their financial issues in the past. Many of their employees have left over the past couple of years. If you’ve run a company long enough, you know employee turnover is disruptive, and client attrition is expected.
After listening to him a little more, I said. “You should quit.” He was shocked! I told him, “you were hired to grow the business and failed.”
It’s not your talent. You are in the wrong seat on the bus (cited from Jim Collin’s book Good to Great).
Your employees keep leaving you to go to other places. That’s ultimately your fault. People join companies, but they leave bosses. And the business was nearly out of cash. I said, “to save the business – you have to be willing to make a sacrifice.” You need to fire yourself and move to another seat on the bus that generates profit, or you need to get off the bus.”
He didn’t take my advice.
Last week he contacted me and said he was fired unexpectedly. I said, “it was obvious to me, and now you set the company back even further.” He was hiring a lawyer, and I asked, “why would you do that… the company has no money. You can’t get blood from a stone.”
Firing a key employee or quitting a company to save it – is challenging. Most don’t do it and wait until it’s too late.
Hoping and praying for something to happen is a horrible strategy. Thrashing around, spending money on a salesperson, and marketing efforts like radio ads never work. Trust me – We’ve tried it.
I’ve run a business through economic challenges, and I’ve learned that the minute you put your feet up and say, “Ahh, I made it,” you are reminded you must continue to stay the course.
Never take your business or employees for granted. Keep doing what works. Stay focused. And keep cash on the sidelines for tough times should they occur.
And they will undoubtedly occur.
It’s a predictable cycle, and when the tough times occur, you will be in a prime position to grab market share or even a key employee who left a failing competitor.
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