Sometimes, no matter how hard you try things go bad in your business. It is like a waterfall that won’t stop running. You can try and put the buckets out, divert the water or any number of other options but in the end you are overwhelmed. In the end you are fearful that you are going to drown. Businesses that start that major decline have a difficult time adjusting their processes and only become active once the damage has been done.
Business owners might find themselves in this situation a few times in the business career. They know that their company is going down and their profits are declining but they don’t know what to do or how to correct the problem. By the time they figure it out they find that it is way too late and the damage is done. They can no longer sell their business and they are left with something that has a deflated value.
The first signs that a business is having problems are when revenue begins to decline. Most owners aren’t aware, due to poor record keeping, until the problem has really started to manifest itself. Business owners who do weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports know that they are having a problem more so than those who wait until tax time.
Companies often start to adjust their patterns and manners of doing business when stocks drop only a few cents. Shouldn’t you do that when customers are first starting to decline? When the problem becomes first apparent utilize your management skills to determine where the problem is at. It could be in your employees, in the cost of your supplies, in parking, in customer service, in your product or just about anything.
Once you have detected the problem go ahead and draft plans for making things better. That may include offering specials, increasing your advertising, or renegotiating with your suppliers. The faster you tackle these problems the more likely you will be successful in solving them. The slightest dip in sales should spark your movement to finding the solution.
Let me give you an example. A family owned grocery store had been the local hub for some time. People from a 10 block radius would come in and buy anything from candy to refreshments. When their regular employee went back to college they hired her boyfriend. However, sales began to dip. The owner went and talked to his customers and found out that he had displayed very rude behavior, ignored them, and seemed to be more concerned with his friends who were eating the place out of business.
If the owner would have waited to solve this problem the people in the neighborhood would have found an alternative. Once they got set into a pattern of shopping at the new place it may be nearly impossible to get them back. Solving the problem fast, efficiently and quickly made all of the difference.