The media reported recently that fraud is on the increase. Fraud is often a result of dishonest staff having too much influence or control over a number of key functions of the business. The consequences of course can be devastating. Error is not as sexy to report on as fraud but can be equally as…Details
Being in business and staying in business is one of the greatest challenges that an entrepreneur faces. There are no ‘rules’, no ‘courses’ or ‘seminars’ that can explain exactly how things will turn out. On one hand running a business can be fun, exciting, creative and interesting. On the other hand, it can be nerve-racking, tiring and challenging.
Being aware of potential business problems before they arise is one way to avoid business incidents and failure.
Steve Strauss, a respected business columnist in the US identified seven deadly sins that small businesses commonly make. The following briefly discusses the seven deadly sins identified:
1. Financial mismanagement
– Financial mismanagement can include any one or all of the following:
– Undercapitalisation: A common and often telling mistake when starting up a business is not having enough money invested in the business from the word “go”.
– Too much overhead: If cash flow is the life-blood of a business, then high overhead is the Dracula that will suck it out – often with terminal consequences.
– One of the best pieces of advice for new businesses is “keep your overhead low.”
– Too much debt: Like overhead, too much debt can cripple a business.
2. Failure to plan and brand
– It’s easy for a business owner to get caught up in the day-to-day running of the business and fail to see the big picture. Knowing where to go, and planning how to get there is essential to achieving business success.
– This is especially true when it comes to branding, a business owner must know what it is they are promising customers/clients (i.e., the business brand), and then reinforce that promise with their actions.
While business growth should be an objective for every business owner we have found that not every owner is confident about what steps to take to achieve this. Jeffrey Fox in his book “How To Become a Rainmaker” makes the following suggestions: • Allocate marketing time; • Send a handwritten note/card to a customer; • Clip and send…Details
Where are your profits coming from? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your business? UHY Haines Norton provides software called Optimizer that can quickly and succinctly summarise how your business is performing and key areas where improvements can be made. Using the software we can provide insight and strategy into such crucial areas as:…Details
Some years ago I sat down and analysed my client base with a view to defining the ingredients that made my most successful customers profitable and stable. Overwhelmingly my finding was that the owners of each business had built up a solid management team, invested in improving their skills and provided them with the administrative…Details
With a sluggish economy, consumers still in hibernation and business confidence muted, many small to medium sized family businesses are struggling. They are experiencing a lack of consistent turnover and hence profit and cashflow is tight. What are the options? 1. Do nothing. Draw down the curtains and hope like hell this is a bad dream.…Details