Why are some businesses doing well and others catching hell? I knew of two doctors – relatives. One practice was located a stone’s throw away from the other. There was always a continuous flow of traffic at one practice and a scarcity of patients at the other. What made the difference? I wouldn’t pretend to know the full story, however, what was evident to me was that one invested in the upkeep of the facility, marketing, in employees’ morale and in what was new in their specialisation while the other did nothing evident. One had a niche while the other didn’t.
Two weekends ago I visited a friend at a hotel. We sat in the restaurant for two hours, being the only guests in the restaurant at what I considered peak hours. The following day, we visited a facility not far from the hotel and there was a reasonable buzz.
Last weekend I visited another facility, still not too far away from the hotel and there was a continuous flow of traffic. I could only imagine that those who are catching their hell are envious of those who are doing well, but what sets businesses apart?
Off the bat I think of the following:
Poor management: When there is poor planning, ineffective performance management, little or no training, poor communication, and micro-managing that combination is a recipe for failure. A work environment that fosters feelings of distrust, that has no structure, poor standards and does not hold employees accountable for their actions, will not thrive.
Lack of capital: It shows when a business has money problems. The appearance of the facility and the disengagement of employees tell the story. Investors are reluctant to invest, and good employees leave because of lack of security. Lack of finance retards the business growth and impedes its day-to-day operations.
Unable to learn from failure: Quite often, a business that fails would have had many warning signs. However, often owners/managers are oblivious about their mistakes and are unable to learn from failures.
However, in my opinion, one of the main reasons why businesses failure is because owners/managers ignore customers’ needs and what customers are saying. We have all heard the saying “the customer is king.” However, not many businesses believe it or operate as such. There’s a price to pay when the King is unhappy – the “servant” loses his job and in bible days – his head. The same is true when the customer is unhappy – there is a big price to pay – you lose them, you lose potential customers, you lose your reputation, you lose good employees and you will eventually lose the business.
Next week, you will hear from some of your customers. They will share some good and bad experiences and how their experiences have impacted the business relationship.
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