Common Frustrations in Business - Part 1

The question I often ask business owners is…. Do you have any frustrations in business? Normally the response I receive includes at least two of the following:

- Cashflow.
- Staff.
- How do I grow my business?
- Work/life balance.

Let’s explore these a little more and look at what actions can be taken to reduce any frustrations.

 

CASHFLOW

I hear often questions about lack of cashflow. I have made profit, so why don’t I have cash? There are many reasons as to why businesses suffer cashflow shortage, some include: -

- Slow paying debtors.
- Buying assets outright instead of funding them.
- Paying for unplanned tax.
- Business not making enough profit, or trading at a loss.

Cashflow pressures can be alleviated with planning. We recommend preparation of profitability projections and cashflow forecast. This identifies whether the business is making enough profit to cover all cash outlays, it also allows you to project future liabilities including income tax, and to ensure there is provision that enough cash has been budgeted for.

 

STAFF

This is probably the most common frustration I hear. When I push a little harder, I get comments like:-

- They are not taking responsibility.
- They are not doing what I want.
- They are just a different generation.

A client once said to me “If you don’t like someone, wish them many staff”. Now, given the obligation employees have, this statement may have some merit, but the reality is your staff are your most valuable asset.

Frustration often comes from people not meeting expectations. Employers need to be clear with what they want and communicate that to staff and then seek agreement to ensure the expectations are clearly understood. You should also ensure that roles are clear and employees are held accountable for their responsibilities.

Speaking of taking responsibility, look back at the above comments…they are statements of excuses or blame. Therefore, in the first instance, the employer needs to get ‘above the line’ and take responsibility of themself.

Make sense? How can we expect our team to do what we want, if we don’t take the time to explain what is required, get agreement for what is expected, and importantly hold some form of accountability.

In my experience, it is extremely beneficial to hold a facilitated session with management or team members to ensure everyone is engaged in the culture and direction of the business. This includes what their role is and how there can be a mutual benefit for employer and employee.

In closing I encourage increased communication between employer and employee. Share the strategic plan and direction of the business as a more engaged workforce will generate greater benefits for all.

In part 2 next week, I will share details of the other frustrations, being how to grow your business and work/life balance.

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