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What You're Avoiding Today Can Hurt Your Business Tomorrow
"There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long range risks and costs of comfortable inaction". John F. Kennedy
It is human nature to avoid doing what makes us uncomfortable. We don't like confronting others, doing something we fear, having to make a major change or taking big risks. However, doing these things are essential to a growing, successful and resilient business.
Below are examples of situations I see clients avoiding, and their antidotes:
- Stalling on making decisions. Difficult decisions are tough to make, but are vital to your business. Whether a major strategic decision or just the need choose one person over another for a promotion, do it soon rather than later. Before making your decision public, inform those who are impacted. It will convey respect and offer them a chance to absorb the news.
- Dealing with a difficult employee. Morale and productivity are negatively affected when difficult employees aren't addressed promptly (to see previous newsletter –click here). Take action now to improve your work environment. Be sure employee issues are well documented so it doesn't become personal.
- Putting a new policy into place. Many employers delay in creating important written policies to avoid the unpleasant task of enforcing them. However, this can become a liability issue. Both you and your team will benefit from the clear boundaries a well-written policy provides.
- Preparing a succession plan. Often, planning for the future ownership and leadership of a company while critical, is avoided. Not having a succession plan in place can result in gaps that will leave your company vulnerable. Prepare a plan that outlines the chain of command as well as succession of key employees. Doing it in stages will reduce feelings of being overwhelmed.
- Watching cash flow. If we learned anything during this and past recessions, we learned "no cash = no viable business". If cash is depleting, there is no wiggle room for delay. Immediately cut expenses and don't participate in any risky business. When possible, focus on your most profitable customers. Keep thorough financial records and use them to plan your expenditures and make decisions.
- Making a major shift in your business. In order to accommodate the rapidly changing business environment, you may need to make shifts to stay ahead of the market. Keep your eyes and ears open so that you can act rather than react. Always be thinking ahead and testing new ideas, markets and offerings.
If not addressed quickly, these situations will grow worse and become more difficult to repair. Avoiding them offers no solutions and will simply postpone the inevitable. Bust through the avoidance wall and take small steps to remedy the situation. It will relieve your stress and create a stronger, more dynamic business.