Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Snowball Effect

In my occupation as a business advisor, I see many business owners who struggle to make ends meet, try to do everything themselves, and ultimately they either lose business to the point they finally seek guidance or they end up out of business. Part of the problem is the inability to delegate but also lacking the knowledge to be aware that an investment now will reap greater rewards in the future if guidance is accepted and followed.

My husband and I have a friend who is in the automotive business. The rates are very good and the work ethic is great. We have been utilizing these services over two years and I promote it to all of our friends and business acquaintances. In the last few months, the business is very busy and they are having employee problems. Unfortunately, part of the outcome to the situation is the service has diminished to the point of no call backs on customer inquiries. This business is now affecting my credibility from a referral process. It has become a snowball effect:

Lack of service from business ~ Loss of customers
Complaints to me as the person referring ~ Affects my credibility
No more referrals from me ~ Loss of customers
Word of mouth on poor service ~ Loss of customers

From my point of view this business cycle is due to a lack of poor planning. At this point the business owner is grasping at anything possible to put a band-aid on the problem. With proper guidance and a plan for vision and goals, the steps to achieve success will become clearer.

The planning process is not easy but it is essential. There are several sources for business planning tools:

Small Business Development Centers
Computer software
Business advisor

There are numerous sources so choose the one that fits your needs best.

Do not become a statistic. The time and investment in your business today could mean greater success in the future if applied effectively. Seek the guidance you need to write a plan that will be your roadmap to a successful future.

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