Success in business as in all other areas of life is usually a journey and not a static point. However, there will be good indications that your business is succeeding. You will experience positive customer numbers, sales volumes and revenues and even profits. As an entrepreneur, apart from experiencing heightened levels of independence you will be faced with such rare problems as choice. The questions you face won’t be whether you can afford this or that rather what varieties. Your social capital and standing will appreciate very well and soon guys will great you with both hands and call you madam or sir. Yes. You will look and smell successful and that is where the challenge starts. Your success is not only good for you but also for others. You take on more responsibility for your suppliers who will depend on you to keep them in business. Your buyers will count on your support and even benevolence. You will employ people whose livelihoods and welfare of families depend on you. Yeah. Even the peripheral guy will get access to public goods courtesy of the taxes you pay. So let’s get this straight. We depend on your success and we will not want you to fail.
A friend once confided in me the challenges they were facing at work. They had worked so hard and built a good biz. Then came a new admin manager who got the boss confused, they started spending more time in Naivasha than in the office. Initially, one of the senior employees who had stuck with the business through the difficult early phases got concerned and cornered the boss. The boss didn’t like it that anyone had the guts to question his personal decisions especially in his own business. The guy developed a quick temper. His family broke down in the process. With time business started declining, salaries started delaying, punishment for every small misdemeanour became sackings. Less than a year the business was closing. Sad state of affairs that is reflected in more than one business. Success is good but if not accompanied by a good sense of responsibility then it can become a big danger to everyone.
Like it has been pointed before, success isn’t a destination. Bado hujafika. It’s a journey. Where you think you are, if you look ahead you will realize there are tonnes of people far ahead and if you look behind you will see so many other up comers raving to overtake you. So keep striving. Work hard and build a business that can last and out last you.
Maintain Social Stability
Always remember, your business will always be as good as you are. If you get into social challenges soon the business starts to suffer. Get a clande, you will not find yourself investing most of your time and money in her at the expense of your biz but your family stability will soon be rocked. Don’t think it will be easy to run a biz in such a situation. The emotional burden is too heavy, divorce is expensive, and separation is costly too. Worst still, is when you start dating your employees, partners, suppliers or people in your biz environment. Watch out. This has driven many businesses to their death.
Check Your Expenses
You got new money now and are desperate for social validation. You will quickly acquire a savy taste for expensive lunches, drinks, houses, cars, holidays etc. You embark on the validation chase and you will realize it is super expensive. Keep real and keep simple. Don’t be quick to burden your biz with costs it can’t shoulder. You will soon drive it under. Always monitor your pace of social mobility
Do not Divest Too Early
if you are not very confident of yourself you might soon find your decisions being motivated by fear. You fear losing what you have then think the solution is to diversify into other businesses. If you diversify too early, it will create a challenge of competing needs for your resources. You will then end up with a non-functioning new venture and a declining old one. Worst still, is to divest resources from the business in the guise of investing in more secure assets like land and houses etc. Many struggling businesses today are there due to the poor investment decisions that their owners made due to in security, fear and low self-esteem. Don’t rush things. Just grow your biz
You will work hard to set up and grow your biz but one thing not to forget is that you alone are the bearer of the big dream. With the first hint of success comes all sort of joy riders. You will attract family and rightfully so. But you will also attract friends and their hangers on who will want to “help”. Not all will know the best way to help. Not all will have the right desires. Watch out. Sometimes the new comers have no ideas at all that can drive the biz forward. Some of them are on a mission to sabotage you. They will keep you busy with minute scuffles and eventually sow seeds of conflict between you and your best employees. They will also set you on a path to suicidal decision on your biz. The best cure for this is to find ways to professionalize your biz; involve competent independent staff to run the biz without the emotional and social baggage. At some point you have to consider governance issues by finding ways to set up a neutral board of advisory to help with accountability for the management.
Ultimately, you need to always keep in mind where you have come from and where you are going. Do not allow distractions to drive you and your biz to ruin. Most importantly, do not also burden yourself a lot with issues that are beyond your control. There is professional help. Seek it out. Ideas? Share in comment. Wanna talk to us? Get in touch