Nothing hurts like watching your office go up in flames – metaphorically. Well, I assume that if it goes up in flames, literally, it might hurt even more. All of a sudden – one day – you notice that communication is a mess in the office; nothing seems to be getting done. Paying employees’ salaries becomes a laborious thing to do, while clients keep walking out on you faster than people running away from a raging bull in the streets of Spain – that must be really serious, mustn’t it? All these problems are often reflected in your balance sheet when your net profit is in negative figures. When your business organization collapses and can no longer turn in profits like before, hard questions need to be asked in order to realzie when the rain started beating you. It all has to do with the fact that you were blind all along as the signs of an impending collapse kept showing up in your face.
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Let’s be real; getting out of your present situation will be like hauling yourself out of a 6 ft. borehole. Still, curling up in your sofa and drowning in your tears over your collapsed business won’t help bring it back. In order to get it back up and running you will need to understand the tell-tale signs of an impending collapse.
1. Misplaced Priorities
You come into work one day, log into your email and then find a load of tasks awaiting you. What to do? Where to begin? These are some of the questions that will be swirling in your head as you think about which ones to prioritize. Relax; you could start with grabbing a cup of coffee. Misaligned priorities mean ignoring the most important aspects of your work, which ultimately interferes with the completion of important tasks. What could be the problem? Well, let me throw the question back at you: do you have a to-do list? Without preparing one, you’re likely to forget about some of the most urgent tasks – after all, you don’t have a supercomputer brain so you should start by making a to-do list. Another problem that leads to misplaced priorities is your rigid work schedule that doesn’t allow you to take on any urgent tasks. So make sure you are well-organized so that should any emergencies come up, you can make time for them.
2. Decline in Revenues
It may be even a 0.00001 per cent drop in revenue, but your eyeballs should still bulge in surprise when that financial report reveals a drop in revenue. You may not be in danger of going broke, but you should tackle the problem by the scruff of the neck because it could come back to bite you in the ass sooner or later. If your business were a boat, then you’d need to find the spot that’s leaking before it sinks with you in it. Look closer at your spending habits and you’ll see that you’ve been spending a lot more than you are receiving. It may also be that you’re not doing enough to collect the debts owed to you or you suddenly find yourself unable to pay creditors. Have you been meeting obligatory payments, such as tax returns on time? – C’mon you can be honest, I won’t tell. No? Well, there you have it; when you’re having problems remitting these payments on time, it should be a white smoke for you – trouble lies ahead.
Unless humans are robots – the last time I checked we weren’t – it’s hard to program someone’s mind into doing the same thing every day and expect them not to burn out. If you’re one of those bosses fond of burdening your employees with the same tasks every single day, then don’t go crying when your company goes under. After all, you’ll be the one responsible for turning them into zombies by making them redundant. In the end, your employees won’t be the same enthusiastic people that they used to be; gone is the zeal for work that was usually manifest, gone are the days when they’d keep asking you for more assignments. None of them possesses the skills needed to take a higher position because none of them wanted to grow in knowledge and skills. Yeah, I can see your mind flash back to when you had to hire someone from outside to fill a higher position rather than promote someone from within. If you’ve not been doing so in the past, maybe it’s time you took some of them for training and development skill courses. Zombies – oops, I meant redundant employees – will arise if you’ve never been one to advice employees about their productivity.
4. The Silo Mindset
Okay, I’ll admit it; all I know about silos is that they are granaries for storing food. I thought that that was the only meaning until I chanced upon the silo mindset. What exactly is a silo mindset? A syndrome? A disease, maybe? It’s quite easy to identify it in the office environment; haven’t you noticed lately that employees don’t want to share information with each other? When was the last time employees communicated with each other in person when undertaking certain assignments? Let me guess; you can’t remember. This is the silo mindset at work and you shouldn’t waste a single minute trying to figure it out because of what it can do to your organization. Low staff morale, unproductivity and inefficiency are the prices you will have to pay for the silo mindset – question is, can your bank account afford it? Hell no! Because that means your employees would be working at cross purposes, which makes for a turbulent journey towards attaining your objectives. You could change things starting with yourself; maybe next time you should walk to your employee’s desk when you need information on certain projects.
5. Cash Flow Problems
Cash-flow problems; these two words should be enough to set the alarm bells ringing loudly inside your head. Shortage of cash-flow in your business is like your worst nightmare becoming reality – going broke. So how do you tell that your business is experiencing a cash-flow shortage? For starters, you’ll find yourself burdened with a lot of calls from debtors – even personal visits to your organization. You’re also likely to have little working capital as well as overtrading by turning your inventories faster than normal trade averages. While you’re at it, you might wanna check on your receivables; I’m willing to bet you will discover that you’ve not been doing well at collecting your revenue.
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The business world is a jungle where you are either the prey or predator; no business is immune from collapse whether small medium enterprise or multi-corporation. The trick is to always be one step ahead of the game. You should be well-organized and you should focus on your priorities. Be careful to notice any of the signs mentioned above and if you do notice them, be sure to take measures to prevent a collapse. Always remember that the key to a company is the team behind it. So make sure that your team is happy and motivated.