That’s something I see happen a lot in businesses. Things going wrong. Things that are hugely distracting, damaging and potentially fatal. Things that could so have been easily avoided if only the business had been looking in the right direction.
Are you paying attention?
I spend my time helping business owners put the right financial management in place, and I firmly believe after working in and with over 170 companies in the last 20 years, that there’s very little that can go wrong without you noticing IF you’re paying attention.
The right information in your business should act as sensitive alarm system. You’ve just got to be sure that any icebergs lurking in your business will get picked up on your radar in plenty of time.
So what do I mean by icebergs?
Well these are the most common things I see. Could any of these apply to your business, AND would you see them coming?
- Growing quickly without realising how much cash your growth was eating up.
- Customer debts building up and going bad because you don’t look at your debtors report every week.
- Cashflow suddenly getting tight because you don’t run a rolling 13 week cashflow forecast and didn’t see it coming.
- A VAT or corporation tax bill you can’t pay on time because you didn’t plan for it and put the tax away monthly.
- Being completely reliant on 1 key customer without a plan to make sure you could survive without them.
- Losing a key member of staff because you didn’t realise they weren’t happy.
- A sudden month (or months) of low sales because you weren’t watching the pipeline and the order book.
- Losing a key account because no-one was managing it properly.
- Running up losses and not realising because your management accounts aren’t up to date.
- Getting your credit limits cut because you didn’t realise your credit rating had dropped.
- Losing money to fraud because you’re not paying attention to internal controls
I do a lot of research on business failure, the common causes, and how to make sure it doesn’t happen. Did you know that of all the business that go into insolvency, the vast majority of them would have been saved IF the business owner has seen it coming in time. What a waste.
So next week I’ll be talking about something that can help you become Iceberg Aware. An easy and pretty pain free way to make sure you keep the important things on your radar.