No entrepreneur wants to admit defeat and failure. There is a part of every entrepreneur that needs to be optimistic about the future and carry hope for their team when circumstances seem overwhelming. It’s usually not a secret when a business is having a tough time. Staff can tell as can customers and suppliers. The speed to which an entrepreneur can get in front of problems to address them the faster a business can begin to recover. You never really know how bad it is until it’s too late if you aren’t paying attention.
Life can move pretty fast inside of a business. Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months. Before you know it, you can be staring at some pretty significant problems and feel paralyzed. I believe entrepreneurs generally get their information too late and from the wrong people. Entrepreneurs look to their finance team to give them leading indicators for the business instead of looking to their sales and operations teams to tell them how things are going. Finance is a lagging indicator and is a feedback loop to determine how well sales and operations are performing. Entrepreneurs tend to let life unfold as it happens with operations and unless there is a specific need to get involved in sales, they let it take its natural path with the results speaking for themselves. The best opportunity an entrepreneur has to fix their business is to manage sales like they expect finance to be managed and monitor operations to ensure that targets and KPI’s are being hit. Getting in front of your business activities and managing performance is a habit worth developing.
The Chairman and CEO of Ted Baker have both stepped down after a fourth profit warning was issued in less than 12 months. Ted Baker has not been able find the bottom for their luxury brand and will be suspending the payout of dividends to preserve cash. In addition to having revealed that their accountants had overstated the value of their stock, Ted Baker had worst than expected sales for the last month which included Black Friday. The stock price has fallen more than 36% to a 16-year low.
It can be difficult to make difficult decisions – especially when they infringe on your ego and pride. The truth is, the longer you wait to make tough decisions the greater the damage to your ego and pride. Not having a bruised ego isn’t an option but how big the bruise is can be. Should you be making some tough decisions today?