Over the years, as both a legal professional, as well as an entrepreneur, I have both seen and experienced the ebb and flow of business. In South Africa, life has not been easy for many people.
It, therefore, follows – what lessons can we share about how to survive an ebb and get back into the flow. Foremost, I believe, building a resilient and successful business is a journey – not a destination.
Ensure that strategies are clear and implemented with consistent effort input. Keep your team motivated and connected. It is all about positive and healthy relationships.
Focus on cash flow – cash is king
Very important to identify any clients that are not paying their bills on time. Deal with the collection swiftly (if possible without having to involve an attorney) and then place the underlaying cause through an exercise of customer care and debt mediation. It is crucial to ensure that you have the correct type of legal support in this process. You would need to distinguish between clients from which you must collect using the legal process and which ones you would alienate and achieve the opposite. The balance is very delicate and requires a mindful approach.
Keep an eye on expenses
Ensure that you have a budget in place and ensure that you negotiate key contracts mutually beneficially. Ensure that the shoe fits the foot – in other words, ensure that your binding contracts like lease agreements and supplier contracts are in place and are negotiated with the view of engaging mutually reasonably.
Focus on your Clients and Key Stakeholders – always
Truly being customer and network-centric is often the difference between good and great companies that withstand the ebb and flow. So, customer care and constructively dealing with complaints should be at the centre of all growth strategies. Again ensuring that contracts, systems and processes align to deliver on the promises to clients are vital.
In a nutshell, it is essential not to be swayed by the ebb and flow. To be robust, consistent and to ensure that whatever you promise you to deliver. Promises must be followed through on authentically.