Physician Heal thyself

 

No this isn’t anything to do with health issues, or even a medical practice. But it is about looking after your own business in the same way that you look after your customers.

So why am I telling you this? Well I’ve recently had to have some very difficult conversations with a business owner. They are an established firm in the local area and a year ago were growing fairly steadily. They had a great mix of public and private sector clients. They offered a range of services at a reasonable prices and were well known on the local networking scene

Then a member of staff left and the business found it difficult to find a replacement, meaning that the rest of the staff were extra busy. The owner made the decision to concentrate on delivering for their existing customers and pulled the rest of the staff back from attending any and all networking events and exhibitions. This decision included the Business Development Manager.

And for 3 months there wasn’t much change. They had plenty of work, the business development manager concentrated on working the pipeline they had already built up and so new work continued to come in. And then the problems really started.

The pipeline was virtually empty and their existing customers had had the up sell talk. A couple of projects came to an end and things really weren’t very busy. With no new contracts looming a member of staff was asked to leave, but the ban on networking remained – now because the cash flow wasn’t great.

But the business felt busy again, the business development manager started doing other roles in the business and life carried on for about another 4 months until it all went quiet again. Can you see where this is going?

So in about 12 months a thriving, well respected business has self –imploded and unfortunately it’s all self –inflicted. The decision to start networking again locally and regionally has been taken, but it’s now an issue of who to send, because the business development manager was the latest casualty in the effort to keep afloat. Of course the results of this networking aren’t going to be immediate, aggravated by the fact it will be a new face trying to regain trust and rebuild relationships.

 

The moral of this story is, unsurprisingly, that to keep going and growing, people need to be reminded that a business is still around and open for business, so be consistent. If you need more time in the business then take a long hard look at the networking you’re doing and concentrate on those that bring you the best results. Reduce the frequency, but don’t stop all together or at some point so will the new work!