06 March 2014

We think we’ve got everyone fooled but have we?

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I have never met a business that hasn’t gone through a tough time at some stage. It might be a tough time financially, it might be a tough time because of uncertainty about the future due to a personal reason or it might be a tough time simply because the business owner has lost their mojo.

Regardless of the problem, we have to do something about it, but it is never that easy right? We think we can hide what we are feeling, our fears, our trepidation and our concerns, working through them at our own pace with no one else realising what is going on. But I don’t think this ever is the case. I think that we project exactly what is going on inside our business to the entire world and if we are projecting the wrong thing, it can spell disaster.

I can walk into any business and within about a minute I can reasonably accurately tell how the business is travelling simply by the look on the faces of the people serving, the physical appearance of the business, the overall cleanliness, the attention to detail and the general feel of the business and the people involved. And I am betting you can too.

The reality is that whatever is going on inside a business, both good and bad, is reflected externally. Our customers (and our potential customers) are highly attuned to sensing this so we need to make sure we are projecting the right messages.

A great example of this is a run down restaurant, with no customers, and a menu that reeks of food poisoning. We peek in the door, look at the menu and run for it. We do an “on the spot” risk evaluation, normally subconsciously, and if we don’t like what we see and feel, wild horses wouldn’t get us in there. Every business type, including online businesses, reflect what is happening internally, so managing the messages we send it vital.

This means that if you are having issues with cash flow, hiding behind your desk, terrified that anyone coming in the door will be chasing money, or screening phone calls, is not going to help and in fact, it will make matters worse on every level.

A much better approach is to let your ego take a break, accept that all businesses go through cash flow issues, and get proactive, commit to doing something about your cash flow problems. Step up, chase business, talk to suppliers, and make things better. This creates a much more positive energy and sends a more constructive message to everyone.

Now I know that this is not easy, but if you don’t, things will only get worse. Regardless of the issue you may face in your business, rest assured it is being reflected externally and this reflection may end up being worse than the actual problem. It certainly won’t help.

My advice is to think about any issues you might be experiencing in your business right now, and ask yourself how are they being projected outwards to your customers and what impact could this be having on your business now and what impact can it have in the future?

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