Denying Problems Exist

Denying Problems Exist 

Every business has problems. How you respond to those problems determine the success or failure of your business. 

 

Another reason business fail is because they deny problems existing in the business. 

 

I cannot tell you how many times I spoke to a business owner and heard “it will take care of itself” or “I do not want to hurt their feelings” or “but they have a family” or “I know, it has been that way a while” or “who cares” or “no one told me.” Want more? I heard them all. 

 

I had a client where the employees did not do as he asked. This went on for years. The problem: they were no consequences if they did not perform and they knew it. It cost this man his business. In this case we got the business ready for sale and he sold the business. 

 

I can’t tell you how often I heard “I knew this was going on but I did not know it could be different.” They did not know it was a problem and more importantly, they did not know they were supposed to do something about it. 

 

RULE #1: If it does get the results you want, it is a problem.

RULE #2: Do something about it! 

 

As the business owner you are responsible for the actions of your employees. If they are not performing, train them. If they are trained and still not performing, make sure they roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. If they still do not perform, fire them. Your business is your livelihood and you are not required to keep dead weight. 

 

Provide a way for your customers to tell you what is on their mind and listen to them. One client heard over and over again that he was losing sales to a competitor. This was a problem because his customers we defecting. Finally he asked one customer why they were leaving and they told him. It was his pricing. He assumed his customer would always pay his price for his product. By the way, this new competitor was able to sell his product to the customer for less than my client could make it. Talk about a wakeup call. 

 

He is things you can do to identify problems:

1.     Make sure roles and responsibilities are defined. If everyone knows what they are supposed to do nothing will far between the cracks. If it does then it is a process problem and not a people problem.

2.     If it is a personal problem address it immediately. The morale of a company can be destroyed by a few bad apples.

3.     Make sure the process is clearly defined. For example if a customer complaint is handled the same way each time, it is easier to train others, build in redundancy and implement management by exception policies.

4.     Implement an “ownership” policy. Everyone takes ownership for a problem. Do not assume someone else will take care of it. As a business owner this means you must allow your employees to do their jobs.

5.     Listen, Listen, Listen. Listen to your customers. Make sure you have lunch with your key customers quarterly. Listen to your employees.  They are doing the job and they know what kinds of problems they are having. Listen to your peers. They will help you see and understand trends that you cannot see by yourself. 

 

When in doubt, ask for help.

 

Call me if you have questions or need help.

 

Ron Finklestein

303-990-0788

ron@akris.net