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Sales have taken off, cash flow is strong and new projects are flourishing. There is so much to do and not enough hours in the day! You are considering getting involved in other businesses – so many opportunities you had not spotted before!
There are more priorities on your agenda than you can handle; all of them urgent! You do not have the time to listen to the advice of others on what you should focus on next – after all, it is your focused approach and risk taking attitude that have brought you the success you are enjoying now.
Profits are not following the same upward trend as your sales. The incentives to increase revenue are not linked to empirical data affecting your bottom line – you rely on hear-says and approximations when giving discounts to distributors, commissions to your sales people, rebates to clients. This is because your cost-accounting system is not mature enough to support the growth of sales, failing to give the information you need to run the business successfully.
The delivery team is playing catch up. Customer complaints are growing and the business is wasting resources in fixing and ‘fire-fighting’. You start reflecting: is the team really working to its optimum level? You begin to identify and criticise the weak links: they are not executing your ideas the way you envisioned it. This is frustrating: you realise that you cannot trust them to do things the way you would.
Your bottom line is affected by generosity in discounts to distributors, commissions to your sales people and rebates to clients. Sales have become addictive and the sales team thinks that more is better, making promises without knowing they can deliver.
Staff is unable to deliver to their promises to customers and end up frustrated with overwhelming workload, unclear responsibilities, blurry goals, vague communication and unproductive meetings. A blame culture and heated arguments prevail in the company. The good ones resign, and the time taken to recruit new staff slows you down.
If issues are not addressed in time, disaster is bound to strike – this will be either a lesson learnt or it will destroy you completely.