Continued from part 2…
5. Lack of System
It has been said that entrepreneurs go to work ON their business, not just IN their business, to build a perfect system that becomes the brand of their business.
The systems consist of people, structures, and processes that work together to make an organization ‘healthy’ (or ‘unhealthy’). And the system is designed to connect all of the enterprise’s intricate parts and interrelated steps to work together, and hence help the business run smoothly.
Businesses fail for lack of systems or for weak systems that support their growth. This is one of the glaring sins of small businesses you must avoid. An enterprise suffers systemic failure between and within the system elements that need to work together for the overall success of the business. Systemic failure may be caused by a lack of leadership, confused goals, weak system-wide understanding, poor communication or inadequate feedback, poor cooperation, lack of accountability, and so on.
Without a support system and structure in place, every enterprise is doomed regardless of its industry or nature of business. And without a working system, you won’t have a grip on how to serve the market well.
Your business solution is as good as your first customers are willing to embrace it, and how many systems you have in place to make the solution get to as many customers as you can that can profitably keep you in business! You cannot expect great results when you have not created a system that will make it work. Take for instance your marketing and sales. The sales that win are the ones with a proven system – sales system.
You can’t scale without the system that will support such being in place. You don’t have to get it perfect at first, but still maintain the discipline to developing a system and using systems to grow your enterprise. With the right system in place, you control your losses and increase your profit.
6. Lack of Integrity
One important single quality that has led to the demise of many enterprises is no other than integrity. In business, it takes hard work that is well-grounded in integrity to get where you want to go. When a business lacks integrity, people tend to discredit whatsoever it represents.
Integrity is everything in business, and it’s an important part of having a successful business because it makes you credible, and trustworthy. (And never forget that integrity is binary — it is either there or not).
All business persuasion starts with credibility, which integrity characterises. Integrity breeds trust. The credit that you get by being trusted adds value to your business and this will validate your business, and reinforce its brand.
Integrity makes your enterprise stand the test of time in the marketplace. Most of the businesses I know that were dishonest yesterday are nowhere to be found today. Enterprises that have failed in the past have been associated with fake or dubious acts, which later came to haunt them afterward.
Integrity, indeed, attracts profit and sustainable growth. In the words of Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Group Chairman of Econet Global, ‘Integrity is better than money. You can accumulate it just like money. And you can use it just like money but it goes further and is enduring.’
Little wonder why the author and entrepreneur, Dan S. Kennedy wrote, ‘Wealth and value and integrity are all linked together. Anyone trying to get more wealth without providing more value is dishonest and unethical and immoral, and is attempting to defy the fundamental laws of life.’ Integrity, undeniably, brings enlargement in the most unusual way.
Let’s do our best, every single day, to try and build brand integrity. Honour your business commitments whether they are verbal or written. Your promise should be all you got. Whatever your business offers is a promise; make it fulfil whatever it says it came to fulfil. You must not promise what you cannot deliver. When you say something, be committed enough to do it. If you want to succeed as a business man or woman be a man or woman of integrity, and also make your enterprise a symbol of integrity, and you won’t regret it.
To be continued:
Tony Ajah is a Business Growth Strategist, and the author of BUSINESS SENSE, and ON BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR. He maintains a personal blog, www.tonyajah.com where he shares proven business ideas and principles for SMEs.