>>>7 REASONS YOUR CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS ARE LEAVING YOU AND HOW TO BULLETPROOF YOURSELF FROM SUCH
Almost on a daily basis, my clients do ask me, “Why is my business going down? Why am I struggling in business? And many other related questions.
I wish to answer the questions in this blog post. Let me start with the life experience of Bayo, a shoe seller in the Oil Mill Market, Port Harcourt.
From a wealthy family, where Bayo was born and brought up, he got some huge sum of money from his father to come to Port Harcourt and establish a shoe selling company in one of the major markets.
After some days of researching and surveying the existing markets in Port Harcourt, Bayo settled for the Oil Mill Market.
He established the highest shoe-selling shop in the entire market since money was never his problem.
Exactly one year and three months, Bayo’s shop was as if thieves’ boggled into his shop and cart away his goods. But, nothing like that happened. Bayo was confused and approached me for a business consulting service.
After studying the documentation of Eyime Enang and Magnus Abeng on the pages 16-17 of June 1996 Edition of the Magazine, “Success Digest” and reading the work of Sunday Adelaja from one of his books entitled, “Declaring War On Poverty” (2008: 73-74), I discovered some major reasons Bayo’s businesses collapsed. The factors were both physical and spiritual. Note: I shared the 24 REASONS YOUR CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS ARE LEAVING YOU in my latest Business Book, What I wished I’d Known Before Starting My First Business” In this blog post, I will only share REASONS YOUR CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS ARE LEAVING YOU…
POOR FEASIBILITY REPORT
A feasibility report is the company’s terms of reference. It shows at a glance, the economic justification of the business activities, resources necessary to actualize them.
A poor doctored feasibility report would certainly lead to business failure as the investor would not only be misled but also be given false hopes, expectations, and a wrong sense of security. By the time the “Scale fall off his eyes” irreparable damage might have been done.
Bayo did not carry out a thorough and in-depth feasibility study before starting the business.
LACK OF ADEQUATE PLANNING
Planning has to do with forecasting future circumstances and requirements, deciding objectives, setting long and short-term goals, and determining measures and steps to be followed.
Since every investment decision has risk components, adequate attention must be given to the planning process as to ensure an articulate identification, appraisal, implementation, and monitoring of activities aimed at minimizing and maximizing the chances of failure and success respectively.
When planning is not properly handled, chances are that such a business would not stand the test of time.
The mistake most entrepreneurs make is to engage the service of ubiquitous quacks for a cheap fees to handle their planning.
Unfortunately, Bayo had no Business plan, not even a sheet of paper wherein he wrote how to what his business is all about and how to navigate the ship of his business.
Not having a competent, experienced, and efficient management team is one of the most devastating setbacks any business establishment could suffer since the success or failure of any enterprise rest squarely on the quality of its management. This is in line with the age-long adage that “The body cannot lay claim to good health when the head is sick”
Bayo was never a trained Manager and he did not hire one to help him manage his business. Rather, like an average businesswoman selling, “Okpa” in the market without a team of managers and staff, Bayo thought he could manage his business alone without professionals.
INARTICULATE PROGRAM OF ACTION
This is closely related to the factors explained above. Work planning and the determination of the company’s objectives become effective only when they are expressed in policy form. Looked upon this way, policy formulation is an essential ingredient in the successful administration of a business.
A policy is a guide to action and provides a continuous framework for the conduct of individuals involved.
Sound and consistent policies are required if good results are to be expected and poor policies would lead to poor results and the eventual collapse of the enterprise.
Bayo had no business policies. Little wonder why he was seen at parties in a location known as “Artillery Junction” every evening after the close of work. He was reckless and stupid. He was doing his business without a policy to direct the affairs of his business.
This has become one of the greatest causes of misery to Nigerian business owners. While a lot of people with very brilliant business ideas cannot get started due to lack of funds, those who take the bold step forward to commence their dream business with the little resources at their disposal, sooner or later discover that after a while, the business becomes distressed due largely to liquidity crises.
As a result of the liquidity crisis Bayo faced, he could not fund most of the investments opportunities in his line of business that came his way. Those opportunities passed him away. His frustration multiplied.
POOR MARKET ANALYSIS
This has to do with the business owner’s assessment of the nature and level of the demand for the product or services offered by the enterprise.
Inaccurate market projections would result in the misuse of scarce resources with the resultant negative consequences on the fortunes of the business.
In the same token, an accurate market analysis would enable the organization to determine within an acceptable margin of error, the present and the future market requirements. But when the market analysis is faulty, the organization would not be in a better position to design its product/service in accordance with customers’ preferences, at automatically efficient quantities, packed suitable and making appropriate arrangements for effective promotion and distribution, otherwise, the product would not be accepted in the market place. As when this happens, the business would fail.
Bayo’s inaccurate market projections resulted in the misuse of his scarce resources (Money and other assets). It resulted in some negative consequences on the fortunes of the business. If not for the intervention of my consulting team and I (Gabriel Onyekawa and Associates), Bayo would have gone back to his father empty just like the Prodigal son in the Bible.
LACK OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR STAFF GROWTH
The staff component of any organization is a crucial factor for success. There is no denying the fact. Any company wishing to succeed must inevitably carry its staffers along its growth path.
Your staff helps you fulfill the corporate objective. This includes among other things, career fulfillment, and financial stability.
Any company that does not see to its staff financial and career well-being would be a training ground of staff for other companies. When a company continuously losses its best hands, it would in the same fashion crash out of existence.
Unfortunately, Bayo had only one salesgirl, who was doubling as both a staff and his “Secret Lover”. Little wonder why the business almost crashed!
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