It’s 2015, nearly 7 years since the country fell into recession, massive drops in sales and profits, ongoing battles for survival, struggles with rents, rates, materials costs, creditors, energy prices. Many firms did not survive but thousands did survive. And they continue to survive. And they continue to work very hard and they continue to pay themselves very little and they hope that one day they may be able to pay themselves a bit more.
I met a business owner last week and as they outline the above situation for me, they also said they were happy where they were and did not want to make any changes to the business. I was intrigued. A team of 8 including 4 family members. None of them were earning more than a nominal wage, all the family members were working in excess of 50 hours per week. But they were happy.
They knew their breakeven figure (based on their own poor wages).
I also happen to work with an almost identical business in another part of the country. Their situation has been transformed over the past few years because they believed there was more business out there and they went after it. They re-positioned themselves in the market, they were pro-active in their marketing, they were pro-active in their professional sales approach and they focused on making a healthy profit rather than just settling for a simple breakeven.
There are some businesses where it can be difficult to build value, where you may have an opportunity to sell the business at a later stage and finally be rewarded for your hard work.
There are other business that I would define primarily as cashflow businesses, where you have to reward yourself as you go. There is no future payday.
Operating a cashflow business at a break even position and being happy about where you are at really is a road to nowhere.
The family in question were incapacitated by fear, all they wanted to do was hold on to what they had (which in effect was nothing apart from 4 low paying jobs). They needed to look at the real possibilities that existed for their business and go for them.
If your business is not generating sufficient profit for you and your family, call me immediately.