Recently there have been stories in the press about pressures on the ambulance service because patients cannot be admitted to hospital and problems with people accessing GP services. The Government has responded with a plan to ease bed blocking in hospitals, extra funding for the ambulance services and plans to train and recruit more doctors. In my opinion this is tackling the problem in the wrong direction, increasing supply rather than reducing demand. Lifestyle diseases (preventable diseases) exceed communicated diseases and genetic disorders so reducing demand would be a better solution. For example, by encouraging people to be more active and eat more healthily.
Businesses fall into the trap of wrong direction thinking. For example, I recently encountered a mobile dog grooming business that was not generating sufficient profit and the owner was working all hours taking on new customers. This was the wrong approach, she needed to get rid of some of the customers as they were costing her money. By servicing the profitable customers well and dropping the unprofitable customers she worked less hours and had better profits.
In tough times the usual approach is to cut costs, this can be sensible; however, so can incurring extra costs. Paying for a consultant to examine the business and recommend adjustments that can cut appropriate costs and increase sales may be a great investment.
If you do not have a handle on what is going on with the business, and why it is leaking cash, paying for a good accountancy package that will provide useful data to enable you to better mange the business is a wise move. So is investing in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to better manage your sales funnel. There is no point shovelling more sales in the top if it is more like a sieve than a funnel.
Of course, it is better to follow the advice of John F. Kennedy:
The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
Being proactive and keeping your business healthy will prevent the need for remedial action.
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