Business lessons from the great indoors

taskmasterWhen it comes to fireplaces, Old Taskmaster’s favourite type is found in the great indoors. Who wants to feel at home among the creatures in the elements when you can be in your element in the creature comforts of home?


Despite this preference for the type of natural habitat that can be safely viewed through a closed window, I’ve always admired Jan Cameron, the co-founder of outdoor goods retailer Kathmandu, as an entrepreneur.


So it’s with some interest that I’ve been reading about the collapse of Retail Adventures, the discount retail company Cameron purchased in April 2009 after selling Kathmandu. With discount chains including Go-Lo, Sam’s Warehouse, Chickenfeed and Crazy Clark’s, the biggest adventure associated with Retail Adventures was surviving the wild car parks of Campbelltown or Frankston.


Aside from the change of scenery, one of the most striking things about the collapse is the role that corporate culture appears to have played. “Some (staff) had a strange desire to run me out of money, thinking the company would get bought by the next sucker and they could continue on with their cruisy ways,” Cameron said in an interview with The Australian.


If you’re looking to start-up a business, and particularly if you’re looking to buy a business, there’s an important lesson to be observed.


When it comes to the economic jungles or the peaks and gullies of business life, it’s survival of the fittest.


Make it clear to all of your staff that there is no old boss. There is no next boss with a safety harness. There is only the leader of this expedition, who must be obeyed at all times. Anyone who wants to go their own cruisy way is more than welcome to do so – after they leave the expedition.


Get it done – today!


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