Is working yourself into a near-death state a sound business strategy? I wouldn’t bank on it.
Don’t let the business be bad for business
I am lazy, so the life of an entrepreneur has no appeal for me – but I do have a certain sympathy for those of you so inclined.
For this reason I was a little saddened to learn that the two brothers that operate my local bakery are selling their business.
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About 12 months ago their apprentice left, and they have been unable to find a suitable candidate to replace her. To fill the hole in the roster, they worked additional hours.
After a year of 100+ hours per week they have had enough. Bodies, souls, and spouses can’t take any more and the business was sold. For their sakes I hope they achieved a good price – they deserve it. But it would be a crying shame if they have accepted the first offer because they are too exhausted to prepare the business for sale and conduct a proper marketing campaign.
Now, the points that I am going to make are obvious. I’m sure that my readers will say to themselves “tell us something we don’t know, BoLR”, and I would be inclined to agree with them – but for the fact that I see the same thing happen over and over again.
So let me pose some questions:
1. What is the impact of a key staff member leaving your business? A replacement that costs a little more, or the death of the business?
2. When did you last take a break? Do you have a plan to guarantee that you will take at least two week’s holidays in the next 18 months?
Of course if your strategic plan reads something like “work myself into a near-death state and virtually give the business away when I can’t take any more” then you don’t need to worry, and may carry on as you are.
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