life hacks

For a start, all businesses share certain commonalities. Among these are what I call the “four oarsmen” of business success: survival, liquidity, profit, and growth.

1. Survival speaks for itself. Every living being is faced with issues of survival in routine threats to existence. In business, such threats can be as simple as overextending obligations or failing to fulfill a contract. Agency managers should never take survival for granted. Yet they often do. Many agencies risk their survival by allowing one or two clients to represent a dangerously high percentage of their volume. If those clients are lost, the agency may lose its life.

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.
Mahatma Gandhi

2. Liquidity is the lifeblood of daily operations. It is the ability to meet payroll week in and week out, to pay the rent and the phone bills, reliably, with no duress or urgency. It is the ability to handle payables in a timely fashion so that work may go on. It is the ability to have adequate credit with banks, which expect regular payments on loans. The ability to spend and invest in those things that will improve the agency’s services to clients, competitive strength, and grasp of opportunity all depends on liquidity. To be illiquid is to be disabled.

3. Profit fertilizes business. Profit is to be shared with employees as reward for acomplishment and contribution. Profit is to be distributed to shareholder in return for investmen, risk, and patience. Profit is to be reinvested in people, plant, proactivity. Profit is to be retained for additional cash resources. Profit is to reaffirm that the company
s strategy is working and its operations are sound.

4.Growth allows for self-renewal: new opportunities, new challenges, new skills, new people, new clients to replace those that are lost. Growth means additional volume to offset spending declines by existing clients; larger scope of work, greater scope of workers; and a way to keep moving forward, to avoid staleness of being stationary. Growth reconfirms the good that clients already think of your company. Growth revitalizes company morale, making the conditions of employment even more promising. Growth provides a means to enlarge the company portfolio. Finally, growth enhances the probabilities of success.

Eric Mower [via] “The Advertising Business”

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