- splitting head, runny nose, cough, sore throat, congested chest. All very unpleasant, and not helped by knowing there is no real cure. What you are experiencing are the symptoms. The underlying problem is deeper and probably needs antibiotics.
It is however important to treat the symptoms. I well recall my doctor explaining that this does make a different. When the body no longer has to fight the symptoms it is much better placed to deal with the underlying virus.
When your business is leaking profits there are usually a number of distracting symptoms. Very often they are perceived as the problem whereas they are really indicating that there is an underlying problem.
The symptoms may include shortage of cash and having to deal with angry creditors chasing payment, very wearing and stressful when you just don't have the money to pay them. Sometimes in a small business owners find themselves not taking a full pay in order that their employees can get their pay. Other symptoms can include lack of time; you're running from one crisis to another, putting out fires. So you don't have time to put your head up over the parapet to see what is happening with the business. They may also include equipment breakdowns (no maintenance), continually correcting paperwork (no procedures, no time for training so more mistakes), and things creeping up on you unexpectedly because you have been distracted from thinking ahead.
While the ultimate answer is dealing with the underlying problem - identifying and plugging the profit leaks so that you are making an appropriate profit, dealing with the symptoms can help. Dealing with the symptoms may give you time and resources to get an and solve the underlying problem.
For example, just putting in place a proper procedure for dealing with debtors and speeding up payments may help solve the creditor problem. That alone will make life easier..
It was very nice to receive a call from an ecstatic client yesterday to tell me that she had got her debtors under control. The monkey was of her back. The relief and joy in her voice was a reward in itself.
Some profit losses are pretty obvious - so you fix them.
BUT, what if you don't know profits are leaking, cash out the door?
Possible leaks could be anywhere.
Are there some clues or symptoms that are tell-tales?