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Thread: Red flags

  1. #1
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Red flags

    One of my close friends phoned me last night and told me that he has recently resigned from his job as a guitarist for a well known band. From what he told me the main reason for this was really about the relationships that he was in, and how those were actually bad for him. He's really happy about his decision, there will certainly be challenging times ahead, but he feels better than he has for a long time.

    This got me thinking about a couple of things, mainly what I would call "Red flags," which are things which indicate that something is wrong. They are not always obvious, but they are there. I think often we know about them, but can't identify them - something that niggles at the back of your mind or maybe something that you do which is out of character.

    I know for myself I'm always watching how I react to things. In general I'm pretty chill, I don't fly off the handle, even if I'm really frustrated or cross. Sometimes though I just react to things in a totally inappropriate way - flying off the handle for something small - and then I know that there is something wrong.

    I would guess (I need more experience to be certain) that there are "red flags" for our businesses too. Obviously there are the blatant indicators, such as turnover, profit, loss and cashflow, but I'm pretty sure there must be other things too - how you treat employees, which decisions you make (or don't make), and so on.

    So here is a double barrel question,

    • What "red flags" have you identified over your business life?
    • If you have had a failed business, what are the events/things that led to that? Where there "red flags" that you missed, or can identify now in retrospect?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The simplist red flag of them all - how do you feel when you get up in the morning? Do you look forward to the day, neither here nor there, or do you dread it?

    Figuring out that something's off is not that tricky.
    Getting to actively search for the problem, measure it, identify corrective action and actually taking firm corrective action....
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    The simplist red flag of them all - how do you feel when you get up in the morning? Do you look forward to the day, neither here nor there, or do you dread it?

    Figuring out that something's off is not that tricky.
    Getting to actively search for the problem, measure it, identify corrective action and actually taking firm corrective action....
    So Dave, you've been through a business failing....when you were on the other side (heading towards failure) how aware of it were you?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I'd actually be very interested if anyone else has some input on this. Here's my take on it:

    You have to believe you can make it. Otherwise, why even try. This level of belief is no different on the road to success or failure. The line between success and failure is a lot thinner than most people would believe.

    I simply did not see it coming because I did not even look! I had already been in tighter spots before and made it.

    I never gave up on me! My bank gave up on me. Not that it was their fault. With 20/20 hindsight, in my instance, it was a bad call, but with evidence at their disposal at the time I was a bad risk and I can't blame them.

    The after-effects are more interesting to me. It took some time to repair my trust in my own abilities to build a business. The psychological fallout is huge. But I never stopped trying. Not even for a day. I immediately cleared the decks to get on with the job of starting again from scratch.

    OK. For a milli-second the thought did cross my mind that I might have to stand at a traffic light or play car guard to get the next meal. Rejected instantly with such venom.

    I didn't fail because I gave up. I failed because I hadn't learned enough yet. Or got tough enough yet - on myself and others.

    Somehow, and this I have found talking to others who have been through this and bounced back, you see the world very differently after the experience.
    Last edited by Dave A; 27-Mar-07 at 12:00 AM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Red Flags!

    Feeling "hard done by" and CONTINUALLY not getting what I am asking for.

    I consider myself to be a fair and reasonable business person. I want to make money and I believe there is enough to go around FOR EVERYONE. I therefore consider my requests reasonable as well.

    So I expect............clients to pay on time, good negotiated rates from suppliers, fixed interest rates, sales targets reached, reasonably good service from suppliers etc and when these start going wrong - I see plenty of red flags and work very actively to ascertain whether this is a once off or a pattern developing, or a challenge bringing opportunity.
    Regards

    Debbie
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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbiedle View Post
    or a challenge bringing opportunity.
    I like that!
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