Success in business can be a double edged sword. Of course the extra business is great news and is reward for hard work. The following story does not have a happy ending. Although the business owner won some significant new business, she then became complacent and lazy.
This story is called:
Sit on your laurels and get cleaned out
A woman who worked in the cleaning business took the brave step to set up her own office cleaning company, in the knowledge that she was aware of a couple of local hotels that were dissatisfied with their current supplier. She approached them both and was asked to take over the work to clean the hotels and employed 6 people to work as cleaners for her business. All was good, she was earning enough from the 2 hotels to have a good living.
Then one of the hotels was acquired by another hotel chain and as a result she was asked to take on another 4 hotels which were part of their chain. So she employed another 16 people to enable her to service the extra hotels. Things really were going very well and she effectively sat on her laurels enjoying the fruits of her labours.
Then after a year she got a call to inform her that her biggest client had been acquired by a major chain and effectively she was given immediate notice.
She had no agreement or contract with them and so was left with a load of staff and no work other than the one small hotel she worked for when she started out. She had to take the company into liquidation and was sued for the outstanding debts from her suppliers, landlord and vehicle leasing provider.
She was sitting on her laurels and not focussing on the business or looking at growing it. She assumed that the good days would continue forever.
This is a classic example of lack of basic business practice and poor vision. It should be a lesson to all business owners that you should not ‘put all your eggs in one basket’ and must always be looking to grow and improve your business.
A business cannot stand still – it must always be looking to grow!