事業從掙扎到興盛的 5 個步驟──5 STEPS FROM STRUGGLING TO THRIVING IN BUSINESS

在我從事銀行和顧問的職涯中,我幫助過許多陷入困境的公司重新獲利。最近,很多企業都倒閉了,也有很多企業正竭盡全力的生存下去。我想要強調以下的五個步驟,能幫助你的企業財務穩定並走向興盛。

第一、了解你的資產狀況。你要了解自己資產真實的市場價值,精準核算所有債務和義務,並了解當前的現金流狀況,包括你上個月的收入和支出。箴言 27章23節 教導說:你要詳細知道你羊群的景況,留心料理你的牛群。」這可以明顯地應用在員工的福祉上,因為他們是你最大的資產。然而,你的財務狀況也同等重要。如果你沒有準確的財務資訊,請立刻找一個好的會計人員!如果沒有良好的財務資訊,你的生存機會就很渺茫了。

第二、籌措現金。掙扎中的企業總是缺乏現金。許多企業常常擁有非生產性或生產性不足的資產。我建議兩種籌措現金的方法。首先,許多公司都有未充分利用的設備、庫存或應收賬款,應可以轉換為現金。其次,開始減少不必要的開支。在出埃及記 4章2節 中:耶和華對摩西說:「你手裏是甚麼?」他說:「是杖。」上帝利用摩西沒有生產力的資產 – 他的杖 – 成為震驚埃及王法老那有能力的工具。你擁有什麼,是上帝可以用來為你的事業注入非常需要的現金呢?

第三、預測一個切實的未來。如果沒有財務計劃,你會持續於不良的消費習慣或錯過你的銷售目標。如果你的公司陷入困境,請努力說服你的債權人與你合作,制定替代的償還策略,讓你可以繼續經營下去。也因此,這需要你為公司制定切實可行的計劃。箴言 21 章 5 節說:殷勤籌劃的,足致豐裕;行事急躁的,都必缺乏。」你的計劃需要使用當前的銷售數字進行保守的預估,如果有合理的銷售收入數字為基礎,來建立支出比例,和償還債務,你就有機會實現目標了。

第四、溝通。當我受僱在一家辛苦經營的銀行,並負責收取不良或違約貸款時,我學會了欣賞那些開誠與我溝通的人。出於羞恥和不確定,人們經常拒絕與債權人溝通他們的掙扎。這不但沒有幫助,反而阻礙了成功的機會。如果有人誠實地與我溝通,我可以幫忙制定還款計劃。然而,對於那些“閃躲”我的人,我通常會變得一板一眼。正如以弗所書 4 章 25 節所告誡的:所以你們要棄絕謊言,各人與鄰舍說實話,因為我們是互相為肢體。」。如果你在事業上有困難,請拋開驕傲,與你的債權人坦誠溝通吧。

第五、以顧客為中心。因為疫情,我去過的幾家餐廳都把顧客服務提升到了一個新的水平。他們意識到自己的生存取決於留住和開發滿意的顧客。當一個企業在為生存而掙扎時,因為很多緊迫的問題,就很容易忽視你創業的初衷 – 滿足顧客的需要。正如羅馬書 15章2節 所說的:「我們各人務要叫鄰舍喜悅,使他得益處,建立德行。」為了生存,你需要採取我們上面討論過的步驟,並且無論如何,也要找到時間和精力來取悅你的顧客。

© 2022版權所有非傳統商業網路(前身為純全資源中心)。節錄自和 Rick Boxx 的純全時刻,這本刊物主要 是從基督徒的角度來探討職場上正直這個主題。如果希望知道更多關於這個事工或是想訂閱每日純全時刻,請上這個網站: www.unconventionalbusiness.org. Rick Boxx 最新出版的書「提供實用五個關鍵的神的方法來建立企業。」

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多內容,請參考下面的經文:

箴言 11章14、24-25節
11:14 無智謀,民就敗落;謀士多,人便安居。
11:24 有施散的,卻更增添;有吝惜過度的,反致窮乏。
11:25 好施捨的,必得豐裕;滋潤人的,必得滋潤。
箴言12章1、15節
12:1 喜愛管教的,就是喜愛知識;恨惡責備的,卻是畜類。
12:15 愚妄人所行的,在自己眼中看為正直;惟智慧人肯聽人的勸教。
箴言14章4節
14:4 家裏無牛,槽頭乾淨;土產加多乃憑牛力。
箴言15章22、32節
15:22 不先商議,所謀無效;謀士眾多,所謀乃成。
15:32 棄絕管教的,輕看自己的生命;聽從責備的,卻得智慧。
箴言16章20節
16:20 謹守訓言的,必得好處;倚靠耶和華的,便為有福。
箴言18章15節
18:15 聰明人的心得知識;智慧人的耳求知識。
箴言19章20節
19:20 你要聽勸教,受訓誨,使你終久有智慧。
箴言22章3節
22:3 通達人見禍藏躲;愚蒙人前往受害。
箴言28章20節
28:20 誠實人必多得福;想要急速發財的,不免受罰。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你如何評估自己的公司或組織目前的穩定性?是在蓬勃發展,還是苦於掙扎,努力生存中呢?疫情和隨之而來的管制,對你的事業有何影響嗎?
  2. 現金流對你的事業來說是個問題嗎?或者曾經在過去是個問題?你擁有哪些資產,可以在必要時,出售並轉換成當下或未來需要的現金呢?
  3. 我們當中的大多數人都希望能用樂觀、最佳情況下的觀點來預測營運狀況,但在困難時期,通常最好是做出合理甚至保守的預測。我們要如何才能試著預測一個比較切合實際的未來呢?
  4. 你認為為什麼事業在陷入困境時,顧客服務總是最早的犧牲品呢?如何避免這種常見的陷阱?堅持始終關注顧客最佳利益,這會帶來哪些積極影響呢?


5 STEPS FROM STRUGGLING TO THRIVING IN BUSINESS

By Rick Boxx

In my banking and consulting career, I helped many struggling companies become profitable. Many businesses have folded recently, and many more are doing all they can to survive. I would like to highlight five steps that can help your business become financially stable and move toward thriving.

1. Know the Condition of Your Flocks. You need to know the true market value of your assets, have an accurate accounting of all debts and obligations, and understand your current cash flow, including your last month’s revenue and expenses. Proverbs 27:23 teaches, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds.” This obviously applies to the well-being of your people because they are your greatest asset. However, your finances are equally important. If you do not have accurate financial information, find a good bookkeeper immediately! Without good financial information, your chances of survival are slim.

2. Raise Cash. Struggling businesses are always cash starved. Many businesses have unproductive or underproductive assets. Let me suggest two ways for raising cash. First, many companies have underutilized equipment or inventory, or accounts receivable that can be converted to cash. Second, begin reducing unnecessary expenses. In Exodus 4:2, God said to Moses, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.”  God utilized an unproductive asset of Moses – his staff – to become a productive tool that stunned Pharaoh, the Egyptian king. What do you own that God can use to provide a much-needed infusion of cash for your business?

3. Project a Realistic Future. Without a financial plan, you will continue with bad spending habits or miss your sales goals. If your company is struggling, strive to convince your creditors to work with you, to develop alternative payment strategies so you can stay in business. This, in turn, requires that you create a realistic plan for your company. Proverbs 21:5 instructs, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.” Your plan needs to be a conservative projection using current sales numbers. If you build your expense structure and debt repayment around reasonable sales numbers, you will have a chance of attaining your goals. 

4. Communication. When I was hired to collect bad or defaulted loans at a troubled bank, I learned to appreciate those who openly communicated with me. Out of shame and uncertainty, people often refuse to communicate their struggles with their creditors. Instead of helping, this impedes chances for success. If someone communicates honestly with me, I can help develop a repayment plan. For those who “dodge” me, however, I will typically become inflexible. As Ephesians 4:25 admonishes, “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” If you are struggling in business, cast pride aside and communicate candidly with your creditors.

5. Focus on Customers. Since the pandemic, several restaurants I have visited have taken customer service to a new level. They realize their survival is hinged upon retaining and growing happy customers.

When a business is struggling for survival, there are so many urgent issues, it becomes easy to overlook the reason why you started the business – to meet the needs of your customers. As Romans 15:2 says, “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” To survive you need to take the steps we’ve been discussing, but somehow you also must find the time and energy to please your customers.

Copyright 2022, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “UBN Integrity Moments”, a commentary on faith at work issues. Visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org. UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How would you assess the stability of your company or organization right now? Is it thriving, or is it struggling, working hard to survive? How has the pandemic and restrictions that accompanied it affected your business?
  2. Is cash flow a problem for your business – or has it been in the past? What assets might you have available that, if necessary, could be sold and converted into needed cash for immediate or future needs?
  3. Most of us would prefer to operate according to an optimistic, best-case-scenario perspective, but in troubled times it is usually best to make reasonable, even conservative projections. How then can we go about trying to forecast a realistic future?
  4. Why do you think customer service is an early casualty when companies are in difficulty? How can that common pitfall be avoided? What are positives that can result from an insistence to always focus on the customers’ best interests?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Proverbs 11:14,24-25, 12:1,15, 14:4, 15:22,32, 16:20, 18:15, 19:20, 22:3, 28:20


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