Pavlo recently spoke to a 58 year-old businessman who had started his business 20 years ago and built it up to employ more than 50 people and earn average annual revenues of 86 million. Four years ago, his business was worth around 60 – 70 million – a healthy capital exit if he had chosen to sell then.
Fast-forward Four years later, and the business is not doing well. This business owner now has 11 staff members and is headed for retirement. He will continue the business, but no longer as something he was once passionate about, and more of a hobby to keep him busy in his retirement.
His is one of many businesses who were hit by a shockwave in the face of the COVID pandemic and the after-effects of it. In the unknown, expansion and growth were afterthoughts, not even mentioned, and many business owners withdrew to their core skills, to see if they could salvage their business by fixing their product or service.
Listen to this podcast from The Money Show where Pavlo Phitidis shares how dangerous it is to weather the storm from the engine room, where this business owner was.
Persistent uncertainty eroded the confidence of the captain and drew him back into the engine room from the bridge. Navigating the direction of a business in a storm down in the engine room gives a sense of purpose. It gives a sense of confidence that you are tackling this uncertainty, and it creates and erodes. It creates massive erosion in the business.
As uncertainty increases, resist the temptation to go into the engine room, where you can get stuck putting out fires instead of staying on the bridge and navigating your business through and around the changes that come with the storm. The storm could be the Ukraine war, the inevitable recession, or the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.