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When Your Business Is In Trouble

The Clifton Review  


The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings.

While the 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story, his incredible business success over these past fifty years and an inside look at how he did it, The Clifton Review will also continue to address current affairs as they relate to the good of The Bahamas.  


When Your Business Is In Trouble

By P.J. Malone 

Are you facing business challenges and looking to change course but you’re unsure where to begin?

Having an agile business to be able to change course in business is a solution. The business facing high risks is the problem. So before you get to the point of changing course and ensuring your business is agile enough to do so, you have to be sure that you are properly assessing the risks that you might be facing.

Risk assessments can involve simple basic considerations or entail a very comprehensive look at your business conditions. Either way, it requires an analytical review.

In assessing business risks, there are various types of risks to consider: Examples include,

1. Direct threats to the viability of the business—like market conditions
2. Business threats impacting the financial wellbeing of the individual
3. Business threats to the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of the individual.

The reason distinctions matter is that it can impact your business decisions and thus, the business. You may have launched a business that may be facing challenges to keep it goingfinancially, but you may have deep pockets so there is little risk to your personal financial wellbeing. On the other hand, you could be personally risking everything financially.

Another example of why the distinctions are important to consider is in a situation where you are absolutely essential to the business and it requires you to work twenty hours, for example, to keep the business going. That is not sustainable physically, mentally or emotionally for a long period of time and therefore, presents a risk to the survival of the business also.

In addition, there are several levels of risk: Is the risk being considered,

a. A Low-Level Risk
b. A Mid-level Risk
c. A High-Level Risk

For example, if your business is in trouble and losing money, that aspect may be a low to mid-level risk if you have deep pockets. While nobody likes to lose money, there is less of an impact if the loss of that money does not impact your ability to care for yourself or your family, and may not weigh as heavily on the decisions that you make about the business.

Conversely, if you’ve invested your life’s savings into your business with no additional income at your disposal with a wife and five children to take care of financially, your business failing financially is an extremely high risk. Everything is on the line financially and will affect your decisions accordingly.

So all of the various factors are to be considered when assessing risk. In terms of how this applies to a business, here’s an example:

If you are already contributing 20 hours a day to making your business work, but you are facing challenges that require you to change course, you should know that whatever strategies you consider should not require you to work even more hours. That is a recipe for failure.

It is of paramount importance to understand the risk factors before deciding on strategy for improving your business prospects.

To illustrate, when fashion mogul Peter Nygard saw a threat to his business viability in the late 80s and early 90s because polyester, from the department stores’ perspective, was no longer en vogue, as the ‘King of Polyester’ he had to consider all of the risk factors to his business.

He knew that he was facing risks on two fronts: Going along with the department stores meant he might lose his customer base who loved his polyester pants. Not going along with the department store meant he might lose out on store space for his products.

His strategy idea was to open his own retail stores. Nygard knew from his intuition that the key to his success was with his core customer base and opening his own stores was necessary, but no department store would allow him to compete with them and also continue selling his clothes.

This compounded the risk and presented a dilemma. So what did he do? Find out next time.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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