Fish and Chips
No one ever said that running a business was easy, and if they ever did, they would be lying. Being a business leader, especially in today’s world, is tough, very tough. The entire business landscape is completely full of VUCA – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.
I know it’s tough and probably as tough as its ever been, but we should not go down without a fight. If you want an easy way out, to give up with dignity, listen to the commentator’s, they will give you all the excuses you need.
Here’s a short story which I quite like.
He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes, so he had no newspaper. But he sold fish and chips from a van.
He had increased his route taking in more of the estates around the area he worked. He put up a sign on the side of the road and in local shops advertising how good they were, and which nights he would be in each estate. And people bought them.
He increased his fish, batter and potato orders, and he bought a bigger fryer to take care of demand. His son came home from university to help him.
But then something happened.
His son said, “Dad, haven’t you heard on the radio? There’s a big recession and it’s going to get worse. The international situation because of Brexit is terrible, and the domestic situation is even worse because of COVID.” Whereupon the father thought “Well my son has gone to university. He has lots of friends on Facebook and watches Newsnight, so he ought to know.”
So the father cut down on the Fish order, reduced his route, took down his advertising signs and no longer bothered to drive to all of the new estates.
His fish and chip sales fell almost overnight. “You were right son,” the father said to the boy. “We are certainly in the middle of a great recession.”
Your business, no matter how modest, is important for many reasons and deep down you know it. Your effort should not be wasted – Don’t give up – Just don’t.