Financial Data
Updated 26 Feb 2020

Sustainability: It’s what keeps businesses in business

There’s no big secret when it comes to achieving long-term success. You simply need to think about everything you do from a perspective of sustenance. 

Bruce Wade, 08 August 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

As we all know, most new businesses will fail and close done within a few years of starting. This is often attributed to financial issues. But, quoting financial issues as the cause is like blaming war for deaths. It is the result of a higher cause not the result of the current circumstances. The right question would be about why the business fell into a bad financial situation that caused the closure. These questions are never asked.

So, let’s unpack some reasons and their causes and then look at ways to avoid the closure of your business.


The failure to conduct proper marketing is common in small businesses. Too often a business owner will state that social media and word-of-mouth are their business strategies. This may be true but unless there is a clear mapped out strategy with processes, desired outcomes and a dashboard, these are just ‘hopeful’ claims of marketing.

A good marketing strategy is client-centric with a set of focused products, a budget and clear achievable goals. Anything less will drive your business closer to its end.

Related: Business ‘plausibility’: What is it and does it affect you?


The team you build around yourself as a business owner is critical to your success. Too often we find the use of friends, family and sympathy employment happening in small businesses.

These lead to the lack of discipline, no accountability and a slowdown in productivity. A good team is strategic in its make up: People are employed or co-opted based on their ability, skill-set and energy, all which are required to drive the business towards its goals and milestone markers.

All great teams comprise of a solid foundation network, a pillar of support network and a flexible, outward focused expansion network. Staff must be hired on their merit and based on a real need in the business structure. Fail to do this and the end will loom.


Great people and great companies all have one thing in common: goals. Goals that are set, followed and measured. This is what gives people and companies their forward momentum. Drop by a productive company and you will see a clear Vision, Mission and Values statement on their wall.

This is further developed into a set of long-term goals that are broken down into annual, quarterly and monthly goals. From the monthly goals (WIGS) Wildly Important Goals are identified. All these give the company a focus and purpose to work on.

Related: When it comes to business feasibility, you can’t give it a quick glance

Staff are given KPI or Key Performance Indicators to measure themselves against based on these goals and their job description. Add a dash of accountability to lubricated the cogs and things begin to move in the right direction. An organisation without goals operates reactively, you need to aim for something.


Sustainability of any business requires a good team with solid goals and a well-run marketing plan based on a defined product line and loyal customers. Get these right and financial issues will not be a problem in your business.

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About the author

Bruce Wade

Bruce Wade, based in Cape Town, is an Entrepreneur Coach, Speaker, Author and Facilitator of change in today’s ever-changing economy. Bruce through his business, Entrepreneur and Management Solutions has been instrumental in starting or developing over 650 businesses over the past 14 years. Bruce offers practical, easily implemental advice, tools and techniques to Entrepreneurs and Business Owners across the globe.

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