Five Things Your Business Fears: A Survival Guide

Most horror movie characters do not survive ...


Horror movies usually have 'rules' that affect a character's chances of survival. Business is a bit like a horror movie because 95% of businesses do not survive more than five years ...

Maybe one of your business fears is zombusinessification?

Maybe one of your business fears is zombusinessification?

copyright: leolintang / 123rf stock photo (licensee)

There are certain things you can do to increase the chance of your business's survival. Unfortunately, the horrors that haunt a business are usually more subtle, much better disguised and more insidious than the ones in the movies.

We'll unmask five monsters (and their weaknesses) that could be hiding under your business's bed right now:

  1. Vamployees

    If you're not careful, they'll hypnotise you while they drain your business dry. Vamployees are usually charming, sneaky and very clever. They often hide in plain sight. One Vamployee can turn others to their evil ways if not dealt with. A Vamployee is often not aware of what they are.

    The first defence is to not invite them in, so employ robust hiring practises; however, anyone can turn into a Vamployee easily under the right conditions. Shine a light regularly, but beware that doing so can create the very horror you seek to avoid. And remember, they could be anyone.

    Weaknesses: regular performance evaluation, positive company culture, honest customer feedback.

  2. Timestealer

    This demon can use phone calls, emails, meetings and social media to increases its power. It sings a tempting lullaby which can lure anyone to five o'clock without getting any actual work done. Many of its victims find themselves trapped in an office until bedtime unable to get everything done.

    It's perfectly natural to have some time stolen; however, it can quickly add up. Be wary of those that are unsupervised, unorganised and unmotivated, but constant supervision, micromanagement and 'whip cracking' are ineffective against this demon.

    Weaknesses: healthy motivation, proper planning, self-discipline, clear goals.

  3. Zombusiness

    The cause of zombusinessification (what a great word!) is well known; if a business lacks identity, they will become just another shambling, directionless, rotting zombusiness, faceless and lost in the crowd. They move slowly in huge clumps, mindlessly repeating one word over and over in their eerie signature groan: ">em>Saaaaales"

    The best defence is to 'vaccinate' your business. Be clear on your unique selling proposition and ensure it is clearly communicated in a concise and compelling manner. Most of all; keep moving.

    Weaknesses: unique selling propositions, brand strength, marketing plans, getting and staying ahead of the crowd.

  4. Gremlops

    A gremlop begins life as a cute, fuzzy, mischievous, little quirk in your operations that seems easy to deal with. However, business growth causes a gremlop to multiply and exposure to staff or customers causes them to mutate horribly. Even just one gremlop can cause havoc in your business operations, tearing apart processes, sabotaging staff and eating money.

    One of these might seem totally manageable when it's just you and maybe a few other people; however, they will quickly get out of control. Deal with them before it's too late.

    Weaknesses: structured processes, financial awareness, strong management, trained staff.

  5. Frankenstein's Customer

    Long ago, at a dark hour, a business owner formed a customer from assumptions and ignorance and then gave it life. What followed is too terrible to recount here. To this day, business owners are led astray by its poor advice, so the legend continues because Frankenstein's Customer lives.

    Your business only exists to fill your customers' needs and wants. Listening to your real customers (not the ones you imagine) is crucial to your business's success. You are not your customer. Your customers are real people; listen to them and communicate with them.

    Weaknesses: Market research, customer surveys, service reviews, communication.

Now, I'll leave you with the words of Horror Writer Edgar Allan Poe, "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."

Just like the characters in a horror movie, your business can avoid being one of the 95% that doesn't make it through the first five years. We can help, so why not give us a call on 01604 529170 or ask us to contact you.

Until next time ...



More about Jacqui Frost ...


I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.

Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!

I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.

Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!


+44 (0) 1604 529170


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