Upon review of our damnation series, we know that governments can be a major source of damnation. From their meddling in the employment rate (economic damnation 3), currency strength (economic damnation 5), and their sheltering of the 1% (economic damnation 7); their lack of support for postal services (infrastructure damnation 11), ports (infrastructure damnation 13), and roads (infrastructure damnation 14); their (mis)management of customs acts (geopolitical damnation 28), trade embargoes (geopolitical damnation 29), and the TPP poison pills (geopolitical damnation 30); their taxation (regulatory damnation 33), tariffs (regulatory damnation 34), and health and safety (regulatory damnation 35); and their poor urbanization plans (societal damnation 43), utter lack of support for education (societal damnation 44), and their handling of workers’ rights legislation (societal damnation 48), their damning meddling is everywhere. (It’s more ubiquitous than the meddling of those meddling kids.)
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. In our damnation post we listed a few of the more focussed damnations that will cause you a never ending nightmare.
- Budget Freeze
- State of Emergency
- New Legislation Outlawing your Product or Service
- Criminal Charges against your Organization or Executives
1. Don’t Sell Governments More Than You Can Afford to Maintain in the Receivables Indefinitely.
There’s no guarantee of quick payment, or even late payment in the timeframe you are led to believe it will materialize in. Government might be good money, long term contracts, and guaranteed references, but they aren’t always the best customers if you need money now. Make sure you have a core business selling to the private sector that can sustain you through the dry times.
2. Don’t be slack in receivables recognition and collection
Insure all deliverables are received, acknowledged, and accepted on a timely basis. Make sure the invoice gets in the approved payment queue ASAP, and follow up the minute a payment date is missed. You don’t want multiple invoices in a queue during a budget freeze or budget shortfall. You want as few as possible, and you want them front of the queue as soon as the freeze is lifted.
3. Keep abreast of any proposed legislation that could impact your product
You want plenty of time to engage lobbyists if you can afford it, and if the product line is that profitable, or identify reformulations (or replacements) if the product is important, but not worth enough to engage lobbyists to try and alter the legislation appropriately (which may not be successful).
4. Make sure you have well documented policies and procedures in place … and all follow them.
Have a policy that failure to follow policies and procedures, especially those that are designed to protect the organization and stay on the right side of the law, will result in immediate discipline and possible dismissal. Also implement monitoring systems and processes to do your best to ensure that all individuals follow critical policies and procedures. The goal is that if someone breaks the law, it’s doing so in a way not supported or condoned by the company.
5. Make sure the board oversees the executive and reviews key financial reports and deals on a regular basis.
If one of your executives is engaging in shady business practices, you want to discover it and take action first. It’s often the difference between a slap on the wrist and a public hanging. (And don’t say you have nothing to worry about. It’s well known that the job that attracts the most psychopaths is that of the CEO, with the job that attracts the second most psychopaths being that of the lawyer who defends him.)