It is very sad to see one doing well in business or life in general, then all of a sudden you see him /her collapsing financially due to miss management.
I said to my friends, I will guard my treasure with caution because I don’t want to be a former business person. “hahaha funny right”
Where it all starts
As usual, I share lessons based on my day to day life experience that is very practical and true. I don’t sugar coat it but share it as fresh as it is. Hope my sharing would be of help in your decision making.
In the past years, a friend visited me and we stayed at my rented house in the town where I worked from far from my family. It was just an apartment without fence furniture. A small fridge and a 3 plate stove. 2 small chairs in the seating room.
The fridge was not that full. He said to me we don’t expect the Director’s house to be like this.
After work he wanted us to buy lots of things including groceries and beer. I said to him, unfortunately, we have not yet received our salaries since it is towards the end of the month, I promised him that we will by the coming week since it was close to the end of the month.
When we left the supermarket, he gave me a lecture on what he believed I should live my life.
He said Barmlo you are a big man, you have over 300 employees, you have fleets of vehicles, you have several entities that bring thousands and thousands of dollars in a day. You have personal security that guards you. You are now a big man and you have worked hard. This is now time for you to enjoy your life. Buy anything that you want and eat anything that you want.
This was his vision of a good life
I politely explained to him that, I am on pay role like every employee, I totally depend on my salary and allowance. I don’t just walk to the account and ask for money.
Our company policy does not allow me to that. If I am stuck financially during the course of the month, I can get advance like any other employee. It will be deducted on my salary by the end of the month.
Anything that I do when it comes to company money is well documented. It is thereafter presented to the Annual General Meeting where we look at every aspect. As far as business is concerned, if it is found that I have money that I have taken but still not paid back, our accounts department will recover it from me one way or another guided by our company policies.
Because of such a setup, I am obliged to comply and this is a measure we put in our organization to safeguard our finances.
So I don’t just walk into the company and say give me “thousand dollars ”
At times I felt the company was performing well in business, and I requested that the company should buy me a new car. It was a hustle and we had several meetings before it was approved.
I remember by then we had Mr. Chamunorwa as our accountant. He had to do further analysis before the funds were approved for the company to buy me a new car.
The level of discipline required
This is the level of financial discipline that I expect every self-employed person to treat their finances.
You can’t just take business funds and use it for your personal expenses and expect the business to survive. It will eventually collapse. You need to survive on your salary.
This applies even to small businesses. Even if you are just one person in your business. Selling eggs or vegetables, please allocate a certain amount as your salary so that you may be able to separate your personal income and business running capital.
After this chat with my friend, he remained quiet and later said “uuuum inga zvakaoma.” I am sure he was saying it’s a tough life. Even though he seemed to disagree with me but that’s how things must be done.
We simply call it financial discipline.
By B. Marambire
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