The cost of a small leak

The cost of a small leak

As a fraud investigator, my finding is that many small businesses do not collapse or stagnate because they are not having revenue. They collapse because they are making a lot of money but losing it in small amounts that can be easily detected. And this is the biggest challenge in corporate Uganda; people steal small things but over a long period of time. My friends in Kenya call it ‘kula kidogo halakini kwa muda murefu.’ ‘Eat small but over a long period of time.’ A person of this nature in your company is the biggest cost.

I know you have employees. They come to work but some of them spend a lot of time on Facebook and doing personal errands on your company resources. I have found in a company where employees use company stationary, company cars, computers to do their private work. People like this will kill your company because it is like a disease eating you slowly until it is very complicated for you to notice. It is like cancer!


‘Eat small but over a long period of time.’ A person of this nature in your company is the biggest cost.


As a leader, create strong awareness and focus on ethics and integrity. You can always get a performer but not someone who is ethical. As an entrepreneur, focus on identifying the right people. If somebody is trustable, has integrity, you can train them.

Remember, stop employees from cheating you small, small things over a long period of time. Like a leaking jerry can, water just drips slowly, you can’t move with it for long time. By the time you realise, it will be empty. And that’s what a bad employee, doing personal work on company resources, does to your business. They kill it slowly from the inside.

About M. B. Mugisa

Mustapha Barnabas Mugisa is one of those rare people who provides business consulting and advisory to professionals and corporate entities who demand the very best. He is a prolific speaker and governance (strategy and risk) expert. His speaking involves making key notes at major conferences and business events on both technical subjects and leadership skills. A change agent and motivational speaker. Mustapha provides tools and proven methodologies to remarkable results through making people appreciate change. Visit Mustapha's LinkedIn profile to know more. Mustapha is the architect of #WinningMindset Leadership and #WinningTheGame strategy approach that combines Harvard Business strategy Playing To Win, with the Blue Ocean Strategy and Balanced Score Card to deliver a strategy that is easy to execute and monitor. Visit for special insights to improve your condition. Are you too good to be great?

Entries by M. B. Mugisa