Some Not-So-Obvious Reasons Why Some Businesses Fail

Filed Under (OP News & Views) by Don on 01-10-2008

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I was daydreaming today about what it was like when I had my own company and what challenges I would be facing in today’s ‘fubar’ economy. So I began to ask myself some questions and do some retrospective analysis.I’ve got over twenty-five years experience selling, sales management and entrepreneur business owner experience. I no longer own a business and in today’s economic condition that may be a real blessing! It is easy to see some of the obvious reasons why a business fails but what else can spell disaster in a business? Obviously inadequate funding and mismanagement are fairly apparent causes but I’m seeing something else. I have witnessed the failure of some businesses and identified a few things that in my opinion can lead to failure if they are not seen as the potential danger they are.

Lack of vision. Vision for the growth and future potential of the business and, most importantly, the sharing of that vision with your employees. This is your dream, make it happen by sharing your dream and vision with those who have a stake in helping you make that happen.

Lack of direction. While vision and direction are intertwined one cannot succeed with the other. Without direction vision has no where to go and without vision you cannot define your direction.

Lack of communication. Another critical element of the above, vision and direction, but so often the business owner thinks that everyone is on board and thinks the same way he/she does. However, your staff are not mind readers regardless of how talented they are. Openly discuss your plans and aspirations for the future of your business and hold your employees accountable to reaching your dreams (goals). So often I have heard, “I didn’t know we could do that,” or “…so when were you going to tell the rest of us about these changes?” If you’re a small company it may be easy for everyone to be “on the same page”. As your company grows don’t forget about the brainstorming sessions you used to have when your new business was struggling for a piece of the market and you needed ideas and input. Include your staff and openly discuss what needs to be accomplished and don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong and especially don’t forget to let your employees know that you appreciate them.

Lack of team spirit (harmony). I don’t mean a RAH-RAH stand up and cheer event or the silly-ass statement “Can’t we all just get along?” I’m referring to an atmosphere where everyone knows the task at hand and everyone works toward the same goal. Great people working harmoniously together to accomplish a shared dream. It is indeed a beautiful thing!

While all these points are necessary to make it happen what else do you think should be included? Think about your personal successes and failures. Be honest with yourself, no one else will hear you.

The last word: “To be a leader, you must make people want to follow you, and nobody wants to follow someone who doesn’t know where he is going.”– Joe Namath