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Taking a Stroll to Keep Your Company Whole

(November 2003) posted on Tue Dec 16, 2003

Stay in touch with employees and identify and eliminate potential trouble spots before they take a toll on your business.


By Mike Ukena


In the screen-printing industry, most companies start out as owner-operated small shops with just a couple of employees. The owner is intimately involved in everything that happens, from sales and bookkeeping to printing and even screen cleaning. But as the shop grows, something has to give. Usually, the owner becomes more involved with the sales and administrative end of the business and turns the day-to-day operation over to other employees. While this practice is necessary, the drawback is that the owner starts losing track of what's going on in the areas he or she doesn't directly supervise.

The research-study results shown in Figure 1 give the primary reasons why businesses fail. Of the six reasons shown, four are influenced significantly by the grasp business leaders have of their own operations. The first and last, debt and revenue issues, really demand a separate discussion. Besides, I would contend that when company owners address the other four potential causes--which represent 51% of business failures--it will have a positive impact on the financial issues anyway.

Figure 1 Top Reasons Why Businesses Fail
Too much debt 28%
Inadequate leadership 17%
Poor planning 14%
Failure to change 11%
Inexperienced management 9%
Not enough revenue 8%

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