- The business was started and run for the wrong reasons.Some companies are set up and then run more like a hobby than a business. Lifestyle businesses tend to merely exist, not doing spectacularly, until something bad happens to cause the wheels to come off;
- I can do it all myself!In his book, the E-myth, Michael Gerber spoke of the 3 skill-sets needed by business owners today – entrepreneurial, managerial and technical. No one I know has all three, in the right degrees, not in today’s fast pacing business environment. Seeking support from outside the business to plug skills gaps is a show of real strength, not weakness.
- Inadequate working capital.It always costs more than you’d expect to set up a business and survive the inevitable troughs later on. It’s incredibly dangerous to rely on credit lines over which you don’t have full control. Either way, the business owner didn’t properly assess how much money would be needed, where it’s best to get it from or what might happen;
- Weak financial skillsEvery business owner needs to understand how the business clicks financially. If you don’t, you haven’t a business, you’ve got a hobby. If you’ve got weak financial skills, there’s a good chance you probably also lack the profit motive, you love what you do and will return to stereotype ‘manager’ or technician’ roles when things get bad, digging an even bigger hole for yourself. ask us to explain this;
- The location is wrongQuite simply, the business opportunity was not fully explored;
- Lack of planningThere’s a lot of truth in the saying ‘to fail to plan is to plan to fail’. The unexpected does happen, particularly in our increasingly complicated world!;
- Over-trading (and what I call under trading)Over-trading / over-confidence can cause terminal cash problems in fast moving businesses.
There is also something I call ‘under-trading’, where the business owner adopts a strategy of merely cutting costs to deal with their financial, operational and strategic problems – they do this because doing so can be the easiest decision and produces short term cash benefits. However, we find that if this is all you do, you store up much more severe problems in the medium term. It’s simply not possible to cut yourself to greatness!;
- Poor marketingThe Company waits for business to come to it, as ‘it always has done’. The business could be ‘invisible’, there’s no route to the changing market, no sales force;
- Failing to follow a clear strategic directionOver time the business develops haphazardly. It is slowly strangled by ‘unfair’ relationships with major customers, suppliers or employee groups;
- Inflexible business modelAn inflexible business model and high fixed cost base while they may work in boom times cause significant problems in the inevitable times of bust.
If your business demonstrates and of these, we can help… just call us on 01902 672323 now.