It seems that many firms and business people are in a holding pattern until November. Although I may agree with the pundits that our politicians have not done the right things to help us, waiting for November’s elections to hopefully solve the issues is not a solution.
Regardless of which party you want to win, or who will be elected President, our business life will continue. There will be opportunities – and we can thrive, rather than survive, especially if we keep these few thoughts in mind, which were edited from an article written by Alan Hall for Forbes.
1. Dishonesty. Every day we read of business leaders who are crooks. They have lied, cheated and stolen the assets of shareholders, employees and vendors. The quickest path to destruction, for both the individual and an organization, is a manager without integrity.
2. Corrupt Culture – Organizations that mistreat employees and abuse customers are ripe for failure. Firms that base their philosophies’ on “win-lose” thinking, seeking to take advantage of relationships, can neither survive nor prosper. Such an approach generally begins with leadership that is arrogant and greedy. They, in turn, hire and promote mangers of the same attitude and behavior.
3. Terrible Money Management – Many firms with excellent potential for growth and fame are brought to their knees by leaders who do not know how to manage cash.
4. Pathetic Revenues – Companies that don’t generate sufficient sales with appropriate gross margins are doomed to fail. No firm can grow or prosper without planned revenue attainment. Likewise if management is clueless on routes to the customer, is not providing a competitive solution to client needs and has miscalculated pricing, there is little hope for the enterprise.
5. Customers Are Not Relevant – Company leaders who don’t listen to and respond to customer needs are facing financial disaster. Sadly, these managers believe their products are compelling; that they are well designed and correctly manufactured.
6. Dreadful Customer Service and Support – Leaders who over promise and under deliver will watch a steady stream of their unhappy customers head for the door, while also telling their friends to shop elsewhere. Managers who mistreat, abuse and disrespect customers will not be successful.
7. Customer Concentration – Companies that engage with one very large customer are at high risk. This assumes that the predominant client represents more than 50% of company revenues.
8. No Vision, No Strategy — When leaders do not understand why the company exists, or have a clear and knowledgeable view of what it can become and how to achieve it, the organization will not survive. They are aboard a ship that’s about to collide with an iceberg.
9. No Priorities,No Processes – Firms that fail don’t have key objectives. Without written processes that are clear, concise and thoughtful, employees commit errors. Time is wasted. Money is lost. Efficiency is lacking.
10. Wrong Workers – Hiring the wrong people can kill an organization. If they are incompetent, tasks won’t be accomplished. If they don’t fit an exceptional company culture, they will be disruptive and negative. If they are dishonest, they will steal and lie. If they are not happy, they will abuse customers and fellow employees. If they are not capable of growing professionally, they will not improve and contribute to the organization. If they are not committed to the company, they will leave in the near term.
Visit Forbes to read the article in its entirety.