Treating a cold as if it were cancer is hardly the solution to managing a problem. But, having the insight to spot potential pitfalls and risks that lie ahead is the golden key that most business owners look for. It’s all well if you can predict failure, but when you can’t, and you find your business having lost its focus or worse, facing complete failure, sometimes knowing how to get things back on track is more complicated than it seems.
We understand what that feels like. We’ve been on the cold, hard front of that with business leaders in the past, helping them claw back the success and vision that they once held for the business they started, to their delight, and business prosperity.
On one such occasion, our co-founder Hardy Giesler, was called in to help a business that was in serious distress. Tarmac Topblock was a market leader in terms of market share, but over 5 years, had suffered a serious decline in performance that resulted in a forecast of £4 million loss in 2005. Hardy was appointed MD of the business to deliver performance transformation – and deliver, he did. Read the full case study, which includes the incredible turnaround achieved, here.
So, why do businesses fail? We look at 4 of the top reasons why businesses fail, and whether you’re a startup, or global organisation – these failure risks are agnostic of industry type and company size and are issues that face every single business leader at some point in their career.
Outdated, or incorrect, business strategies
We’re not going to bang on the same drum. You’ve heard it before, and you probably hear it daily, and if you haven’t then, there’s a bigger problem at hand, than you realise. Digital Disruption is the all-consuming item on most strategic development agendas. That means 2 things:
- Digital = taking what you used to do, and create a digital, online, electronic, intelligent way of improving a process, a product, a service. This may mean a new way to engage with your customers, or simply taking a process that used to be reliant on pen and paper, and now fluidly passes through your system in a series of 0s and 1s.
- Disruption = an upset or disturbance that interrupts an event, activity or process. This means, more directly, the way you used to do things doesn’t matter anymore. Antiquated strategies, approaches to markets, team management, customer service deliver – all of it. It is no longer the same as it used to be and the market demands a quicker, more receptive response from you as an organisation. Failure to adapt spells almost-certain failure.
Whether your business strategy needs a refresh, or whether it’s simply not working as you anticipated – there is an alternative. Simply being “beyond the point of no return” doesn’t always mean things will turn-around – they may just take you in a new, more exciting direction which you don’t anticipate yet. There is an alternative – Speak to us.
Running out of Cash
Failure to fund sufficiently and well in advance is consistently the single biggest threat to success. Successful funding is time-consuming enough – but when things don’t go so well, unsuccessful planning can become catastrophic for businesses. And when your business is running out of cash and you need funding to grow you organisation to take it to the next level, then you really just have 1 chance to get it right. And if you need alternative access to funding where traditional ways have let you down – There is an alternative – Speak to us.
Lack of the right team
Whether it’s the incorrect team, disagreement amongst your team or simply the lack of vision and leadership to move your organisation forward, not having your A-team taking up the helm of your ship is the biggest business mistake you can make. Even the most financially-viable business won’t be able to grow successfully without the right team in place. Your team is responsible for a clear strategy, future aspirations and tactical plan to get your business to achieve target, and yet, one of the most surprising facts in our economy today is the number of businesses without a clear strategy in place, a clear destination and a plan to get there. This lack of insight from a leadership team has serious knock-on effects to those who work for you – creating insecurity, lack of focus, lack of dedication and productivity. There’s no way you can win without a plan to win. There is an alternative – Speak to us.
Losing Touch with your Market
Markets change. Customer demands change. Industries change. And if you’re not in touch with your market daily, you won’t change. Which means, you will remain stagnant, drifting away further and further away in the rear-view mirror of the companies overtaking you. And we’re not talking about a 140 character tweet – we’re talking about real customer engagement through conversation.
Instead of retreating into a cave with your great idea, remember that your customer holds the key to your success deep in their pain, behaviour, dreams, values and the jobs they are trying to accomplish. It’s in your best interest to get into dialogue with as many customers as you can – and that spreads from members in your supply chain, through to the person buying your product, through to your strategic partners who re-sell your product and inevitably, your stakeholders. Ignoring what your market is telling you, is the nail in your corporate coffin. There is an alternative – Speak to us.
So, if you’re on the brink of extinction and it’s time to turn things around and move your business forward, albeit in a new and exciting direction, you need to speak to people who have first-hand of yielding exactly these results for other businesses who were once in your shoes. We’re your alternative – you need to speak to us.