Another business has gone the way of the dinosaur. This one is in a city not far from me. It was a small electronics company that first opened its doors in 1929. They had been around for more than 70 years. With that kind of longevity, you might wonder why they are now extinct.
There are several reasons this company folded, and I’ve listed them below so you can avoid making those same mistakes in your booklet publishing business.
1) Lack of Vision. The original owner of this company had never worked a day in his life when he was handed this company by his mother. For him, the business was never really a serious enterprise. It was more akin to a hobby. His only vision for the company was that it would outlive him. It didn’t.
2) Wrong Leadership. After the original owner retired, his son took over. But, although his son had work experience, he had never owned a business. He was a public school teacher with no idea how to run his own company. He hoped to learn as he went along, but by the time he took over the company it was already a sinking ship. It’s pretty hard to read a book on how to save your ship when you’re busy bailing water.
3) Failure To Grow. This was a company that started small and stayed small in every aspect, from it’s inventory to its number of employees to its customer base. Not allowing the company to grow at it’s natural pace meant not allowing the cash flow to grow, which thereby stunted this company from being able to achieve its true potential. This company’s failure to grow and thrive is directly related to the first two mistakes above.
4) Too Dependent On Current Customers. This company never bothered to try to extend their customer base. They relied on customers who had been coming in for years. Eventually their customer base dwindled as people moved away or died.
5) Inadequate Advertising And Marketing. They never had a marketing plan. For a little while, they advertised in the local yellow pages, but when things got bad they decided they could no longer afford to advertise. From that point on they simply relied on repeat business without doing a thing to get them in the door.
6) Cutting Their Own Lifeline. This company had a good stream of income from a sideline aspect of their business – one which brought them some very big accounts and large checks. This was their lifeline for many years. They eventually decided to cut this part of their business out in order to save money on payroll.
7) Running The Business On A Skeleton Crew. Once a business that employed about eight people, this company eventually whittled it down to four in an effort to save money. But, four people couldn’t do the work of eight and the company suffered as a result.
8) Expecting Someone Else To Take Care Of Things. At one point, the new owner realized that he was on a sinking ship. The problem is that he expected someone else to take care of it. He would hire this company or that company to take care of things he should have done himself, or at least had a hand in. Instead, he paid these companies and never bothered to question their methods or even check to see whether what they were doing was working.
9) Cutting Corners Unwisely. They would often use their employees for tasks that fell outside of their realm of expertise in order to spare the expense of hiring a professional. There are times when you just need to ante up and hire someone who knows what they’re doing.
10) Not Changing With The Times. This company’s inventory eventually became outdated in light of society’s technological advances over the past 70 years. Yet they did nothing to update their inventory nor did they bother to expand it. They also did little, over the years, to change the way they did business. The internet became their biggest competitor, and by the time they put up a website it was too little too late.
Each of these things caused this company to slowly go downhill over a period of several years. There is much to be learned from their mistakes.
To your riches,
PS: One mistake made above was jumping in without knowing what you’re doing. You can avoid this mistake right now by clicking here.
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