1. Inadequate or no management system. An overall system to operate the business is essential. Flying by the seat of your pants is no way to optimize results and get the most out of your people.
2. Lack of purpose, vision and mission. It’s like trying to put a puzzle together in a completely dark room or driving at night with no headlights.
3. Poor planning, procedures, reporting and review. Many businesses don’t spend sufficient time planning, implementing proper procedures or tracking key metrics…and their poor results show it.
4. Over-dependence on specific individuals. Be continually improving the depth and quality of your team. And don’t ride your "best horses" too hard, they may burn out.
5. Poor segmentation of markets and clients. You can’t be everything to everybody. And if you’re treating your best customers the same as you treat your worst customers, then pretty soon your best customers may leave you.
6. Goals not established or not well-communicated. Lack of shared direction and organizational alignment is a results killer. Every employee should know how their work is impacting the key business objectives.
7. Lack of competitive and market intelligence. Operate with your head down and in a vacuum at your own peril. What you don’t know can really hurt your business.
8. Inadequate set-up and working capital. Be conservative and give yourself a cushion until cash flow from operations is sufficient.
9. Absence of quality programs. Great quality is now expected and poor quality is one of the quickest ways to be shown the door. Quality doesn’t happen by accident, it must be planned and incorporated into all that you do.
10. CEOs having great technical or professional skills, but insufficient business and management skills. Be open and honest about your development needs. Build a strong team to offset any shortcomings. Get help to address the areas that are holding you and your business back.
List source: US Census Bureau
Comments: Kevin Brimhall