How Do You Know If Your Business Is Failing?

I’m probably not alone in saying that I’ve been in some pretty boring companies and organisations in the past. Companies do get old, and when they get old it is quite easy to see why. All you hear is complaining, and you don’t understand why some people actually work in the building. For example, I used to work in retail, and I remember one particular individual who spent most of her time complaining about the long hours she had to work (around six hours daily) and the horrible people she had to work with, namely the general public.

I remember thinking quite clearly that this person was insane. It’s never been a particularly good environment for employment in our country, at least for the past few years. Anyone who has a job, I thought, should be incredibly grateful. Over time, her complaining got worse until it affected her work and she was asked to leave. That wasn’t before she managed to infect everyone else in her team with that ridiculously negative world view.

There’s nothing funny about a company that has been dissolved. And often it doesn’t mean financial problems, at least not immediately. Instead, there are three common problems that are quite easy to notice in a company that is facing disaster ahead. Look at the following three issues and see if they’re happening in your company. If they are, and if you’re in charge, take action. If you’re not the boss, talk to the person who is and try and work out how you can change the situation fast. Otherwise, you’ll hit an iceberg pretty soon.

Problem One: No urgency in meetings

People start to wonder what kind of biscuits are going to be brought to the next meeting. People show up late to meetings and don’t make any effort to act in a serious manner about serious topics. There’s too much joking going on.

If meetings are turning into this kind of fiasco, it’s probably true that your business is starting to suffer big time.

Problem Two: No one is being promoted, ever

If no-one has been promoted that simply means that the company does not have any growth. There’s no sense that things are moving forward and that people are happy to recognise hard work and effort. This could be for one of two reasons. The first reason could be that there is no hard work and effort. The second is that the company has lost direction and doesn’t know how it needs to grow.

Problem Three: The new guy can’t fit in

The moment a company starts becoming truly insular is the moment it starts to die. If you do happen to employ somebody new in the company or team and they come to you to complain about the fact that no -one seems to accept them and they find it difficult to settle in, it is not their fault.

The company should be open and progressive, and consider trying to find new talent. If the new guy can’t fit in, the old guys need to start thinking about how they approaching the work.

I remember seeing that ex colleague a couple years later. She was still working in retail, still helping people make purchases on a very low level. There’s nothing wrong with this, and everyone has a place in the world of work. The problem was that she wasn’t the last person in that particular retail establishment to be a complainer. I still see that particular retailer today, struggling to meet the demands of a much more competitive industry. In fact, I’ve heard many people ask ‘how does that place stay open?’.

Sadly, I don’t think it will stay open for long.

Look out for that ‘berg…

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Sal Ashraf

I'm a freelance writer. This site is all about getting more business, and keeping that business, whether you're a solo entrepreneur, or a large company.

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