The Four Reasons that Companies Fail

July 11, 2011
The tough love starts with looking in the mirror.

If you find your company in trouble and you're looking for someone else to blame, don't expect much sympathy from Mark Stevens. In his new book "Your Company Sucks: It's Time to Declare War on Yourself," Stevens says that in order to turn around a troubled company, you must "admit that when you're in Sucksville, it isn't anyone's fault but your own."

There are only four reasons that a company fails, according to Stevens, a marketing and management consultant.

Ineffective Leadership -- Management has lost command and control of the business. The company has become a group of people working under the same roof but rarely, if ever, rowing the same boat.

Lust-to-Lax Syndrome -- When pursuing a new customer, companies throw all their resources into the pursuit. But once they land the customer, he observes, they often turn their attention to the next prospect and fail to provide good service.

Incompetence -- When a business reaches a level of success, there is often a tendency to coast or try simply to cash in on the brand. Companies must continue to innovate, invest their money wisely and raise the bar on every product, service or process.

Belief in Conventional Wisdom -- The free market is a "competitive war zone," Stevens says. Companies must be prepared to face new competitors, revise their strategy and move forward by thinking outside the box.

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