There’s more than one way for companies to fail. They can stay in business but fail to reach their potential, or fail to get beyond mediocrity, or just fail to grow. Failing to grow is not necessarily a problem — if the owner is happy with where the company is. But there is an uncomfortable place between big and very small, where the owner is still doing a lot of the work and still not making much of a living.
Among the stagnation factors identified by Goltz are these, which could be alleviated through a stronger commitment to innovation:
- Complacency – The founder doesn’t have much of a drive to grow and dominate the firm’s niche
- Marketing – Creative marketing is critical to differentiating your company and attracting new customers
- Stale products or services – Your market is always changing; your products must change with it. Ideally, your firm ought to lead change in your market, either through totally new products, services and business models or clever line extensions that increase the utility of your existing products or services.
- Leadership – This includes vision, courage, fortitude, passion, attitude and of course the ever-important corporate culture — all of which should create an inspired, innovative staff.
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