10 Deadly Signs in Business


Avoiding Icebergs

Restaurants and bars go bankrupt every day of the week. The thing is, they don’t go broke overnight. In fact, most give strong warning signs YEARS before the front door is padlocked shut.Titanic

Some common warning signs:

  1. Owner’s passion is gone and he/she dreads walking into the building every day.
  2. Owner’s time is consumed with “conversations of crisis.”
  3. Owner’s long term vision does not extend beyond the end of the week.
  4. Management no longer know what the mission of the company is.
  5. Management lack pride and passion (now in complete survival mode).
  6. Management fail to remove management/staff who are clearly hurting the business.
  7. Staff loses all respect for the company leaders.
  8. Staff see customers as an inconvenience.
  9. Staff are unhappy and feel demoralized.
  10. Customers stop coming.

All businesses cycle through peaks and valleys and temporarily suffer from some items on this list. Then they RECOGNIZE, RESPOND and RECOVER. If the conditions above have become permanent and/or you are experiencing multiple conditions simultaneously, your business is in trouble.

Post-itRemember: before you can RECOVER, you need to RECOGNIZE. Ignoring serious problems almost always leads to disaster.

Eyes wide open,

Sean Finter




  1. Matt   •  


    These are all things to keep an eye out for in a business.  I agree that all business have up’s and down’s on a daily basis but once these become part of the company culture it is hard to turn the ship.  This is a great thing to post and read every once and awhile to ensure the business is heading in the right direction whether you are an owner or a manager.
    I have a one of these things happening in my business as we speak and I am going to work hard to correct it.

  2. Layne   •  

    I took a while to go through this week’s post and really think about what these problems mean to a business owner – and if I were in such a situation, how I would Recognize, Respond, and Recover. Good mental exercise! 

  3. Ant   •  

    I would venture that these signs apply across most businesses, running down the list, I can see some great discussion points for some of my clients! Great post Sean. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *