When leaders do not understand why the company exists, or have a clear and knowledgeable view of what it can become and how to achieve it, the organization will not survive. This is a firm with the wrong people at the helm.
9.No priorities — no processes
Firms that fail don't have key objectives. Furthermore, they have not developed repeatable steps to accomplish core tasks. These managers engage themselves in meaningless activities that miss the mark. Their motions do not represent progress. Their employees are not productive. They look busy, but accomplish nothing.
Hiring the wrong people can kill an organization. If they are incompetent, tasks won't be accomplished. If they don't fit an exceptional company culture, they will be disruptive and negative. If they are dishonest, they will steal and lie. If they are not happy, they will abuse customers and fellow employees.
There are, of course, other factors that also contribute to business loss. These are the ones I have personally experienced or have seen in other ventures.
Today, I have described what I view to be the top ten serious business mistakes. In another column, I will contrast this list with the top ten principles for generating high-flying success.
In the meantime, I invite you to share your own stories on what makes or breaks an enterprise.
Alan E. Hall is a cofounding managing director of Mercato Partners, a regionally focused growth capital investment firm. He founded Grow Utah Ventures, is the founder of MarketStar Corp. and is chairman of the Utah Technology Council. This article originally appeared in Alan's Forbes column.