When a business fails, the damage can be deep and wide. Customers, vendors, partners, employees and even competitors all suffer. Often the implosion of a business is a drawn out tragedy with a messy aftermath. Rarely is a business’s demise quick and painless. The good news: failure leaves clues.
"It's difficult to make predictions, especially about the future." Yogi Berra
Businesses and industries fail for a multitude of reasons. Bad management, too much risk, lack of information or a changing world have caused some of the best businesses to fail. Business failure is a process, not an event. The bigger the business, the longer the process. For instance, it was two years from groundbreaking to bankruptcy for Solyndra. In that interim period of time there was a lot of positive news: $500M government loan, rising sales, and even an IPO filing. But, I bet, if you were in Solyndra’s ecosystem of customers, vendors and partners, there were a lot of clues. If these clues were communicated in a way that was available, a lot of the damage in Solyndra’s wake could have been minimized.
“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip. “
One of our key findings at G2Link is that our business peers may have the best clues. A company is more than its payment history and its interactions with all players is key in assessing the reputation of a given company. These business peers make up what we called a “smart crowd,” and by monitoring peer generated quality trends, we can get a view into future performance and hopefully the viability of a company over the long and short term. As a company begins to fail several things happen before the reaper shows up. Quality starts to slip, key team members move on, payment history slides etc. Individually, these events may seem normal in the course of business but cumulatively, they could be a big red flag.
In order to spot this information proactively, the information needs to be formalized and monitored. At G2Link, we enable companies to monitor their key relationships and get alerts when things change....good news and bad news. We're helping companies in many industries such as manufacturing, banking and healthcare. Some use it for mission critical functions such as regulatory compliance while others use it to track competitors or sales prospects.
The basic service is free but we offer a tiered suite of services to meet the needs of companies of any size. If you're interested, you can start a free trial by following the link below.