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Sometimes The Only Way To Save A Business Is To Destroy It

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Thomas PlummerThomas Plummer

A single, flimsy thread can't do much harm to you. Threads are usually just little cotton strands that a child can snap with her little fingers. Thousands of threads, especially those that keep us tied to a failed past, can however, combine into a force that chokes the life out of any business trying to stay alive or evolve.

Every business with any age to it has threads that bind that business to its history. Threads are the history of that business but seldom its future: employees from the old days that are promoted due to longevity, not due to their current contributions; aged physical plants full of equipment older than most of the new employees; old procedure manuals; a glorified past where the business was known and successful, as many of our national chains were, "back in the day;" and an ownership trapped trying to restore a fading concept rather than letting the business evolve to its current potential are all threads binding you to something that may no longer exist and may no longer be viable into today's business environment.

Businesses fail because they don't evolve, forcing that business to lose the ability to react to a changing market. Keep doing what you have always been doing and the world offers up someone doing it faster, better, cheaper, nicer or just differently.

Doing what you have always done, especially when it is proven not to work any longer, guarantees failure, since you have already validated there simply aren't enough clients out there who want to buy your old method of business. Sure, there are fans of desktop computers, K-Mart, film cameras, CD music, circuit training and old school aerobic classes, but there are not enough of those fans to keep any of these concepts viable going forward in time.

Sometimes, the only way to save or grow a stagnant business is to destroy it.

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