Young Upstarts

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[Review] Your Company Sucks: It’s Time To Declare War On Yourself

Sales have plateaued, your employees are griping, customers are unhappy and you have no idea what is going wrong. Yes, your company sucks and you’re at your wits’ end. It’s time for some self-reflection, and the book “Your Company Sucks: It’s Time to Declare War on Yourself” may be able to help you find out what’s wrong.

Published earlier this month, “Your Company Sucks” is written by Mark Stevens, a business strategist and CEO of management and marketing services company MSCO, Inc. Stevens, who has previously authored books of a similar vein like “Your Marketing Sucks” and “Your Management Sucks“, this time takes a long, hard look at the reasons why small businesses and entrepreneurs often struggle.

Stevens says that there are four main reasons why businesses fail:

1. Rudderless Leadership. This is when, Stevens assert, the management has pretty much lost command and control of the business, and are unable to get its people heading in the same (and right) direction.

2. The Lust-To-Lax Syndrome. A situation when complacency sets in. Oftentimes in the chase for new business, existing customers are taken for granted or worse, forgotten.

3. Incompetence. And just sometimes, there’s sheer incompetence and the team simply does not know how to generate return on investment from their marketing activities. Either the company spends money on programs that fail, or worse, they do nothing at all.

4. Conventional Thinking. When the company sticks to more of the usual, and has no idea of how to defend its own market position when a competitor barges in. Some of the usual conventional wisdom to avoid? Management by consensus, rewards based on seniority, and the 80/20 rule, for example.

Stevens essentially centers his entire book around these four themes, laying out some questions to help struggling business owners understand – and acknowledge! – the problems afflicting their companies, and explaining how they can regain momentum and thrill their customers again.

For a book that challenges readers to be as unconventional as possible, some of the ideas and recommendations here are pretty much common sense – but then again, common sense can be elusive when you’re desperately struggling to find answers while your ship is sinking. But “Your Company Sucks” is an easy read, and various examples are scattered throughout to help drive home some of the lessons in his book. If you’re a business owner who feels that your company has stopped growing, or worse, has inexplicably entered into a decline, you may want to check this book out.

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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