(One Of) The Biggest Mistakes

Recently, a small behavioral healthcare provider approached me desperate to sell her business. After some discussion I learned that because of internal problems, revenue had dropped dramatically during the past year and since necessary changes were not implemented, including expense reduction, they were operating at a significant deficit. Even more, cash flow problems were strangling day-to-day operations. By the time I received the requested background information three days later, she had decided to close her doors.

One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is not converting their initial anxiety into a sense of urgency for action. In the post mortem discussions I learned that there were several signs of organizational distress over a year age: a key manager left, referrals started dropping, a couple calls of “concern” from a key funding source, increased turnover in the clinical staff, and so on. The owner added that she had considered selling about two years ago and had been increasingly inattentive to daily operations.

Experience suggests that there are always options in these situations, including hiring outside expertise, but it is essential to pay attention to the erosion of your business and plan effectively for your future. In this case an owner lost her business because she failed to do so.